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Angel felting

Angel Felting, handcrafts, Mongolia (buyer)

Founded in 1999, Angel Felting is a small handcraft business based in Mongolia. Husband and wife, Dashdorj Erdenetulga and Byambajargal Munkhjargal set up the business by making woollen slippers at home. This idea came from a government initiative to empower Mongolian families to use traditional skills in producing craft products. 

Mongolia is dominated by the mining industry, which tends to attract a male workforce, offering a higher than average salary. However, the sector is precarious, and opportunities are limited. Angel Felting’s aim is to provide employment within their community and encourage people to create a safe and sustainable living outside of mining, using methods passed down through generations.

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EXTENDING OUR REACH THROUGH BUYER FINANCE

Although there are very few cases of Covid-19 in Mongolia, Angel Felting have provided their staff with a full PPE kit, including hand sanitiser, masks, face shields, and protective gowns. Due to restrictions with transport, they faced challenges exporting some of their goods. Despite this, they secured a large order with a buyer in the Netherlands and additional requests for slippers from buyers in Sweden and New Zealand. 

Co-founder Byambajargal Munkhjargal said: “The first Covid-19 case was diagnosed in Mongolia in mid-November, and sales completely stopped. Fortunately, we received reorders from our existing customers, produced them successfully and on time. They were shipped safely in November and December last year.” 

Angel Felting first met with Shared Interest at a trade fair in Frankfurt in 2019 and they became a customer the following year. The organisation was looking to develop their felt boots for outdoor use, and maintain a level of stock all year round. Byambajargal continued: “We produce felted home shoes for cold weather. It is a season-specific product so we have a good income during autumn and winter, but not spring and summer.” 

France said: “By extending production from nine months to twelve months a year, means that they can provide an income to their employees all year round and not only during peak season. In addition, they will be able to negotiate a better price if they can buy a large quantity of material in advance.”

Byambajargal continued: “Since founding the company, we had to stop production for two to three months during the low season. Now we can work throughout the year. We are planning to launch winter boots in March, and April 2021. We believe that we could have 100% stable production in the coming years. 

Angel Felting does not currently sell to buyers in the UK. Following a high level of interest in their products from members at our AGM, we will keep you updated on any plans to expand into the UK market.

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