Minnetonka High School recently welcomed the addition of a new, service-based club: Wool Besties. Founded by Aaron Duong ‘24, the club invites students to craft their own miniature animals using needle felting. The finished creations are then put up for sale to raise funds for charity. Although it was only founded this school year, Wool Besties has already reached huge popularity among MHS students.
Duong was inspired to start the club after he discovered needle felting by accident. “I volunteer at the small library right outside the high school on Excelsior Boulevard. One day while I was shelving books, I found a book on traditional needle felting. I thought it was somewhat cute and flipped through some of the pages,” he shared.
After buying his own supplies, he put his own creative twist on the book’s original templates and designed his own felt creature. His goal was to transform the realistic designs into something softer and more cartoonish.
Duong soon founded the Wool Besties club at the high school. After bringing a few examples of his animal creations to show friends, he saw that they brought joy and excitement to the school day. “I saw a couple on their desks during testing. I also found needle felting to be super relaxing, especially during finals season, which is when I started [making items],” said Duong.
Duong introduced the club idea to students and faculty at the September Activities Fair and received huge support and interest. Their first meeting was held in early October.
“This is a super fun, easy, and relaxing activity,” he said. “Even if you don't think of yourself as artistic, it's still super easy to pick up and start.” Duong shared that the club has appealed to many different students of different grade levels and activity interests.
The club currently meets every Monday afternoon at MHS. Their goal for the future is to raise enough funds to donate to Hope House, a local shelter for youth in crisis. Duong is eager to donate to other charity organizations as well. The club is working on a marketing plan to raise sales later this year.