Formerly incarcerated individuals tend to have a more difficult time getting hired for fulfilling, well-paying work. But for those who are reformed and willing to work hard, it’s important to provide opportunities for people to love their job and contribute to society. In this article, we learn how Felt+Fat Founder and CEO Nate Mell goes about discovering talent with unorthodox or troubled backgrounds, and his philosophy on giving them a chance to succeed.

Felt+Fat Founder and CEO, Nate Mell, Shares His Philosophy and Experience in Discovering Talent With Unorthodox Backgrounds

A Partnership with Baker Industries

In 2020, Felt+Fat followed Mell’s direction to partner with Baker Industries to provide work for those who might have a difficult time finding it. Baker Industries is a nonprofit workforce development program that serves hard-to-employ adults in their community. Their unique development program provides essential work opportunities as well as training for more than 200 vulnerable, hard-to-employ adults each year. A partnership with Baker Industries improves the bottom line for businesses, families, and communities—which is exactly how Nate Mell knew he had to get involved.

Felt+Fat was able to provide good job opportunities for those eager and ready to work. By hiring these hard-to-employ adults, people in the Philadelphia community were presented with an opportunity to gain work experience, contribute to a high-paced and energetic environment, as well as feel fulfilled in their daily duties. Mell was dedicated to providing a safe, productive, and fun work experience for these hard-to-employ individuals, reminding the community that those dedicated to making amends deserve a second chance.

Nate Mell’s Hiring Philosophy

When Nate Mell sets out to hire employees at Felt+Fat, he considers all the attributes and skills that an individual can bring to the table. For Mell, it’s not about the past. It’s about what can be contributed in the present, no matter where an individual’s life has taken them beforehand.

Mell has a passion for discovering people with unorthodox backgrounds. He believes that some of the best working relationships can be born out of unlikely circumstances, which is why pairing with Baker Industries made so much sense for his business.

Not only were hard-to-employ individuals given a second chance at making a new career for themselves, but they also genuinely contributed to the mission at Felt+Fat to deliver the highest

quality ceramic home goods possible. Cultivating this mutually beneficial relationship goes a long way for both employer and employee, creating an environment where everyone enjoys themselves and feels like they are contributing something worthwhile.

In summary, when it comes to discovering talent with backgrounds that might be untraditional, Felt+Fat CEO Nate Mell encourages other employers to adopt a similar mindset—that it’s not about where you’ve been—it’s about where you are going and what you can contribute today!

About Nate Mell

Nathaniel Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio based in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 2013 Nate was asked to design a set of plates for what would become the award-winning restaurant ‘High Street on Market.’ Since then, the Felt and Fat studio and team have grown exponentially through Mell’s leadership to become a go-to manufacturer for design-conscious restaurateurs.