Watch CBS News

Inside L.A.'s Sparrow Mart where everything is made of felt

Inside a supermarket where everything is felt
Inside the L.A. supermarket where everything is made of felt 02:34

LOS ANGELES -- Customers crowd the aisles of Sparrow Mart where everything, from pizza to peanut butter, is handmade from felt. It's the brainchild of British artist Lucy Sparrow, who transformed 2,800 square feet of the Standard Hotel into aisles stocked with hand-sewn groceries.


"Felt is a very childlike fabric, and it often evokes nostalgia," Sparrow told CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas. "So I think it often harkens back to being at school and some of your first craft projects. I just take it to the extreme."

Artist Lucy Sparrow CBS News

There's sushi and soda. Sparrow spent a year sewing and painting the 31,000 items that line store shelves. But this art exhibit is hands on – and every piece is up for grabs.

"The fact that it provokes happiness… and a sense of excitement that you wouldn't necessarily have in other art shows, and it's also so inclusive. It welcomes people in that wouldn't necessarily go to galleries," Sparrow said.

Sparrow is clearly obsessed with felt. Tattooed on her fingers are the letters F-E-L-T L-I-F-E. She lives and works on a farm outside of London and calls her office "the felt cave."

"Four years ago, I was still working as a receptionist in central London. I did a Kickstarter campaign to fund my first big show," Sparrow said.

Her first show, a corner shop in London's East End, created a frenzy on Instagram and the art world took notice. In 2017, Sparrow built a bodega in the Big Apple, and 9,000 pieces sold out. 

Sparrow's bodega in New York City

The L.A. pop up also includes a gallery. One customer has her eye on the Campbell's Soup creation with a price tag of $10,000.  

"I think the imagery reminds me of Andy Warhol, the pop art of the '60s, something I identify with, and my childhood," Laurie Picone said.

Sparrow's creations evoke warm and fuzzy feelings. Her felt fantasy land is a celebration of brands connecting people with life experiences.

"I've just got a dream that's just a little more unusual than everyone else's," Sparrow said with a laugh. "I just want to make real life out of felt."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.