Nathaniel Mell

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Nathaniel Mell
Nathaniel Mell.JPG
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materTyler School of Art at Temple University
  • Entrepreneur
  • Designer
Years active2014 - present

Nathaniel Mell or “Nate” Mell is an American entrepreneur and designer. He is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio based in Kensington, Philadelphia. Mell is regarded for spearheading the success of his venture that focuses on creating unique and minimalist ceramic products for both professional and at-home chefs, for which he has gained mass acclaim in the hospitality industry.[1][2][3][4]

Mell also has vast experience in working with a variety of media, including glass, metal, wood, and mold-making. He and his company, Felt and Fat, have even been featured in several renowned media outlets such as The New York Times, the Forbes 30 under 30 list, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Food&Wine, and others.[5][6][7][8]

Early life and education

Mell was born in Philadelphia but spent his childhood on the big island in Hawaii before moving back to Philadelphia when he was ten years old. After completing high school, Mell moved to Australia, where he did extensive volunteer work and traveled for four years.

In 2008, Mell returned to Philadelphia and enrolled in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (BFA) with a focus on glass and graduated in 2012.


After graduating from Temple University, Mell was accepted into a work exchange program at the world-renowned Clay Studio in Old City. At the same time, he started working at Fork restaurant under chef Eli Kulp, a Michelin starred chef who had recently moved from NYC.[9][10][11]

In 2013, at the request of Kulp, Mell began to design ceramic plates for the new High Street on Market restaurant. This initial success inspired Mell to explore ceramic design in-depth. In 2014, he established Felt+Fat, a ceramic design studio catering to the hospitality industry. As of 2021, Mell serves as chief creative and CEO of the studio, known for its unique ceramic products inspired by material explorations and theories of the mid-century artist Joseph Beuys. This venture by Mell emphasizes experimentation, collaboration and customization to create innovative designs for both personal and professional settings.[12]

Soon after the launch of Felt and Fat, Mell gained recognition for his products, and decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000, which helped fund the direct consumer arm of the company. Under the leadership of Mell, Felt+Fat has grown exponentially and has become one of the leading design-conscious companies in the marketplace. Felt+Fat, as of 2021, serves over 120 restaurants in places like Philadelphia, New York, LA, Sweden, Qatar, and Japan, along with having a separate customer base in the residential market providing decór along with their tableware.[13][14][15]

The company has evolved from a modest studio to a 5,500 sq ft enterprise in a short amount of time, with a workforce of 15 employees and two partners. Mell's leadership and the Felt and Fat team's work ethic have resulted in the company producing over 40,000 pieces per year. The “Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia” line of products by Felt+Fat was an experiment that allowed the brand to donate money to numerous worthy causes. Mell is also enthusiastic about working with Baker Industries in Philadelphia, providing jobs for hard-to-employ individuals.[16][17][18]

Personal life

Mell likes to have a work-life balance and loves to spend time with his wife Katherine and their dog, Potato. He is also passionate about hiking, cooking, and reading.


  1. "Nathaniel Mell - Crunchbase Person Profile". Crunchbase. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  2. "Exclusive interview with Nate Mell (Founder and CEO of Felt and Fat)". Vizaca. 23 December 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  3. "Nate Mell". seniorlevel. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  4. "Nathaniel Mell, Successful CEO of Felt+Fat, Talks Crowdfunding's Potential in Growing Your Business". The Collegian. 11 August 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  5. "Nate Mell | Felt and Fat Founder". Nate Mell | Felt and Fat Founder. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  6. "Nate Mell - Founder of Felt+Fat". Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  7. "Our Inspirery Exclusive Interview With: Nate Mell". Inspirery. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  8. Williams, Alex (2 March 2021). "An Interview with Nathaniel Mell, Founder and CEO of Felt+Fat". Times of Startups. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  9. "Meet Nate Mell | Designer, founder of Felt+Fat". SHOUTOUT SOCAL. 8 June 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  10. "Felt+Fat Expands Its Partnership with Baker Industries and Continues to Support Local Workforce Development Programs". GlobeNewswire News Room. 6 April 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  11. "Nathaniel Mell, Founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, Launches New Personal Website". Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  12. "Felt and Fat Interview for Small Business Saturday". Momentum Digital Marketing Agency in Philadelphia. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  13. "FELT+FAT". FELT+FAT. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  14. Turner, Dave. "SEAT YOURSELF: Special Edition with Nate Mell, Felt + Fat | TabletopJournal". Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  15. "Felt+Fat, Custom Tableware Manufacturer, Reports Direct-To-Consumer Sales Up Nearly 600 Percent Year-Over-Year". PRWeb. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  16. "Maker of the Month: Felt+Fat". Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  17. "Felt + Fat : A Ceramic Design Studio". Kickstarter. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  18. "Nate Mell". Forbes. Retrieved 24 August 2021.

External links