Interview With Feather & Oak

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Feather and Oak owner Stace working from her gorgeous home studio by the sea.

I’m going to be straight up about today’s small business-I adore it! For so many reasons. Firstly, because of its owner Stace-who is gorgeous both inside and out. Secondly, because Stace creates amazing polymer clay jewelry and has an eye for delicious colour and texture combinations for her pieces. And thirdly, because she has become one of my Insta buddies ❤. Stace was one of the very first small businesses to pick me up as a brand rep when I first started The DIY Decorator which I appreciated so very much as it was a stepping stone for me to share my style. (She also picked @littlebrickhomestyle as a rep and introduced me to her fab account which I’m also thankful for). I think you know that behind a great Insta page is a gorgeous person running the show-which is very true of Feather & Oak.

PhotoGrid_1465037130805Stace, give us a little spiel about yourself and Feather & Oak. I’m a wife & mama of three little darlings living in a little beachside suburb called Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast. We moved here from Brisbane about 18 months ago and we’re absolutely loving the coastal change. Feather + Oak is essentially my 4th baby. I work out of my home studio hand-rolling clay bead necklaces & hand-made earrings.

Tell us about your work history and why you decided to start your small business. Previously, I had worked in office jobs, law firms, property development etc but after having children my hubby and I were fortunate enough that we could manage without me working for a while and to just focus on family for as long as possible. I never set out to start a small business. One day I ordered some clay online intending to make a few necklaces as Xmas gifts for my mum and sisters-in-law and when it arrived I took an instant liking to to it – to the point where I ordered much more clay straight away as I knew I’d be going through it all quick smart! Little did I know that within a few months when I launched a small range of 14 necklaces on Facebook that I would be completely drowning in orders in which I was in no way prepared for. I had intended for the Facebook page to be an outlet for my newfound hobby but instead it quickly grew into a small business and regular sales to keep up with. So unexpected!

PhotoGrid_1465037173077How long has Feather & Oak been open and where do you work from? We just celebrated Feather + Oak’s 1st birthday a few weeks ago. I work from my home studio just two streets back from the beach. I sometimes sneak off to the beach for a swim and lunch at the local cafe. So if you’re wondering why your necklace is taking longer than expected that’s probably why. (kidding -sort of… )

How did you come up with the name Feather & Oak? My initial designs were clay feathers but I decided to delete them from my range as they were too delicate and breaking too easily. I also had planned at the time to include re-vamped timber furniture pieces in my products however that still hasn’t been able to happen as the necklaces have been the only focus due to such high demand. So the ‘Feather’ represented the jewellery side of the business and the ‘Oak’ represented the timber side of the business. It hasn’t gone to plan in that respect but I still love the name regardless.

PhotoGrid_1465037203279Do you have any stockists for your products and if so who are they? Yes I have a few but my main stockist is a lovely little boutique called The Change Room at Mooloolaba and they also have a new boutique recently opened at Peregian Springs which also stocks my pieces. @changeroomshop

Do you have a best selling product? Yes the ‘Isabelle’ necklace has been my best seller but I am close to launching a bunch of newbies so we’ll see if any of these take over from the Isabelle.
What has been the best moment so far for Feather & Oak? The first few days when I launched feather + Oak. It was overwhelming to see such an amazing response to my designs. I never expected for it to grow so quickly. It was incredibly exciting.

PhotoGrid_1465037096006How do you come up with the names for your pieces? Initially I named all my pieces after the women in my family. First my daughters then my mama, my hubby’s mum, my grandmothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, aunts & cousins then as my collection grew, I started naming them after good friends of mine. One of my most recent pieces I’ve named after my son Tommy because why should he miss out on the fun? He was a little wide-eyed though when I told him I’d named a necklace after him. He was really worried he’d have to wear it.

Do you have a process behind your designs? I get inspired by many things around me – sometimes new colour schemes are inspired by random things such as a pile of folded laundry – the colours of the clothes stacked together might look amazing. It’s obviously completely unplanned but if I love it, I take a photo so I don’t forget the combination then use it later on when working on new designs. It’s funny what you can notice and be inspired by even in the mundane day-to-day activities!

PhotoGrid_1465037112883What has been the biggest challenge for you and your business so far and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge is learning the work /life/ home/ wife/ mama/family balance. Some days I think I have the juggling act down pat then a ball or two come flying down. Sometimes all of them. It’s hard to keep a consistency with everything. Perhaps I’ll get there someday but I’m learning to embrace the chaos!

Do you have any creative influences and if so who are they? @elkelucasceramics – a beautiful ceramist also living on the Sunshine Coast. She makes some delightful pieces. I’d just love to have a day alongside her one day!

PhotoGrid_1464767537298What is your vision for Feather & Oak? At this point, I’m just taking everything as it comes and not planning too far ahead. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see where Feather + Oak takes me.

What other small businesses on social media do you enjoy following and would recommend? @littlebrickhome for gorgeous home & fashion style inspo. @thedustypoppy because looking at her feed makes me feel all warm & fuzzy. Such cozy styling. And @Thediydecorator of course! (for all my styling needs)

And finally, what gets you through the day?
Chocolate. God. Family. Friends. Beach.

Website: coming soon!
Facebook: featherandoakdesigns
Instagram: @feather_and_oak

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