What do you make?
Ethical feather earrings.
What do you want customers to know about you and/or your work/product/business?
The business started from a love of nature as a hobby. Everything is handmade from scratch here on the farm by mother (retired) and daughter (also working full time), Sue and Laura. All feathers used in our earrings are collected ethically from natural moulting, either from birds on our farm or from farms of friends and family. The original earrings are made from the moulted feathers of our much loved guineafowl who have an incredible back story. Our confusion of guineafowl survived a horrific fire which wiped out everything in its path. Upon returning to the property after the fire had been through, we expected they would not have survived, but amazingly they did and were waiting for us.
Featherdale is also the only feather earring business that is state Government licensed to sell ethically sourced native Australian feathers.
Where do you draw inspiration?
We live 1100m above sea level and the air is fresh and crisp, the seasons are particularly vibrant and we draw much of our inspiration from the colours and the textures of the seasons.
The country lifestyle inspires our designs, including our unique wire wrapping on the feather earrings which was inspired by the wire fencing around the property. The natural colour combinations of particular bird species are their own unique beautiful colour scheme and we draw inspiration from them as well.
What are your hopes for your business/work/practice?
We hope that Featherdale will continue to evolve and expand as a small but successful rural family business. Myself and Mum absolutely love what we do and it is great to work together and the love of creating we share really shows in our products.
Where do you live? Tell us about your place/community
We live in the New England region on a 12,500 acre sheep and cattle property. Whilst we are only 30 minutes from the local town we don’t have any close neighbours but we have a nice tight closeknit community. There are exponentially more livestock compared with people in our Local Government Area. We keep a range of unique poultry and fowl who free range on our property, along with our horses and 16 working dogs.
What is it like making/creating from a rural/remote community? (are there particular challenges or joys?)
Creating from a rural location has logistical challenges such as receiving business supplies to our rural address, which isn't recognised by Google. Given we are such a small rural business, we find that the busy times like Christmas along with work on the farm and a professional day job are quite challenging.
Some of the joys of creating from our rural location include that we have all our own birds happily free ranging on our farm who supply our beautiful products through their natural moulting, which we couldn't otherwise have. Happy, healthy birds equals beautiful feathers.
How has BFTB impacted your business?
BFTB has had a massive positive effect on our business; it has catapulted the business into a new realm and meant that Mum, Dad and my husband have all now become involved in running the business as i cannot manage on my own. Initially selling only a few pairs of earrings a week to now selling out every time we restock our website. We've had national media coverage and significant exposure around the country as well as many wholesale enquiries from small rural businesses. As part of BFTB we have developed lifelong friendships and business networks with other artisans, and we are able to support one another on our small business journeys.
What does it mean to you when a customer decides to purchase your product? How do you celebrate?
We feel really proud when people purchase our products. With every website restock, we are astounded at the response we get and the return customers that continue to support us and love our product. The positive feedback we get from our customers really keeps us motivated to continue to come up with new designs and maintain our high quality, unique product. We usually celebrate by making more earrings (haha) because we love what we do and want to keep our customers happy.