One of the questions we're often asked is why the name Feather Love Hawai'i? Where did it come from? Here's a little bit of our history!
I (Jenna) am originally from the Hilo side, born and raised in the quaint, beautiful town of raindrops and mom and pop shops that you remember forever. Childhood is mostly a dream to me, remembering jumping off the towers at Coconut Island, eating ice shave at Itsu's, bamboo pole fishing with my dad. He was also a wildlife biologist at the Volcano's National Park, so we got to go on adventures like bird counting, and crater hiking. We lived out in Puna and built a house in Orchidland, surrounded by ohia trees and ferns, where my cousins and I would pretend our plane crashed and we were stuck in lands full of dinosaurs late into the summer nights.
Family and cousins at our Orchidland house
I met my later to be husband Brandon in college at UH Hilo, and later re-located to his hometown of Kailua Kona. One of the plus sides to meeting Brandon was gaining a whole other set of family members. This included his sister Kelly who instantly became a sister of my own. In 2010, she had her first daughter, Kaylee, who was such an incredible little one, that lit something inside of me to want to have that experience for myself.
Little best friend.
That turned out to be a huge challenge, much more than I could have ever anticipated. I learned that it would be near impossible on my end to conceive naturally, which was devastating and difficult to hear, and tested my inner strength, more than anything had ever before. We decided to see what the medical field and new technology had to offer, and began a two year journey into infertility treatments and procedures. Because of the amount of time and commitment it took, especially living on the Big Island vs Oahu, I decided to leave my full time job to be able to have the flexible schedule to attend to all the requirements. Kelly and I both found ourselves in a position where we were home a ton, already hanging out most of the time anyway...so decided, why not put our creativity to the test!
I've always LOVED feathers, especially peacock - and the deep, rich purples and greens that make up the colors of each one. We even made peacock feathers the theme of our wedding in 2010!
My team of amazing bridesmaids!!
I was really into dangly long earrings at the time...the longer and bolder, the better! I thought wouldn't it be awesome to practice making earrings of our own using feathers and natural elements? It began as an outlet of creativity, making earrings for ourselves, which eventually developed into our very own business, Feather Love Designs in 2011.
Very first pair of peacock earrings ever made!
Dreamcatcher style feather earrings
We eventually made our own website, and would attend every single craft fair we could! Our jewelry evolved to include shells and seaglass, and some of the best afternoons were spent diving for cone shells and picking out the best fragments to wire wrap!
First Friday at KBX in Kona!
Seaglass, pearl and shell piece!
In 2012, after 3 rounds of IVF, I finally found out I was expecting not only one, but TWO babies! Then, Kelly found out SHE was also pregnant at the same time! This was about the time when our business was really kicking off, and we continued on strong until pretty much the eve of the birth of my twins on July 25th 2013!
Hali'a and Makoa Kagawa, day 1!
Aaaaand it was CRAZY! They both had different sleep schedules, and Hali'a was up all night long and slept all day, where Makoa was the very opposite (haha they still are like this, now that I think about it)! Diapers, bottles, binky's, bassinets and boppy pillows replaced our feathers, shells and wire! As much as I wanted to continue doing jewelry full time, I found it to be too crazy to balance both, and went into full blast mommy mode! Kelly had Jax 4 months later, and our lives were centered around all things mommy.
Cousins + Best Friends!
When the twins were 16 months old, I had the opportunity to return to full time work at SlumberWorld, where I spent 3 incredible years as a bedding specialist while Brandon kept his position as firefighter at Keauhou station. I became fully educated in mattresses, and how important and crucial it is to have a good one when it comes to quality of sleep! It was always a challenge balancing our schedules, as Brandon sleeps at the station when he does his shifts. Being in retail sales also means you have to be there through all the holidays, weekends and events. It was a tough, heart wrenching decision, but I decided to leave my position there this January to return to being a stay at home mom.
Makoa and Hali'a, now almost the Big 5 in JULY!
One day, mid April, I entered my closet and grabbed a pair of leggings...my new daily clothing choice as comfort is key, and leggings are pretty much life! I thought, wouldn't it be awesome to have leggings with prints that are unique to island life and the things we love? And also in a material that can be used not only on land, but in the ocean as well! An idea formed, and Kelly was on board again. Cups of coffee in hand and the twins and Jax now almost 5 and in school, we got busy imagining up the details of our first print, sunrise shells! We wanted to keep our existing name as Feather Love, but changed the designs to Hawai'i to define it as our legging line.
One of our very first designs, sunrise shell!
Since then, we have increased our collection to include A'ama Crabs, and our most recent release, the Protea flower, (my first attempt at hand drawing!) Starting out with full length adult leggings, we have also expanded to keiki sizes as well as capri's.
New Protea Print releasing at Zaia Boutique THIS AFTERNOON!
We are so so blessed by all of the support and love we have received thus far! Being a business owner sure has its challenges, but there is nothing more rewarding than getting pictures from customers now turned friends that love our line! We are so thrilled and excited to grow this adventure, and can't wait to see where it takes us!