Claudia and I met four years ago at the first iteration of Soul Circus where she impressed me with her innovative vision of athletic apparel. Her products were made for surfing, yoga, swimming, HIIT classes, SUP, and hiking - you name it, you can do it in her pieces.
In an apparel world where people think we need different clothes for different activities, my minimalist spirit saw this collection and thought, FINALLY. Today we hear where the inspiration for Island Feather came and where the brand is going.
How did Island Feather come to life?
Island Feather started as a surf brand selling hair feathers in and around Southsea and at summer festivals and was a hobby alongside my full time job. Island Feather gave me the opportunity to have everything I love in one place and was a platform to be able to promote my passions and values.
As time went on I started introducing other products from other designers to my stall. Island Feather’s collection grew and this enabled me to design a small jewelry range of my own and develop an online shop. Starting out with small products taught me the processes and infrastructure that needed to be in place when running your own business and it was a huge learning curve for me, but something I really needed to learn rather than jumping in at the deep end.
From designing jewelry, my aspirations grew and I started experimenting in designing sports and fitness clothing. I love outdoor sports (surfing, SUP & Wakeboarding) and my aim was to design high-quality multi-purpose products to cater outdoor sports, whilst offering style & appeal.
What is the mission behind the business?
Through sports events & clothing - Island Feather's mission is to inspire you to live a healthy life, discover what makes you happy and create a community of support and care for one another - "find your freedom."
How did you go about setting up the business? Funding?
I received a business mentor for 12 months through the Regional Growth Fund here in the UK, who supported me to complete a 5 year business plan and secure funding through a business start up loan company.
Tell us about your core values and how you translate that into Island Feather.
I have worked in the Non-Profit and Charity Sector for over ten years and really believe in looking after our world, supporting others and having a positive impact. Everything I do and promote through Island Feather mirrors by own values.
At Island Feather we believe that everyone has the right to live a healthy and happy life and with Hope, Belief, Support and Opportunities, anyone can achieve their dreams and experience success and fulfillment.
Proud of being an independent brand, Island Feather prioritizes excellent customer care, outstanding ethical products and develop a sense of community for every woman joining the Island Feather journey. Island Feather encourages you to follow what your heart tells you, do what warms your soul and do things differently.
Island Feather celebrates those who stand up for what they believe in and those who give back more to society than they take. The core values of Island Feather are at the heart of their company culture and their aspirations are in line with these.
Are there any challenges in being your own boss?
Yes 100%. For me I struggle with not giving myself down time and also self doubt.
How do you feel about the increasing inclusion of different body types in fashion?
Yes! I believe Fashion should cater for all different body types.
Have you ever put too much thought into it?
At Island Feather we developed our product range, sizing, and designs from initial market research that we completed. We are committed to our customers and ensure that their voice is the driving force of products designs, events and the evolution of the company. We have just worked with an artist Zee to create some illustrations to promote the diversity amongst our customer base.
What is the importance of brand authenticity to Island Feather?
Brand Authenticity is key to Island Feather. We have involved all stakeholders throughout the evolution of Island Feather, it has been integral to the start up and the development of the company. We believe that relationships are the foundation to the company culture at Island Feather and we will continue to involve them as it develops.
I am proud to share the journey and the mistakes we have made along the way and hope that we can continue learning from one another, which will in turn maintain the authenticity of the brand.
What does the future for Island Feather look like?
Find your Freedom Tour 2019 - After a successful number of events since launching Island Feather we have received feedback from our customers for more sport, health & wellbeing events across England. To support our customers we will be launching a Tour, which will consist of day events in different locations offering different sport, health and wellbeing activities. The aim of the tour is to:
• Offer Accessible events for others to try and experience sports, fitness, health and wellbeing activities.
• To support others to be happy and healthy.
• To unite individuals together and create a community of support.
• To support local and new businesses through cross promotion and marketing.
• To support local and national charities by donating the profit from the ticket sales.
Products - Island Feather customers love outdoor sports, are consciously streamlining their lives, and want to feel good whilst taking part in their sports. To support their customers lifestyle, we will continue to work in partnership with our customers to design products with both sustainability and style as priority.
We use advanced fabric technologies to ensure our customers feel comfortable and have no barriers from performing in their sports, are committed to producing products that are multi-purpose to minimize the need for multiple items for different sports and select the highest quality fabrics that will endure.
Environment - We love the outdoors, natural beauty and respect the environment - it is our inspiration. As an evolving brand in a business of producing products we ensure that our decisions are consciously having a positive impact on the environment.
At Island Feather we believe that through creating durable and hybrid products reduces the need for more. You wont see multiple collections from Island Feather, but instead individual items carefully designed for multiple purpose.
You can check out the entire produce range and get an update on the Find Your Freedom Tour 2019 at www.islandfeather.com