Featherdale Earrings' mission for a sustainable life

While everyone is focused on the coronavirus, we shouldn’t lose sight of those businesses still struggling since the devastating bushfires last December and January and the prolonged drought.

In an attempt to do their bit for the community, Sydney Gift Fair picked four businesses as part of the Buy from the Bush campaign to exhibit at the recent fair in February, including Featherdale Earrings.

“Along with three other lucky bush businesses we were lucky enough to be selected to attend the Sydney Gift Fair and were sponsored by Australia Post,” says owner, Laura Jane Breiner.

“We weren’t sure what to expect as we had never done anything on this kind of scale before. We went with no expectations except to network and hopefully expand the business into some new retail stores.”

The brand received really good feedback from other businesses and potential retailers, a lot of people loved artisan lane and the fact they were able to meet the maker and watch them make their earring creations.

“We were lucky enough to sign up 10 retailers from the Sydney Gift Fair so our products will be available in a few stores in NSW, QLD, NT, VIC and SA,” she adds.

Breiner runs Featherdale from her farm in Armidale, which is on the Madgwick fringe but only a stone’s throw from town, where her and her husband Aaron house their menagerie of farm animals including her beautiful Guinea fowl and her colourful peacocks.

Ever since Breiner was a child, she has always had an affinity with nature, and this was influenced by the many bush walks and camping trips her parents took her brother and Breiner on. As kids, she was taught to appreciate and respect the environment and the landscape.

This love for nature and awareness of living sustainably has led her to produce a range of stunning jewellery that anyone would be proud to wear.

“Featherdale was created a couple of years ago, and my mum came up with the name. It started out as a hobby. I loved that I could make sustainable jewellery and the main resources were found right in my backyard.

“My beautiful guinea fowl and peacocks supply me with gorgeous feathers along with friends, family who source feathers from their local farms, enabling me to create some beautiful designs,” she enthuses.

Breiner is an environmental scientist and works full-time as an environmental planner. She spends a fair amount of time outdoors in her spare time, so the environment and the landscape is something that inspires her every day. Aaron is a farmer, and they have more than 50 birds, 18 dogs and two horses at home on the farm.

“We live quite sustainably at home. We grow all of our own vegetables in Aaron’s amazing vegetable garden and farm our own meat. My upbringing and the lifestyle along with farm life with Aaron, all serve as inspiration for my designs,” she says.

As the business has grown, Breiner’s mum and dad are helping her out iwhen it gets really busy. So what’s next for Featherdale?

“We will continue to create our signature range of earrings and also come up with new designs for our customers and hopefully expand into new markets. We are about to collaborate with an amazing artist, Fiona Roderick, who is doing a print of a guineafowl on a card, so that we can sell the earrings and card as a gift package for people who are wanting a uniquely Australian birthday or Christmas present for friends and family.”

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