We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Hayes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I knew that I wanted good design to feel accessible to everyone. My goal was to create a business which simplified the process of hiring an interior designer, allowing clients across all budget spectrums the opportunity to bring high quality design into their homes. I love the fact that I work on multi million dollar homes as well as starter homes, the projects are equally important to me and the design process just as vital for each family.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started working in the design and building industry when we moved to the United States and I got my first job with a custom home builder in California.
My role as the office manager quickly evolved into doing selections and running job sites for the homes we were working on. I loved every aspect of the process and knew the design industry was one I would be working in long term and so I began educating myself on every aspect of building and designing a home.
Once we made the move to Texas I realized that there was a different element of design available to homeowners as the houses were larger and more people seemed willing to do decorative things to customize their homes.
Opening my own design studio and retail store enabled me to better serve clients in their design and home building process. I also felt very strongly that there was a large group of homeowners being underserved by the design community. Homeowners who didn’t have huge budgets but who wanted their homes to be cohesive and look well presented.
I knew I could serve those customers well and so I opened Feather & Nest with that business model in mind.
Being in a customer service oriented industry is never an easy path to navigate but I have been very fortunate to work with wonderful people, many of who have become friends and trusted colleagues.
Working for myself means long hours and a family that understands the dedication it requires to build a business and create a brand.
Giving back to my community is a big part of my work ethic and at Feather & Nest we believe in not only growing our business, but growing our community too!
I really love what I am able to do for a living.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My friend is just as design oriented as I am and so we would start our week of fun in Houston with brunch at Brennan’s and a tour homes in River Oaks to check out the wonderful architecture and design. Then we would venture about 90 minutes out of Houston to visit some of my favorite Antique and Salvage vendors in Round Top – Old World Antieks, The Compound, McLaren’s, Blue Hills and finish off with a slice of Royers Pie. We would then visit some of my favorite showrooms at the Decorative Center and stop at Common Bond Cafè in Montrose for coffee and a pastry.
An afternoon would definitely be spent looking at some of my current projects under construction with pasta and wine at Rosie Cannonballs to end the day.
Houston has some of the best parks and walking trails so a morning walk in Buffalo Bayou Park would be great to see the beautiful gardens and trees and an afternoon visit to the Museum of Fine Art would make for a lovely day! We could end the day with an awesome dinner at Lopez Mexican Restaurant on Grand Parkway (which I designed) for delicious enchiladas and the BEST blackberry margarita in town.
We would round out our week with a visit to JP Morgan Tower for a gorgeous view of Houston from the tallest building in the city!
The last stop before heading home would be at Feather & Nest to stock up on your favorite candles and decor items!
This would be my perfect Houston week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Mark is also a creative and he has long supported my projects, very long work days and a whole host of other help he constantly provides. He has been my sounding board, right hand and partner in every sense of the word.
I am fortunate enough to work with the best colleagues in the business and I don’t take any of them for granted. Joe, Jose, Steve, Luz and everyone else who makes the wheels of this business turn.
Katie Parsons & Kate Lawn have advocated for me daily since the day the store opened and without them Feather & Nest would not work.