A headline of the interview

Have you ever considered starting a business of your own? Have you ever felt that excitement over the prospect of having your own idea come to life? Our guest today certainly knows the feeling and she is ready to tell us all about it. We’re very happy to be bringing to you an interview with the talented Katrina Feakes on the topic of starting her brand &WOLF. She creates stunning headbands from beautiful materials and uses crystals and beads to carefully embellish and finish her designs to perfection.

Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and your brand?

I’m Katrina, I’m about to turn 29. I have a degree in Fashion Design from the University of South Wales. I currently work in hospitality management with my fiancé David and I now own & WOLF.

& WOLF is an online accessories brand specialising in headbands and scrunchies. I make limited edition and one of a kind pieces, that are so special, you’ll want to keep them forever.

What inspired you to start your brand?

I have always wanted to run my own business. Lockdown boredom forced me into action. I went on long walks & listened to lots of podcasts. I was excited by episodes titled ‘starting a business from nothing’, but always became disappointed when ‘nothing’ actually meant, I had a spare ten grand lying around. I started with

about £100, I bought materials and 20 labels with my brand name on. I made eight bands and designed one sustainable vegan logo tee that was print to order. When I sold my first headband about a month later I was literally jumping up and down like a crazy person. Every sale is just as special to me and makes me incredibly excited! I have amazing support from family & friends who have been buying lots of accessories and T-shirt’s, but I’ve also had a lot of new customers, people I don’t know, which feels like validation for the brand.

I know you have a lovely collaboration with Nude Jewels. Could you tell us how that came about?

I’ve followed Jodie before she started nude jewels and love her work! I also saw crystals become increasingly popular during lockdown. I read a lot into it and then approached Jodie to find out more. I knew I could buy crystals myself, but I felt that the more rewarding way of working would be to collaborate with another brand. Our first collection ‘Empowerment’ sold out, so we had to do another, this time it’s a bigger range and has jewellery to match. I love the finished collection and I’m so happy that we’ve become good friends in the process. We give each other ideas and advice from time to time. If you’ve ever thought about collaborating with someone but are second guessing yourself, just go for it, ask them. It will help you grow as a person and in business.

What materials do you use in your designs?

I gravitate towards silk and velvet. I also love to use beads. I try to create luxury pieces that you’ll want to keep and wear from season to season. I’m currently looking into some more sustainable fabrics as well.

What does sustainability mean to you and what’s your take on it?

Being thoughtful in what you buy and then making sure those pieces have a long life.

Trying not to follow trends too rigidly, maybe just pick a key piece from a season, something that really speaks to you. If you really love it, you are more likely to want to wear it for seasons to come.

I do think though, that it’s important not to be too judgmental of people who have other priorities. Sometimes I feel like people can be a bit preachy about this topic and it becomes counterproductive!

There are always challenges when you have your own business. Which one would you say has been the biggest one for you?

Self-motivation. Some mornings I get up and I am in the zone, I answer emails, post on Instagram, package orders and then make a dozen headbands. Other mornings I sit on the sofa watching trashy TV. I watched every episode of KUWTK in lockdown . Some days you have to embrace the laziness. I find writing lists to be a great help.

Could you share your three best tips to becoming more sustainable in your life?

• Everything in moderation.

• Don’t waste what you have.

• Be thoughtful with your purchases

Thank you, Katrina, for chatting to us and sharing your story! It’s been such a pleasure to find out more about you and your brand and we’re looking forward to seeing your next projects come to life!

You can find out more about & WOLF on their website

Be sure to follow their Instagram account too on @andwolfuk

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