I love this week’s feature business so much, this is the second time I am featuring their business. I first found Jay on Etsy, and quickly became an avid supporter of her online store. I have gone on to meet Jay in person and can tell you she is just as delightful as the treasures she sells. Welcome to this months Small Business Spotlight, I hope you find as much delight in Found By Her, as I do.
Please introduce yourself and your business:
Hi! I’m Jay, intrepid treasure hunter and curator of online vintage homewares, decor and curiosity shop, Found By Her. When I’m not out trudging through fairs, rummaging through dusty, rusty backyard sheds and decluttering spare rooms, I love growing my own veges, tending my chooks and looking after my wonderful husband and 2 children.
How did your business begin:
My parents were always dragging me and my sisters around antique shops as kids and my father was involved in restoring many grand Queenslanders in Brisbane during his career. I think this exposure instilled a love and appreciation for the beautifully crafted and made-to-last. But I haven’t always dealt in antiques and vintage: I actually trained as a speech pathologist and practised for 17 years, the last few of these, running my own private clinics. The turning point came In 2009/2010, when my husband and I designed our own home and had it built. I didn’t want to furnish the house with poor quality, mass-produced items, so threw myself into sourcing gorgeous old pieces such as: solid cedar bookshelves and a leather art deco club chair for the library, a cast iron Victorian era gate for our entry-way and an old iron bed for my daughter’s room. I loved the thrill of the hunt! It just continued from there – starting with antique children’s books and slowly evolving into the unique homewares, decor and curiosities that is the Found By Her of today.
What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
As the success of Found By Her grew, my love of working as a speech pathologist waned – I was ﬁnding myself becoming stressed and anxious about continuing my practice. I longed to spread my wings and try living in a rural area and relaxing into life a little more, so we packed up our beautiful home in the suburbs for a tree-change in the semi-rural area of Mount Crosby, as far west as you can be in Brisbane.
The move meant that our mortgage was dramatically reduced, allowing me to give up speech pathology and focus on developing Found By Her. Working in retail always has its challenges; there’s the constant promotion, maintaining stock levels and dealing with slow months, but I feel like all these issues are all surmountable and just part of the ride!
Tell us a little more about the products you provide:
Found By Her stocks the weird and wonderful, the unique and hard-to-ﬁnd, the quirky conversation piece, a stunning focal point, the piece that invokes emotion or memory, a treasured heirloom, the perfect gift. I’m always searching for items that are both beautiful and functional; pieces that help to create an individual style in your home.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?
I believe that learning the history of the items – why they were collected or created, how they were used, where they originated – provides a story, a provenance, a depth to the objects I sell, and while I am lucky enough to come across such stories now and then, I would love to make it a priority to get down to the grass roots level by buying directly from the owners and family members.
I am also testing the waters with a spin-off line of “mantiques” – antique and vintage objects that appeal to men, but that can also sit comfortably as accent pieces in any home. At the moment I have the social media presence @themantiqueboutique on Instagram and Facebook. Perhaps down the line, I will open a dedicated Etsy shop.
My main focus is to keep doing what I love, because that way I don’t have to work a day in my life!
I love Jay’s story and if you are keen to get on board and support her business, you can find her as outlined below.
Jay can open her collection to you by appointment – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for the perfect piece? Jay can ﬁnd it for you – just drop her an email.
Jay is also currently involved in an Esty competition, if you love her story and her store as much as I do, why not drop by and give her a vote. You can do so here.
I love Jay’s collection, these masculine pieces really compliment my feminine home. Do you love antiques? Fan of the old and the new?
**Small Business Spotlight is not a post that is sponsored or paid for in product or kind. I simply love the opportunity to promote small business. If you have a small business that you would love to share, please email me at email@example.com