Hello my beauts and welcome to my channel if you are new! My names Alyssa , I am a beauty/ fashion/ lifestyle blogger and I am extremely passionate about what I do for my hobby. If you wish to know more about my blogging channel and hobby, I have done a previous blog post way back in the day that discusses how I got into blogging and what not. One of the most popular questions I get asked is ” Why do you interview or send people questionnaires and reach out to them”? Two reasons. One, I love searching for people who inspire me and love to share their hard work on my channel. Two, I get to know my guests on a more personal level, learning and taking in new information that I did not know about before. I absolutely love what I do, and love reaching out to people. I had the absolute pleasure and honor of working with someone who I have looked up to and admired over the past year, and her work is stunning. You can tell she puts so much dedication into her work and takes her time ensuring every order is perfect. I had reached out to the beautiful Jennifer Hewistson form, “The Rustic Feather” located in Simcoe Ontario, and she agreed to collaborate with me on this blog post, sharing her story behind her crafts and products. I was more than happy once she reached back out to me and happily responded with , “that would be absolutely amazing”. Even though I am a low key blogger, and some people have never heard of me before, that does not stop me from reaching out to beautiful souls like Jennifer and showing off her amazing talent to you beauts!
Jennifer is a wife and a mother of 3 beautiful children, two sons ages 20 and 5, and a daughter age 2. She was a single mom for a lot of years who had struggled with trying to make ends meat. She spent some years working 2 or three jobs to support herself as well as her son at the time. Jennifer expresses, ” I was a welder for 8 years, until the company I worked for went out of business. I decided to take the opportunity and go back to school. I went to college for Policing. While in my final year of college, I found out I was pregnant with my second son. I have an extremely supportive husband and we decided that I would stay home and raise our children. Because I am a hands on person, and cannot sit still, I had to get back into the workforce. When our 2nd son turned 2, I applied for a job at a Pharmacy for a cosmetics manager position. There I excelled at customer service. I built lasting relationships with customers and maintained sales. I was in that position for just over a year when my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our daughter”.
While on Mat leave with her daughter Jennifer felt lost. She had moved to a beautiful farm and there were so many birds to look at. Jennifer states, “I asked my husband if he could teach me how to build a bird house so that I could watch the birds build a nest and have their own families.He taught me how to use the saws and other tools. It was awesome! I felt at home in the shop! So once I built one birdhouse, other people wanted bird houses. That’s how it all started. A bird house”.
I was really curious as to what inspires Jennifer when it comes to her crafts and products. Jennifer explains, “Honestly, I get inspired by the most random things. Most of the time, it’s from “proving a point” to my husband. He is always trying to burn my scrap wood or throw out my “junk”. So I like to come up with creative ideas on how to use all my scraps or junk. Hence, why I started making my rustic feathers. He swore that no one would be interested in them, but little does he know, I have 62 orders for them…lol”. I find that hilarious and such a married thing to do, to “prove a point”, but hey Jennifer, you’re point was proven, you are one talented lady!
I think one question that lingers in our minds is how Jennifer learned to make her crafts. Personally, I am great at making stick figures, but that is about it! So tell me, Jennifer, how did you learn? Jennifer explains, “My husband taught me. He also has a brilliant creative mind. We feed off each other most times when it comes to designing. Although he’s a horrible teacher, I watched him. Learned his tricks and tried to do them myself. With a lot of practice, I’ve finally started to impress him!”. There you go! Practice makes perfect!
I know a lot of crafters can not live without certain craft essentials and I was super curious to know what Jennifer could not live without. Jen expressed the importance of her mitre saw, table saw and sander. Jennifer says, “When I first started doing this, I bought the cheapest tools possible. Then I learned very quickly you get what you pay for. I saved up my money and bought better tools. Better tools equal better products. So when it comes to quality, always spend the money!”. Great words of advice to follow for fellow crafters out there that’s for sure! I need all the help I could get if I were to start crafting, so better ask the expert here beauts!
“…I like the shabby chic look mixed with rustic of course”
How could you describe your style besides “Rustic”? “I love clean. Clean lines, clean décor. I like the Shabby chic look mixed with rustic of course”.
I know a lot of people always look up to someone who maybe inspires them or people who we admire their work. I know as a beauty blogger I have my certain admirers that I look up to and follow on social media sites. I then asked Jennifer who she looked up to. Jennifer says, “I follow a few builders on Instagram like Mac N Wood and Queen B Home. I love them both”. Going off of this question and the concept of being inspired, I also wanted to ask Jennifer where she creates her beautiful crafts and products. She emphasized “everywhere!”. “Well I used to do my work in the dining room, then I moved my son to college and took over his room….sorry Jake! My husband also had a man cave in the garage. Well now, the wall has been taken down and the shop is now in full production….sorry hunny!”. Looks like you are working hard everywhere Jennifer!
When do you feel the most creative? “In the mornings. I love to sit in my favourite chair in the morning and look over my day. What I need to get done, what I’d like to do, etc.”. I wish I could strive to be that morning person like you Jen but it is super hard for me not going to lie. I would absolutely love to be considered that morning person… I am going to have to take some tips and methods from Jen that’s for sure!
Do you work by yourself when making your crafts or do you receive help? “I use to do it all by myself, but now I have such an amazing group of people that help me. My husband, of course, does still help with the big builds. My good friend Amanda helps me with scheduling orders and keeps me on track. My mother in law comes and helps me with sanding and staining. And my friend Brittany will come over and help me with stenciling. Also if I need him, Cody who is my husband’s friend will help with building/framing.So yes, I am truly grateful for all these people. They know when I am stressed and they step up and help out whenever I need them”.
Jennifer goes onto explain that her job can be very stressful at times, but she does enjoy what she does. Jennifer emphasized that she is the type of person who hates saying, “No”, to people. Jennifer goes on to states, “but with this business and being in high demand, I tend to take on way too much. I stay up very late, sometimes until 2 or 3am and wake up at 6am. Being a home business everyone thinks it is sunshine and roses, well sometimes it’s more like a dark and overcast day. People constantly coming to your home for pick ups or to place orders. I do enjoy speaking to each and every one of my customers. I have established numerous friendships over the last 2 years because of my little business. I just wish that some people would understand that I am a Mother first. My children always come first. Just recently I closed my custom orders for Christmas because I did not want to be up late Christmas Eve working on orders. I need to spend more time with my littles”. I think that is super important you stated that Jennifer, it is crucial that we don’t forget who we are as individuals when we are caught up in our careers or hobbies.
I know everyone has been dying to know what Jennifer sells at “The Rustic Feather”, and I am dying to know more about the products myself! So please go ahead and share Jen!
“I mainly do custom work. Pinterest is so hot right now. So my customers usually send me pictures from there. I always say to my customers, yes I can make that but it will not be exact. Out of respect for the maker, I need to make it my own. I will not copy.”
I heard that you were selling some of your products are some stores in Port Dover called The Back Shed, and Ty-Kobee Tea &Coffee co, do these stores sell similar products to yours, and how did you make this decision? “Rhonda, owner of Ty-Kobee Tea & Coffee contacted me asking if I knew of any local artisans that would be interested in putting their products in their store. Because of the business, I am in and because I have held craft shows on my property, I have quite a large amount of connections with people in the business. With much thought and what she offered me, I decided to jump all over her offer. Their shop is in a prime location in Port Dover with a lot of foot traffic. So I decided it was time to step away from my normal “custom work only” and branch out into more of creating items that showcase my talents. My items will be available for purchase in their store starting October 1st. Although Rhonda has already contacted me saying people are asking for my items!” That’s amazing Jennifer, I am so proud of you and all your hard work. Everything is paying off for you and that makes me so happy to be. From a single mother who was struggling, to being known throughout different cities, you go girl!
For those beauts out there who are curious as to what her most famous product is, you guessed it! Her maps! Jennifer explains, “I posted a giveaway back in January for a map. That giveaway hit over 164 thousand people. Because of the HUGE response, I gave away 2! Since that giveaway, I received 97 orders to date for that map…..INSANE!! I am having a giveaway right now on my page, which is showing the same results”. That’s amazing Jennifer! I for sure entered the giveaway so fingers crossed! Jennifer’s work is absolutely stunning, so make sure you enter the giveaway before it ends! Be sure to check out her page on Facebook, “The Rustic Feather”, and follow the steps in order to be qualified!
I think one of the most intriguing and interesting questions that I had come up with was how did Jennifer come up with the name “The Rustic Feather”, and her story is just beautiful. Jennifer expresses, ” When I was a little girl, my father and I would always sit outside in the mornings and listen to the birds and drink our “coffee”. My “coffee” was a mug with milk. My father would sit and sing to the birds. Call the cardinals in. I too would try and call them, but I wasn’t as good as him. My father past away in my arms 4 years ago. It was such a huge loss to me, since he and I were inseparable.When my husband and I moved to the farm, I found myself always sitting outside in the mornings with my coffee (which was actually coffee now) and watching the birds. Singing the Cardinal song and bringing them in. When I started my little bird house business I knew the name had to have something to do with birds. So I came up with “The Rustic Feather”. How interesting is this! I would have never guessed this story and I absolutely love the background information behind the name. Absolutely beautiful.
So by finishing up this blog, I wanted to ask a few remaining questions to Jennifer to sum up our collaboration!
Where do you see your work and “The Rustic Feather”, 5 years from now? “As my husband would say “GLOBAL”!! Lol. I’m not entirely sure.I hope I’m still doing what I love 5 years from now”. I hope you are still doing what you love too Jennifer! Your business is blooming and you have over 7, 000 followers on Facebook which is amazing! You are going to be global in no time that’s for sure!
“The items you are creating for them are items that they will love and cherish, and hang in their homes for years to come”
Lastly, I love gathering some words of advice from people in their profession and words of wisdom they can pass on to others who are starting out in the industry. Jennifer states, “Honestly, take it slow. Take the time to listen to people. Do not think of them as dollar signs. The items you are creating for them are items that they will love and cherish, and hang in their homes for years to come. Take pride in your work. Never compromise quality. If it takes you a bit longer, people will wait”.
I just want to take the time to personally thank Jennifer, for sharing her personal and informative words of advice to us about her beautiful work from “The Rustic Feather”. You can honestly tell a lot about a person through their questionnaire, and I can honestly say Jennifer is a truly humble and kind soul to be around. Hoping to keep in touch in the future! Be sure to check out her Facebook at, “The Rustic Feather”, and check out her items that are present in the stores listed above in Port Dover. Also be sure to follow her Instagram page at “The Rustic Feather”, for beautiful posts that may spark your interest! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog post, I hope you learned a lot about the Rustic Feather! Be sure to follow my social media accounts located on my home page for more blogs to come in the near future! Take Care!