Principal designer Jen Hayes prefers to focus on envisioning on what is possible instead of focusing on the face value of things.
When looking for a storefront for her interior design firm Feather & Nest Interiors in 2016, Hayes chose a place many others would have discounted. She was looking for a homebase to conduct design consultations and to sell home decor products.
“We looked at a lot of places that were already built out and looked good, and then I saw this place,” she said. “It was a disaster. When I opened the door, all the walls were to pieces, there was only concrete on the floors, and the concrete was in really bad shape.”
Hayes’ business partner Jen Rizzo suggested moving on to another location, but Hayes had already made her decision.
“I said, ‘No, I think this is our space because I want to build it,’” Hayes said. “I can see what it can be.”
After speaking with the landlord, Hayes and Rizzo opened Feather & Nest last May. Hayes said she had previously been operating from her Missouri City home, providing design consultations and helping clients make their home their own.
“I made it my business model to keep design accessible for everybody, no matter what their price point is,” Hayes said. “I have homeowners that have $1,500 to spend, and I have projects that are $150,000 and upwards.”
Feather & Nest features a range of items Hayes curates herself, choosing things that are unique, cost-effective and diverse in texture and material.
“If you look at something and you love it, you can envision it in your home and in your house,” Hayes said. “I spend a lot of time picking things that are unique, that are a little different, that aren’t super mass-produced.”
Design can be an intimidating process, and some people have trouble articulating what they want, Hayes said.
“I tell them, ‘Let’s start with what you don’t like,’” she said. “It’s my job not to interpret my aesthetic and my design style but to find out what theirs is and what they like.”
The first client-designer consultation is critical because it establishes a relationship, and Hayes constantly visits homes to get a better feel for what people like, the things they value and how they function, she said.
“You’re not just buying a service,” she said. “[Clients] have to resonate with you as a person and trust you because you’re going into their homes. You’re changing things.”
Hayes has helped people from newlyweds to new parents to divorced clients—each with his or her own story, she said.
“You’re in their most personal space,” Hayes said. “You’re in their home, and I never take that for granted.”
Feather & Nest Interiors
3711 Raoul Wallenberg Lane, Ste. 400, Missouri City
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sundays, by appointment only on Mondays