OCSR’s Q&A with Jennifer and Nicole
Over the summer I stopped by the Shop. Laguna to do a little shopping, and I happened to come across a beautiful basket full of colorful hand-crocheted shoes by Painted Bird-I was instantly in love. After the new year I was doing a bit more shopping at Isla Boutique in my beloved Laguna Beach and was introduced to one of the owners of Painted Bird. Needless to say I was super excited and couldn’t wait to find out more about Painted Bird‘s origins.
Painted Bird launched in the summer of 2012. The Collection is designed and created by Nicole Halpern and Jennifer Samson. Both ladies are veterans of the fashion industry. Nicole has a back ground in the surf industry while Jennifer’s comes to us from the luxury market. The combination of these backgrounds are perfect for the quality and design of Painted Bird.
On a beautiful Monday Morning I had the pleasure to sit down with the lovely ladies behind Painted Bird to get the know them and their colorfully feminine and comfortable shoe line up close and personal. Here is my Q & A with Jennifer and Nicole:
Q: What inspired Painted Bird?
A: We met through our kids and became instant friends. We share a passion for fashion and decided early on in our friendship that we wanted to do something creative together. We were lucky enough to have been introduced to our manufacturer in India through a mutual friend who spends quite a bit of time there. He would always bring back amazing hand made items and when we saw the crocheted flats he returned with, we immediately knew that we could potentially design and create our own take on these beautiful little jewels for your feet. Painted Bird was born.
Q: How did you come up with the name Painted Bird?
A: We knew that we were going to design shoes that were super chic, casual, colorful, and full of life. When a customer buys a pair of Painted Birds, we like to think that they take flight, like a bird. You could be anywhere in the world wearing our shoes. They help to express ones own unique style. Oh, and did we mention that all of our shoes are also named after Laguna Beach streets. The backbone of our company is the beauty that we get to see and experience each and everyday right in our own backyard. Laguna is the ultimate inspiration.
Q: Nicole how would you describe your personal style?
A: Beachy Casual, Comfortable Boho- I always love to add a touch of turquoise and of course a pair of Painted Birds.
Q: Nicole how does Painted Bird weave it’s way into your daily life style?
A: Being a working mom of two, Painted Birds are perfect, they go with everything. Instead of throwing on a pair of sneakers or flip flops with my skinnies or even my workout clothes I go to my Painted Birds.
Q: Jennifer how would you describe your personal style?
A: I love a mix of high and low- and almost always swirl in a bit of vintage. I like my style to be unique. Painted Birds are incredibly versitle. They work with a long skirt, sundresses, jeans. I honestly have a pair for nearly every outfit.
Q: Jennifer how does Paint Bird weave it’s way into your daily life style?
A: Like Nicole, in addition to running and growing a business, I am a mom of two young girls so I’m constantly running around with them. I’ve been living in Laguna now for about 4 years and it took me a quite a while to get used to how beachy casual many people dress in Orange County. Not that thats a bad thing – casual, done well, is incredibly chic. Painted Birds are the perfect addition to that lifestyle.
Q: What are each of your rolls in the company?
A: Nicole takes care of the wholesale accounts and customer service while Jennifer’s focus is on P.R. and Marketing. We both work together to design a line of shoes that we are incredibly proud of. We have fun. We work hard. We are a great partnership.
Q: What’s next for Painted Bird?
A: The next thing on the horizon is the launch of our little girls shoes – BabyBirds by Painted Bird. Our girls loved our shoes, so we had a few pairs made for them, and then of course their friends wanted them and our customers began to make requests… BabyBirds by Painted Bird will be available exclusively through our website shoppaintedbird.com beginning in March.