From previous businesses, to life lessons and those unplanned moments. Jody & Jess, Founders of Nice Martin chat to us about where it all began, how they got to where they are now and the importance of never forgetting who you are, what you’re wanting to achieve and the power of giving back.
Loess: We love that you met each other by chance in Bali – we’d love to hear more about this.
Jody Feldhofer: We met at one of our favourite cafe’s called Bali Buddha. Jess was wanting to start a silk label and I was going to help her out as I had just started my own label. We were friends honestly from the moment we met and decided that two minds were better than one so we ditched the other ideas, came together and started Nice Martin instead.
L: Can you tell us a little more about your past careers before starting Nice Martin?
JF: We’ve had quite a similar path to bring us to where we are now, both Jess and I have had our own clothing stores, mine in Queensland and Jess’ in Victoria. The stores eventually both shut down however we learnt so many lessons from these businesses.
L: Where did the name Nice Martin come from?
JF: It comes from a Helmut newton photo we both had on our computers. It’s an interpretation of what we got from it.
L: What does the creative process look like when developing a new collection?
JF: It starts with colours and fabric swatches. We generally choose these first then design the pieces around these and eventually make sure it all tells a bit of a story.
L: You recently launched the ‘Hey Mate’ collection which we absolutely love! Talk us through this collection and what made you choose Beyond Blue as the charity to support?
JF: Us too! We love it and we were so proud when it launched. The idea came about as we have tried to do our best to support a charity of some sort each year and with everything going on in the world, we decided on Beyond Blue, as we felt a charity looking after mental health made the most sense. I have struggled with anxiety in the past and we both have family members who have ongoing battles with mental illness so it’s a charity close to our hearts. Everyone deserves to have someone to talk to.
L: Nice Martin has now been successfully growing for 6 years. What are the most important learnings you have had along the way that you would share to anyone wanting to start their own business?
JF: We have learnt that failures make you stronger. Being a part of a team and having a partner is the most fulfilling aspect – it means there is always someone there to pick you up when you are down and to celebrate your wins when you have them. Try not to stray too far from who you are and what you believe in despite what is going on around you.
L: What’s next for Nice Martin?
JF: We would love to open another bricks and mortar store. We are also working on something really special in regards to circular fashion.
L: What does a normal weekday look like for each of you and what do you enjoy the most about it?
JF: Our weekdays are far from normal, especially with our kids factored in. We try to both get into the office/warehouse at least 2 times a week and the rest working remotely. It starts with doing a workout, then getting ourselves and the kids ready. Once that’s taken care of, we usually organise a call with each other before checking in on the girls in the office to see what they need from us. Then it’s, emails, more calls and a range of planning and organising future shoots as well as squeezing in time for designing new collections and pieces. As business owners we don’t clock off at 5pm – after we have taken care of our kids (dinner, bath and bed), we then end the night back on the computer before we finish the day. I think the flexibility has to be the best part, aside from working with your best friend each and every single day.
L: What did your 8y/o self want to be when you grew up?
JF: I wanted to be either a psychologist or a fashion designer. Polar opposites I know, at least one came to fruition.
JC: I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I had vivid memories of designing pieces in the back of our car on our drive up to Queensland for holidays.
L: What’s your guilty pleasure?
JF: Listening to a crime podcast with a face mask on.
JC: Skin care regime when the kids go to bed.
Loess: When choosing a perfume, what type of scents are you attracted to?
JF: Really floral, weirdly enough as i am not very feminine in most ways. I love gardenia and Jasmine.
JC: I like quite woody masculine scents.
We’re passionate about promoting businesses who are using their platform for good – so we asked the ladies to tell us some brands that they think you need to know about. Below is what they shared.
Maggie Marilyn, Van Rae and Emma Lewisham.
Nice Martin’s hope with the ‘Hey Mate’ collection is to help you feel like you’re heard, not alone and not only DOING GREAT but you are LOVED and APPRECIATED. 30% of the ‘Hey Mate’ collection sales are donated directly to Beyond Blue. If you would like to show your support you can purchase a tote bag or tee on Nice Martin’s website here. Alternatively you can donate directly to Beyond Blue here.
If you or anyone you know needs a helping hand or just someone to talk to, please contact Beyond Blue here.
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