How many times have you been sitting across from your BFF, glass of wine in hand, exclaiming “we could totally start a business”? Countless. Those are give or take the plot-lines of how Cole Morrall and Natalie Mauro found themselves knee deep in refined eclectic jewels — a line called Bones + Feathers Collective. One collaborative idea was to spark a career of crafting beautifully delicate designs inspired by natural elements.
Vérité visited the co-founders up in the winding hills of Highland Park, Los Angeles, to dig through said jewels, and a little bit of background of the balance between a successful friend/work relationship. More so, we were dying to peel back the layers of who these two are as a duo, and apart.
NATALIE & COLE: An LA based jewelry line drawing inspiration and materials from nature. We design for the girl that wants something unique and feels one of a kind at a more affordable price.
V: How did you two meet, what was the catalyst to join forces in business?
NATALIE: We actually went to the same college and graduated the same year, but didn’t meet until a mutual friend introduced us out in LA. This girl that I’d met kept telling me that I should meet her roommate. I was reading a book on serial killers at the time and Cole was reading a book on decomposing bodies, and she thought that we’d get along. When we met, it was kind of creepy love at first sight and we’ve been friends ever since.
We started B+FC while I was assisting a clothing designer. He told me I could sell accessories at his booth during market week. I asked Cole if she wanted to start a line and she responded, “Yes, we can make things out of bones and feathers.” We never ended up making anything out of feathers or selling accessories at market week for him, but we liked the sound of it, so we kept the name and started a business
V: Where do you both gain inspiration for what you create?
NATALIE & COLE: Nature, art, photography, shape, color, architecture.
V: Getting into business with a friend can be tough, how do you two keep things smooth? What would you suggest to others who want to do the same?
NATALIE: We are both really good at balancing each other out and get along really well. Like all relationships, it’s about communication, we definitely have our moments, but if someone feels strongly about something we are both open to hearing each other’s thoughts and ideas out. We also have defined roles and make sure we are clear about who has what responsibilities.
V: Can you give us a little insight into the process of creating a new collection?
COLE: It varies. We have started new collections by making shapes with clay, finding textures and shapes in nature, or being inspired by furniture and home architecture. We then start sketching and water coloring, choo se a color pa lette of stones and shapes we want to work with and then go into CAD and sourcing the proper stones. It can be a long process but its so worth it when it all comes together. The end product sometimes turns out differently then expected but its usually something we love.
V: If you both could identify a work uniform what would you say is yours?
NATALIE: black jeans, black boots, black shirt and a really good coat (preferably leather or vintage wool) .
NATALIE: Madrid or Paris.
COLE: Oh thats a tough one, probably a blend of NYC, Kauai, and Atrani.
V: In a world where we are inundated with so many brands via social media, what would you say is your key to standing out from the crowd?
NATALIE: I’m not really sure that we have one to be honest. We just try to be ourselves and post things that we are inspired by, its really the only way for us to stay true to the brand.V: What is your favorite thing about one another?
NATALIE: Cole’s generosity and diplomacy/understanding in all life situations.
V: What’s a book that’s changed your life?
COLE: That’s like naming a favorite child! I love anything F. Scott Fitzgerald. Born to Run — it really changed the way I understood running as a part of my life. The Presence Process — the writing isn’t the best but the message is amazing and really helped get in to meditation.