Fair Feathers: Saving the Roosters, One Feather at a Time

Little did we know that past Campus Cutie Spencer Wolfe (CC '13) was also the owner of hair feather business, Fair Feathers! We sat with him to learn more about his business and its future. 

What is Fair Feathers?
Fair Feathers is a company devoted to selling animal- friendly feather hair extensions.
Every year, countless roosters are bred and slaughtered for their feathers, a practice that has left the rooster population drastically depleted in the wake of this fashion boom. So many roosters have given their lives in the name of “style” that traditional feather extension companies are finding it difficult to purchase bundles of rooster feathers, or “saddles”. Every saddle comes with approximately 5 square inches of rooster skin still attached to the head of the feathers. These saddles are skinned of the back of the dead bird once the feathers reach a desired length, sometimes as quickly as couple of months.  This abhorrent practice is largely for the production of hair extensions, something that could be made quickly, economically, and morally with synthetics. With this in mind, our mission is clear – style without slaughter, quality without cruelty.

When was the company founded, and how exactly did you and your friends come up with the idea?
Fair Feathers was founded in June of 2011 although we didn’t launch until about a month ago. We had seen the trend emerging with real feathers and soon found out how horrible it is for the rooster population. There was no viable alternative for people who wanted feathers but didn’t want to kill roosters. Given this, we started Fair Feathers.
 
Was it difficult to start the company? What challenges did you face?
Luckily, Scott and I have different skill sets. Scott wrote the code for the website while I did most of the marketing and writing. We worked together on logistics, finances, and finding inventory. Because of this, the process was pretty quick and we had the company set up within a few weeks of the original idea. The main challenge has been managing the company from opposite sides of the country. He is currently at Santa Clara and I’m at Columbia, and yet we’re “headquartered” in Boulder, Colorado. Other than that however, Scott and I work very well together and rarely disagree. When we do, we can come to a compromise pretty quickly.
 
How did you market the Fair Feathers website to attract more views and sales?
We contact salons, animal-rights companies, celebrities, fashion companies, and vegan retailers. Furthermore, we post our links all over the web in discussion groups about animal rights, fashion, etc. One of our biggest ways to get customers is simply word of mouth. I have made a number of sales just by talking to people I encounter. It’s a very popular product, it’s just a matter of letting people know that this is a real thing you can buy.
 
Would you consider seeking a PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, endorsement for your product? 
We have, as a matter of fact. Many big animal rights companies require a payment before they advertise your company, put you in their magazine, etc. Unfortunately we can’t afford the cost at this point in the establishment of our company. However, we have been featured on sites such as BornFreeUSA, Vegan Essentials, and White Rabbit.
 
Do you see the business expanding to include other accessory items?
As the industry changes with the fads and trends of the time, we will update our products. The feather trend will not last forever, and thus we are looking into new products, such as hair tinsel. That being said, Scott and I are looking into non-fashion industries. Neither of us knows anything about fashion, to be honest.
 
As an already successful entrepreneur, do see yourself continuing in the business world?
Yes. Entrepreneurship has always intrigued us. In middle school we filmed movies, edited them together and sold them to peers and teachers. We both love the idea of running our own business and will continue in the future. Because we both have very different skills, we make an efficient team.
 
What is your best selling feather color?
White, presumably because it adds a classy backdrop to our other more vibrant colors. We’re looking to get more natural colors such as black, brown, and grey.
 
If you were to wear a feather in your hair, what color would you choose?
Pink. Undoubtedly pink.

If you are interested in the Fair Feather cause, be sure to cluck on--I mean--click on this link:  www.fairfeathers.org