Today we’d like to introduce you to Noelle & Kelly.
Noelle & Kelly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Approximately 5 years ago the airline Noelle (the daughter 1/2) works for offered a one year furlough. She decided to take advantage of it for a little break from being a full time flight attendant. She realized that she’d need to make some money (yup, no one was paying her bills), so she started hunting for furniture pieces that she could repurpose. She began selling at some OC and LA area flea markets. At the same time Kelly (the mom 1/2) had a home decor consignment shop which needed Noelle’s style to add to her inventory. Noelle’s unique twist to each piece she repurposed was a huge hit.
In a typical month her pieces amounted to approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of all the store’s sales!! She then came across a source for cast iron letter and numbers and began creating signs with reclaimed wood. She then began setting up at the flea markets for customers to design their own signs and she’d make them on the spot. When Kelly sold her business Noelle asked her to help out at ONE market. Kelly reluctantly agreed but let Noelle know it was a onetime thing. Well…that obviously wasn’t the case! Kelly decided since she was going to then be a partner in the business that she needed to complicate (I mean expand) things. With an interior design background her love of color and other design options came into play. We began by adding birds and hearts and everyone loved them.
We now stock a few hundred different embellishments that can appeal to all different personalities. These are all taken to the Flea Markets we set up at. With wood in a variety of colors and sizes, tables full of letters, numbers, and misc. metal shapes, and all our tools, we make the signs on the spot!! We allow the customers to design their signs on their own or we are more than happy to assist them with the design process. We also make custom business signs with their own logos. The possibilities are really endless and our minds work pretty much around the clock. Men and kids enjoy our booth as much as the women do. We’re pretty sure it’s the power tools that grab the men and kids, but we’re really fine with that…it allows the women to shop longer. We love what we do and our business is constantly being reimagined.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think Noelle and I would both agree that the biggest challenge is having a mom and daughter work together so closely…especially since we both have pretty/very strong personalities. 🙂 We each have our own style so that is helpful. As far as the business growing, we’ve been fortunate. Word of mouth is our very best advertisement. Our customers are the BEST and we’ve formed very close friendships with many of them.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Far Away Hood – what should we know?
Far Away Hood specializes in custom metal and reclaimed wood signs. We build these on-the-spot at Flea Markets around San Diego and Orange County. We also make very custom signs with logos, fonts, and business designs. Our wedding and established signs are some of our most popular items. Customers can provide us their fonts and any design from their invitations or other decor and we can duplicate it in metal.
I think we’d both say that we’re most proud of the customer base we’ve built. Our customers are beyond loyal and that means the world to us. We’re also proud to donate to a variety of charities. Noelle recently organized a fundraiser for METAvivor after losing a flying partner to metastic breast cancer. The design was one that her friend had given us before she passed away. We donated 100% of the sales of the metal signs to METAvivor for research. I’d say it’s our customer service that sets us apart. We spend as much time as necessary to make each of their signs perfect! We have received countless letters about how touching their signs are.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I think the supporters/cheerleaders are our friends and customers. They constantly encourage us in our endeavor. We also have very loyal friends who step up to the plate to help us out at events.
- Website: farawayhood.com
- Phone: 760-644-7343
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org