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Feathers hobby now a fledgling business

Harriet Flatt of Game for Feathers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Harriet Flatt of Game for Feathers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A business born out of a resourceful hobby will put a twist in the tail of Christmas decorations across Norfolk homes this December.

Harriet Flatt is working towards her first “proper” Christmas trading period, having launched Game for Feathers last year.

The 25-year-old plucks birds, including pheasants and guinea fowl, which have been shot for meat, and turns the feathers into wreaths, baubles and accessories.

“The feathers are a by-product of shooting and living in the countryside, which are particularly important in a place like Norfolk,” she said. “Otherwise the feathers would be burned or scrapped, and this way they can be used.”

Miss Flatt largely collects the feathers by hand from birds shot by her local gamekeeper in Harleston, and freezes the plumes to rid them of any bacteria.

She spends between 30 minutes to nearly three hours, creating her pieces.

Having invested around £1,000 in the business for materials, Miss Flatt has broken even in her first year, and says demand is high enough that she could do it full-time.

“It’s really taken off. This will be my first Christmas trading properly, and I’ve already made about 200 baubles in preparation,” she said.

“The whole business idea came from a friend of mine who wanted bow ties and pin holes made for his wedding and he asked me just because he thought I’d be good at it,” she said.

“I’ve ended up doing whole weddings since then. It is starting to boom but I think once I get my name out there more and start treating it as less of a hobby it will grow.”

Miss Flatt, who doesn’t go shooting herself, said some people were initially reluctant to buy products associated with country sports, but added: “I’ve had people say to me it’s like having a dead bird on the table, but they say it to me because I’m at a trade fair. They wouldn’t think twice about it at a butchers. Once you explain to them it’s a by-product I’m utilising they tend to understand more.”

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