If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll be familiar with the lovely homewares label Feliz Home as we’ve featured it many times. Specialising primarily in bedding, the boutique brand was co-founded by Geelong-based Janey Forbes who recently made the decision to sell the business to explore a full-time career as an artist.
“Designing, painting and drawing were always the most enjoyable parts of running a bedding business and I’ve always had a burning desire to paint and create. The time feels right to move a bunch of obstacles out of my way and see what happens if I have the chance,” says Janey, who recently joined the Greenhouse Interiors stable after Julia Green got in touch.
Describing her career trajectory as ‘really curvy,’ the latest move doesn’t look that surprising when you consider Janey’s past which has included roles in event management, product development at Hallmark Cards and a stint in the not-for-profit sector inspired by a year spent in South America. “After all that, I had my first child, and while on maternity leave, I felt I had to do something!” says Janey who started Feliz Home with her friend and former work colleague Melissa Alessi in response.
“We threw ourselves into Feliz with very little experience in bedding, screen printing, running a business and motherhood; we were both juggling it all!” says Janey who started the business by importing an array of organic cotton from India and simply taking the plunge. “Our dream was to be creative and in control, rather than world domination. We earned some amazing exposure early on and grew a loyal customer base. It was exciting and I’m so proud of the path that the brand took. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but by far the most rewarding,” says Janey.
Seven years on, Janey and Melissa decided to sell Feliz Home, rather than simply close it. “We felt that we had put so much work into this little baby of ours, we really wanted to see it live on with some new energy,” says Janey who advertised, and was thrilled to find new owners eager to inject more love into the business.
As for her paintings (featured here), Janey is inspired by the way that children paint without inhibition and she’s a colour lover too. “My work is colourful, layered, a bit quirky and evolving. Whatever it is about the human brain, colour has so much power over us. I love colour and shapes that you want to wrap yourself in. Ultimately, my paintings are all trying to express some fun and beauty.”
Photography: Armelle Habib, assisted by Edwina Hollick | Styling: Jessica Retallack & Aisha Chaundhry for Greenhouse Interiors, assisted by Kendall Troon