fie&feen started as collaboration between two friends that share a passion for creativity, adventure and the same hair colour. Fie&feen…Fie is Phia and Feen is Lize, fie is short for phia and feen is short for feenstra (lize use to be feenstra before she I do’ed her freestate renegade husband, Jan-Petri). The name simply represents our story as friends, our adventures and our passion for life. So here it goes, the story of the feminine incarnation of Laurel & Hardy. We hope you enjoy it…
They met as “aspiring” 1st year law students at Stellenbosch university (Believe it or not, but both Phia and Lize are qualified attorneys this should serve as early warning to those doing business with them:)). The aspiring would soon change to conspiring as both were soon bored by latin phrases and the “reasonable man” and new adventures were sought. To start mountain biking seemed a logical choice for these proper boeremeisies. Often as soon as class ended (and sometimes before) the Jonkershoek valley were filled with awes of young men as they had to give way on single track to two low flying ladies.
Their adventures together with their mutual knack for organizing events and parties played catalyst to a friendship. And after their degrees it lead them to sharing an undersized kiddies bunkbed in London. They slept, Lize at the bottom and Phia at the top, with Phia’s longer legs protruding the shaky wooden structure as they laughed and counselled each other for 7 months. For transport back and forth to their pound paying jobs, in order to save money on tube tickets, they decided to buy cheap bicycles from the local chinese shop and ride into work, only 15km…
Parallel to this Lize and Phia also dated two best friends. Through the struggles and uncertainty that relationships holds the one would often counsel the other just to be seeking counsel the next day. Info into the hearts of their beloveds would also be strategically acquired by making use of the other’s unique relationship with his best friend…eventually the knots were tied and both were married, needless to say the kitchen teas and weddings were meticulously planned and executed by the chief organizers.
After London the corporate ladder did its last boarding call and both were stuck in that peculiar attorney tradition called “articles”. Even with days filled with pie applications, file and serving and discovery affidavits their creativity were hard to be suppressed. Soon Phia started dealing and wheeling with brooches and earrings. In a moment that looked like divine intervention, a local shop owner saw Phia wearing a wooden brooch she made for herself. A bulk order was placed and the business started.
While the local economy might have been experiencing some dire times, Phia’s enterprise (fie) were soon ready to engage a higher gear and needed another business partner. Who would that be. Fie became fie&feen.
Lize the socialite and networker naturally took over as fie&feen marketing chief whip for phia to focus on her role as head of the engineering and design department.
Ok, enough of the corporate speak, the story throws another hand break turn when Feen found out she is pregnant on the fie&feen 2012 year end function (actually more like a road trip to the Transkei). Skip 9 months and Johannes was born. (Almost on the R44, but that’s not a story for a jewellery blog.) And then sooner than you could say “wooden jewellery ” it happened to phia, she fell pregnant and 9 months later Andrea was born, only 5 months separating the two fie&feen siblings. (yes, we know, but we’re not into arranged marriages)
Being uber-driven entrepreneurs determined to make a success of their start-up maternity leave just weren’t an option. Juggling babies and business were taken in their stride. Lize would be seen doing her business deals at coffee shops while Johannes is getting his bit of brekvis under a feeding cap. And Phia had to modify her assembly line process to include nappy changes and feeding in between batches. *
Despite all this fie&feen hardcoreness. their husbands still think that this whole fie&feen thing might just be a smoke screen for Phia and Lize to spend more time together while deducting their expenses from tax…(especially now that Lize moved to Bloemfontein and flights are expensive).
5 years on…
and after another two babies (one each!) forced fie&feen to go into hibernation for a few winters, this unconventional institution is back! Although Lize (feen) is no longer actively part of the business, she has been promoted to patron saint of the fie&feen empire making her responsible to keep a close eye on the spiritual and emotional state of Phia. These days advice are given not from the bottom of an undersized bunkbed, but rather over whatsapp from her lanie free state kitchen while feeding one of the boys or doing one of her mommy chores.
Lastly a slow clap should go to our two biggest supporters my mom, who is also our unpaid fie&feen factory worker and Jesus, who knows everything he has done for us on this journey!
*This paragraph might be a slight over exaggeration of our business acumen and work ethic