Meet the Few Made Family: A Spotlight On Our Founder, Kena Treadway
If you didn’t already know, it’s a family affair around here, and we think of our Few Made Collective as part of our family, too!
We’re so excited to welcome you to ‘Meet The Few Made Family’: our new series where we highlight different members of our small family-run business, so you can see just who’s behind the Few!
So naturally, we’re starting with our founder and lead designer, Kena Treadway. As an artist, she’s always had an eye for finding beauty in the rarest places. Now, she uses jewelry as a means of expressing her creativity and most of all, to connect as a community, which she treasures.
Here’s what our lovely Kena had to say...
1. What was it about that infamous New Zealand trip that sparked the idea of a jewelry business, of all things?
This was a trip I took with my sisters to reconnect since it had been so many years since we lived under the same roof as siblings. New Zealand is a magical place that didn’t disappoint. We knew that it would be a trip of a lifetime and a place we wanted to experience all it had to offer. It was filled with so many special moments for us as sisters - a location that took our breath away over and over again. I remember sitting on the tarmac waiting for the plane to board and all of us being so deflated that we were leaving but so grateful for the moments we would share for a lifetime.
I didn’t want to ever feel that New Zealand or this trip would be forgotten. I wanted to create something that we could wear, keep with us, that would bring us back to that place and time. As an artist, I was always creating, drawing, painting but I wanted to create a piece of jewelry that we could wear, touch, and see that would take us back at any time.
2. When did you first discover your love of jewelry and design?
I can’t really think of a time that I didn’t love jewelry. My earliest memory is my grandmother’s jewelry box. At an early age, I could only look when she went to retrieve a piece for herself. Just a brief moment looking at the sparkling pieces and the light dancing around my grandmother’s face when she put a piece of jewelry on was all I needed to be captured by the beauty of jewelry and experience how it can transform the way you look and feel.
3. Where and how do you find your design inspiration most?
Often, the inspiration comes from a place, travel, or color but mostly it's a connection I feel to something. Nature of course is a huge inspiration with its color, texture, and landscape. I can say that it usually happens when something stops me with its color or its feeling from a place, and then I try to capture that with stones, color, and design so that it reflects back to me. So that moment of inspiration is captured.
4. How would you describe Few Made collections?
I like to think of them as mini collections inspired by the above. I think because there are so many moments in our everyday lives that hold beauty, it offers an endless supply.
5. What is your favorite part of the jewelry process and owning your own jewelry line?
My favorite part is to be able to do what I love every day - this is such a gift. I work with family and other creatives who believe in a dream and a product that I create still amazes me. Our customers have become like extended family to us. We get to share in their moments, family celebrations, birthdays, and anniversaries. I can’t imagine anything else I could do that would be so rewarding individually, as well as for our business.
6. How did your family members start to get involved in Few Made and what do their roles look like today? Was this family collaboration a difficult one?
I come from a long line of very creative people, males and females. So I grew up with makers. My great-grandmother made everything from tatted lace to rugs. She was a master seamstress and her work was gorgeous. My mother also inherited her gifts and being at her feet, I’m sure it inspired her too. My mom was always creating beauty, within our home, our clothing, flower design, and so much more. If we wanted anything, it usually began with a comment from our mom saying, “Well I can make that”, and she did.
My Great Grandmother, “Mamuzza”
It was natural to turn to my family when I needed help. It started with my daughter, Chandler. Her sense of style and design is one that I rely on in creating collections. She does styling, product development, and trend forecasting for us. Not to mention, she is one of our beautiful models. Any product she says she loves is usually a bestseller!
Then I went to my cousin Allison, a broadcast journalism major when we started to do online trunk shows, live events, and other media venues. She has brought so much fun, laughter, and professionalism to our media. She is the driving force behind and in front of the camera. I can’t imagine Few Made without Allison.
My other cousin, Kristin, is also an artist and was the only choice to assist me with creating the jewelry pieces, photography, and styling. She has a keen eye for design and can really do anything that I need. My mom has her hands in everything. Sales, design, quality control, set design, the voice of honesty, etc. She is our harshest critic and biggest cheerleader.
My husband of course is always helping out even though he has his own career. He’s always bringing in new technology and equipment. Before our live events, he runs the pre-show de-stressing with his breathing exercises. My son who’s in private equity gently offers strategies for us to stay focused on goals and planning.
We have a very big family, cousins, and more cousins that are always in and out offering help whenever we need it. The great thing about being a family is we operate in our business like one. In order to get along, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and stay in our lanes but when the day is done we come together at the table, break bread and give thanks for each other. Because there are those days, haha.
7. How has creating Few Made changed the way you look at dreams and jewelry?
I was always a daydreamer, explorer, and lived in my own world. I’ve learned that in order to share those things that I find and create along my own journey, I must put those dreams into goals and plans. It’s required me to work on being much more organized and strategic. The biggest change for me has been that in looking for inspiration for the business all the time, I have become so aware of how important it is to celebrate the moments in life. Hold on to them because life is really a collection of beautiful memories.
“Life is really a collection of beautiful memories.”
- KENA TREADWAY, FEW MADE FOUNDER
Hear more from Kena by signing up for our LIVE monthly Trunk Shows, where Kena showcases a first look into our brand new pieces & beautiful designs.