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Founder's Report

Riding the Waves with Jack and Shell, Co-Founders of Bird & Hill Clothing Australia

by Editorial Staff 23 Jan 2023

Let’s get to know more about these amazing people who founded Bird and Hill. Without further ado, here’s the conversation that took place between Local Threads and Jack and Shell - connecting you to the minds behind the brands you love!


1) Could you tell us a little about your role in the company and your career background? 

Jack: I am fortunate enough to live 200 meters from a surfing beach. So not surprisingly I have been influenced by the surf culture and surf wear. I have always been fascinated with old school surf style fashion of the 1970’s and 1980’s. I am conscious to blend our designs whilst paying homage to the old-school styles.

I’ve always made changes to my own clothing even as a kid. Whether it was cutting the neckline on a new T-shirt to make it more or cutting sleeves to make them shorter or totally removing them to give a singlet style. I even used pigment dyes to change to give a contemporary style. To this day I am very hands-on with sample materials, I need to touch and see colours and ask for changes to orders if necessary. I keep an eye on the overall integrity of the brand and the quality of its products.

I also directly correspond with our manufacturers and maintain a good relationship with them.

Shell: I am the tech whiz and graphic designer. If you have come across any of our Bird & Hill iconic characters on our products well that was yours truly. I oversee the daily processing of online orders and maintain our presence on social media platforms. I keep the online side running as smoothly as possible. I also expose Bird & Hill surf wear and eyewear directly to the public via  Markets and Festivals on the Central Coast, Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and surroundings.


2) What does a regular day in your life look like?

We usually get up around 5am, walk the dog down to our local beach and check emails from the sand, squeeze in a surf or a gym session if the day calls for it. Back at the office, we will check over our to-do lists then prioritise and then get cracking on completing the tasks - responding to overseas suppliers’ messages, or a product has gone missing in the post.

We are grateful that Bird & Hill products are increasingly in demand. We are passionate about Bird & Hill and we never consider it as work, but more like being creative and having fun.


3)   How do you balance work and personal life?

That’s a ripper question,

  1.     I think because we love what we do so much we see our life and work as joyful.
  2.     If we were not designing for Bird & Hill. We would still be drawing designs for fun.

           I guess, we love to create, and we name our creations Bird & Hill and that gives us great satisfaction. 


4) Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or newsletters (or any favorites) that you’d like to recommend?

Jack: The Naked CEO, The Barefoot Investor. I also like my comedy and crime podcasts.

Shell : The Girl on the Train or anything crime-related, numerous graphic design books & The Barefoot Investor.


 5)  What are your favorite hobbies?  

Jack : “I love to surf, work out and have a joy of cooking. I love exploring the secret ingredients and spices that go into Mexican, Indian, Asian & Italian cooking. Most recently I have been replicating Mexican-styled street tacos. I make handmade woodfired pizzas and the finest Delhi-inspired curries you ever tasted. One day I’ll have a huge kitchen overlooking the beach.”

Shell : “Well I’m an artist at heart, I love to paint, draw, graphic design. However, I’m also a little wild, I love downhill skateboarding, surfing, and camping.”


 6) Do you have any advice for the future generation?

Jack : “I’d like kids to know that in this life, whatever you can believe you can achieve. I have had this quote on my wall since I was little. And it’s true.  I’ve been doing great things and it’s all due to the fact that I believe in myself and I believe in the idea of a better and more sustainable planet.”

Shell: “Be yourself. Be original.”


7) Bird & Hill. When was the brand created?

Jack: Bird & Hill was founded in the summer of 2013.


8) Who founded/created the brand?

Shell: “Jack did. With help from a few friends, he got his prototype Sunnies made. Learned how to create a website and the iconic bird logo was adopted it was all about learning new skills from there.

Jack: “Bird & Hill started initially as an eyewear brand for surfers, fed up with buying expensive sunglasses made of plastic.”

Shell: “Jack wanted Bird & Hill sunnies to be strong, stylish, naturally sourced, and mostly recyclable for a reasonable price.” 


9) What are the Brand’s mission and vision?

The products we design are a direct reflection of our environment. 

With a limited production of carefully curated high-quality frames, ocean-inspired tees & accessories, we give the utmost attention to detail. We're an independent Australian lifestyle brand that celebrates an emerging alternative movement within surf culture. We live by the sea. It’s our home and we respect it. We are a team of enthusiastic ocean addicts who crave the seaside lifestyle, sharing good times and positive vibes from coast to coast.


10) Where is the company located?

Shell: “We are proudly, ocean-inspired people located on the beautiful NSW Central Coast area of Terrigal and its surrounds.”


11) Do you have a physical store to sell your products on any other channels outside your website?

Jack: ‘We have a few vendors who sell our brand, plus online retailers like ‘Local Threads’ and we also take our products to niche markets on the Central Coast, Northern Beaches & Sydney.


12) Bird & Hill core products

Our high-quality frames, ocean-inspired tees, hoodies, cord caps & tote bags.


13) Our best-selling products.

Our plant-based eyewear and our corduroy offerings have been very well received in the market. We are seeing some styles already depleted. Increased online sales often occur following market days. It is a wonderful way to get exposure to our products and attract a following.


14) What are some of the key benefits of your brand’s products?

Our orders are limited in number, to keep our brand unique. Our products, therefore, can become very collectible. It is nice to know that the workmanship, quality, and uniqueness that go into our products are appreciated. On top of all that our products are eco-conscious, not only do we use sustainable materials, but we actually outsource cut-off materials from other brands. For example, our eyewear pouches are made from leftover wetsuit material from Billabong and Rip Curl, our t-shirts are leftover fabrics from larger companies such as - thrills Co, Afends, and P.E Nation. We do our best to minimize landfill.


Hey there! I'm Chuck, the Editor-in-Chief at Local Threads. We’re on a mission to showcase founders of start-ups and help them shine and tell the world about themselves, their products, and their vision in life. We see value in the stories of big brands and their founders as well. Their success can be a source of inspiration to start-ups.

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