Vulnerability, courage and hope

Hello, my name is Tarese, and I am the founder of Birds with a Feather.

A little bit about me… I was drawn to expressing myself long before I realised I was creative. I love writing, drawing, and creating. I am a trained fashion designer with a particular interest in couture gowns – anything with beautiful details, lace, sparkles and lots and lots of tulle. I started studying in 2012, knowing I wanted to learn more about design and creating with fabric. I finished in 2014 and went on to work in a custom bridal atelier for a number of years. And in between, I continued to create gowns of my own, and I realised that bringing to life the whimsical world in my head gives me great joy.

The other side of me is the one that has walked a very long and sometimes painfully raw and vulnerable journey of her healing from trauma, depression, eating disorders and self-harm. Since then, I have completed a Master of Counselling to learn more about what makes us tick. Something about the stripped-back layers of a person draws me in.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to do something that leaves the world around me a better place, to do something with meaning and purpose. When I began to study fashion, I knew it was something I was meant to do, but at the same time, I couldn’t quite see how I could ever use it for anything of real meaning. The entire fashion world seemed to be built on illusions and facades. Maybe it was just me, but everywhere I looked, there appeared to be a disconnect – beneath the portrayal of perfection and happiness were real humans with real struggles. Some of the most stunning models were in the darkest places of eating disorders or suffered harassment from other creatives. Some of the most talented creatives were battling life-threatening health or mental health issues; they had been in rehab, mental health units, and hospitals. There was this whole world behind the pretty images that I didn’t see being addressed in the creative space much, if at all.

It always felt like a ‘one or the other’ career; either I do fashion and continue down the superficial path. Or I go down the ‘helping’ path, doing something in the counselling or social work field. I love both, but the idea of doing either alone has not sat well with me. What if I could combine both? I wasn’t quite sure how it would work or look, but I knew it was something I wanted to do.

What if there was a way we could do both? What if there was a space where we could be honest and vulnerable, and creative? We are innately drawn to people who are vulnerable and real. It takes great courage to bare our souls to another, and something about their deep resonates with our deep.

The concept for Birds with a Feather has been a long time coming. The feather represents the dream, one that each of us holds. This is the space where we can be creative, be courageously vulnerable. This is the space where those two worlds meet.


Hope, courage and vulnerability are the three values underpinning and guiding our actions. 

Founder – Tarese

My own story of courage, vulnerability and hope from the dark places is what inspired me to start this page. I hope that by sharing my story and sharing others, we can all offer our own bit of hope amongst the darkness. 

I am a fashion designer and also recently finished a Master of Counselling, and I love all things creative. I enjoy curling up someplace warm with a good Netflix show and hand-sewing delicate lace on gowns. Oh, and I’m slightly addicted to coffee!!

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