We had the good fortune of connecting with Kierney Loucas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kierney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I originally didn’t intend to start a business. Filakia started out as a personal project to foster positivity and connection during quarantine. In July 2020, I came upon some old stationery in a box. I had been feeling incredibly disconnected from most of the people I love, so I decided to start writing snail mail to them. I opened it up to my friends on social media – anyone who wanted a handwritten card just had to send me their address. Within a few weeks I had received an overwhelmingly encouraging response to this project, so I decided to turn it into a business! I tied in another pandemic project – hand embroidery – and Filakia was born in September 2020.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe that the personal attention combined with the handwritten/handmade nature of my work sets me apart from others. Snail mail has certainly decreased in popularity over the years, but a handwritten letter can provide so much comfort and warmth, especially in a time that has been devoid of connection. I am thrilled about the people I’ve reached and the positive impact I’ve had on them. It has rarely been easy, especially with a huge influx of small businesses that were born during the pandemic. However, there is space for all of us creatives to exist and succeed – I focus on that fact when I’m feeling challenged. Filakia is still a relatively new business, so there is a lot of trial and error in how I operate, how I sell, and what products I decide to offer. I move through the uncertainty by focusing on creating things I love and fostering a sense of community as best I can. I’ve come to learn that my words and my work are incredibly powerful, and I want every single person to believe in that for themselves, too.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I adore playing tour guide in my city! Here are some of my favorite ways to give friends a taste of San Diego, in no particular order: beach day in Pacific Beach starting with breakfast at Kono’s and ending with cocktails and appetizers at PB Alehouse; craft brewery tour including Modern Times, Mike Hess, Stone, Mission, and Karl Strauss; museum day at Balboa Park ending with a picnic at the Botanical Building East Lawn; afternoon at Ocean Beach Dog Beach with dinner at Hodad’s and sunset watching at Sunset Cliffs; drive down the coast ending with a drive up Silver Strand followed by dinner at Village Pizzeria and ice cream at MooTime.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Filakia would not exist without the support and encouragement from so many incredible women in my life. Cat of Cash + Kona started her business before mine and inspired me to share my creativity with my community; Arianna of Party Pop! Cosmetics pushed me to believe in my ideas and turn my passion project into something bigger; Emily and Mia of miily designed Filakia’s logo from scratch and are wonderfully talented creators. I would not be where I am today without the love of the women that surround me.