The Story Behind The Site: Nathan Hunter of Fluffë
Nathan Hunter started his company “on accident” while creating an application for design school. Three years later, Fluffë has grown into an incredibly inspiring cotton candy (or as our Aussie friends say, “Fairy Floss”) company, that delights not only with its distinctive flavors, but also with its beautiful packaging. A one-man show, Nathan is a young entrepreneur who takes care of every aspect of running his business, including the branding, design, website upkeep, and even making the delicious creations. With flavors like Boys’ Tears and Rose, Fluffë is a testament to the power of taking a classic product and making it magical. By bringing cotton candy out of the traditional fair and festival environment and using his Squarespace site to allow his customers to have it shipped right to their door, he’s changing the game for a product that we didn’t even know we loved so much.
Not only are your fairy floss flavors drool worthy, but we also love your branding. Where do you draw your design inspiration, and how do your previous years in design school inform your business?
It’s hard to say where I get inspiration from, because a lot of times I just think stuff up (I spend SO much of my time thinking about everything). It’s not uncommon for me to jolt up from sleep with ideas and write/draw them in notebooks before the idea disappears from my head. I probably tend to overthink stuff, and that’s where this stems from I’m sure, but I also like going to toy shops and looking at the kids toys and their packaging. Since I’m not part of that demographic anymore, there are elements that I don’t really think about or wouldn’t normally notice, so it’s really interesting to see the way things are placed and worded. That design is catered for a completely different market, so I think there’s a lot to learn from it.
I also love to watch animated movies and sometimes get inspiration from the smallest details like signs and packaging. Maybe it’s the curve on an R or the finish of a G. I’m always looking at interesting characters and letters because they add a particular ‘aura’ to the word that says so much more than its literal meaning. I try to do that with all of my flavours. They each have their own kind of logo now - I loved creating logos in college so that’s sort of how I incorporate one of my favourite things about design into Fluffë.
We love to spotlight unique business endeavors as they resonate with Squarespace’s story. Can you tell us more about Fluffë’s origin and how you got started on such a cool project?
So Fluffë sort of happened by accident. When I was trying to apply to design schools to study it, I needed a portfolio. and I didn’t have anything design-related from high school to include in it. I sort of came up with a few logos for made-up businesses (since I’m infatuated by a good logo) trying to design different styles that would suit the jobs, and one of them was for a fairy floss business.
I soon became intrigued by what this fairy floss business might offer, and came up with some more ideas for a few flavours, products & offerings (I’m an ideas guy). At the time it was pretty much just a distraction from actually making more work to include in my portfolio (I love a good distraction).
In the end, my college scrapped the portfolio requirement and I got to attend without even needing to do all that work in the first place! I spent the first year learning the programs & general rules about design, and launched Fluffë in my second year when I (thought I) had a decent logo and idea for the brand - and here we are today! Doing it full-time, straight out of college, and I still don’t have a portfolio.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations that you can share?
I don’t have anything exciting that I can share with you just yet, but I do have some plans for Christmas & the new year – I’m working on some cool additions to my Fluffë Boxes in time for Christmas with a few themed flavours and goodies.
The last time we spoke, you were running your business completely by yourself. Are you still a one-person operation?
Yes, I’m still a one-man show! I am however, planning on getting a couple of people on board in the new year to help me fulfill orders and share some of my workload with, so I can focus on growing the business and executing my creative direction for it.
You also do special projects and cater events. What has been your most memorable experience so far?
It’s really hard to choose my most memorable event, but honestly I personally love doing small private events like birthday parties or small weddings, where everyone is just there to have a good time and there’s so much love. It’s just such a good atmosphere where everyone’s happy and it doesn’t even feel like work.
But of course getting to work with big companies is great too. It’s surreal that I’ve been able to make connections with some of my favourite brands! Doing this by myself and getting recognised by large companies is such a crazy feeling, especially when it can feel like you’re in your own world and half of the time what I do is really just for my own amusement (especially on Instagram).
You offer online ordering and event booking through your Squarespace site, which is so beautifully designed. Can you talk about how your online presence has furthered your business?
I originally started doing online orders halfway through my first year of business. I just sort of dove right into it without even figuring out the right packaging, shipping methods etc. It was mainly a way to offer Fluffë during the Winter months, when it was too cold to do fresh Fluffë at events. I then realised that I could send it internationally, and soon after gaining a small following on Instagram, I did just that.
It’s so good for connecting with my international customers, since I can’t meet them face to face they still get to enjoy it. Plus I get to design packaging and goodies specifically for my online orders which is always fun.
I originally came across Squarespace when I was looking for a site to make a blog on for a previous aspiration and thought I’d give it a go for Fluffë, purely based on the design of the whole system. I’m also someone who likes to tinker with everything. Nothing is ever perfect, it’s always changing or I’m always changing my mind, so I wanted that power to add/remove/change things whenever I felt like it, and Squarespace just seemed to be the perfect fit.
Fluffë is powered by the Horizon Squarespace template.