Read our interview with jewellery designer Flo, of IAMFLO to discover the intricacies of designing, making and running a handmade accessories label.
Tell us a bit about IAMFLO and what products we can expect to discover?
IAMFLO is, let me think, is a LOT! It is my passion that started as a hobby and developed into a small business on it’s own. It is my creative outlet where I can explore and design with no limitations, I am free to create all the pieces I want and I write my own briefs. IAMFLO sells small production runs and unique earrings, studs, necklaces, pendants and rings all designed by me in my studio on the coast south of Sydney.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
My background is Industrial Design. I always loved making things by hand and when I started IAMFLO I combined my love for the ‘hand made’ and the industrial. So I design pieces that require an industrial process and also my hand work to finish every piece. It is important to me to feel every detail and achieve a beautifully finished product.
How has your creative style developed over time and what inspires your work?
My creative style really flows with no limits. I wouldn’t say I have one particular style, it is more that I do what I feel and want and that is what I love most about having my own business. I do research and analyse market trends and combine them with my vision and taste.
The inspiration behind my work mostly comes from my lifestyle by the sea and all the special moments I live and share with the people I love. The ocean is my number one source of energy and inspiration.
What is your workspace like and what is your creative process?
I divide my work between my office in my house and my ‘studio workshop’ outside the house. At home my space is very white, full of day light, organised and with a big pin up board for all the inspiration. The workshop is small and quite cold in winter, but it is the perfect space to make mess, create all my prototypes in metal, solder, sand or explore with whatever I need to. I don’t keep it very organised, here is where mess is OK.
My creative process never stops. I am thinking of new shapes, material combinations and pieces all day. When I come up with an idea I try to sketch it. Sometimes it is just writing simple words that inspire me. From there I usually look back into my sketches and try to find common things and patterns to start developing a range. Once I have a solid idea of the next range I sit down for hours to design every detail on my computer and make paper or metal models. I find that making prototypes is the best way of working efficiently and gaining a good feel of the real piece. All this creative process really keeps me going because it is the most fun of the business.
What do you love about working with jewellery and accessories? What are some of the challenges?
What I love about jewellery and accessories is that it puts a smile on people’s face. As a product, it is quite personal. The fact that these little pieces hang or hug your body for days reinforces that; I love being present that way in people’s everyday life.
What new plans do you have for IAMFLO this year?
Certainly I need to sell, sell, sell! I’m hoping to find more stockists in Australia and abroad who share the love for unique jewellery pieces. As a more long term plan I am thinking about expanding into new product categories.
As a dream, I dream with my own retail space where I stock IAMFLO products, cook healthy foods (I am a food lover) and provide workshops of all kind of creative activities to embrace and encourage a more creative community.