1. Can you tell us a little more about the brand?
I grew up in a family who loved art and travel, but it was the art of the Ancient worlds of Greece and Rome that really captured my heart and soul all through school and university culminating in lecturing at the British Museum. Much of my aesthetic is inspired by the art of the ancient world. However, it was my career in luxury advertising as a global strategist for some of the worlds largest advertising agencies that helped shape my sense of style and fashion. I believe in the power of great style, in contemporary twists on timeless style, and how jewellery is essential to finish a modern and elegant wardrobe. I started Lily Flo Jewellery in 2015, frustrated that I couldn’t find the jewellery I desired, ignited my passion for designing and making, learning traditional jewellery skills with a modern take
2.How do you make your jewellery?
Passionate as much about design as much as craft, I learnt metal smithing and gemstone setting at the University of Arts London, but I designs from the heart and everything is made in my studio in London. I love to experiment, curious about creating new shapes and designs through my love of mixing traditional techniques with the innovation of creating new shapes. I have always had a passion for colour, and often select the colour palette first before choosing the gemstones. When I do, I am particularly drawn to the symbolic and empowering nature of gemstones, often playing with the contrasts of rough and finessed, precious and industrial. All the jewellery is made in our studio in London. We believes in authenticity and honesty throughout the supply chain, materials and working practices and be ensuring that everything is made under her meticulous eye.
3.What is the jewellery made from? Components?
Why did you choose this material? Our fine jewellery uses Eco Gold and Silver sourced from the best in Hatton Garden, the Diamond Jewellery centre of London. Eco Gold and Silver is high quality recycled gold and silver without human or environmental impact. Its the most green you can get. We source our gemstones and diamonds directly from India, where every stone is cut and faceted by hand from rough, using contemporary cuts. They are sourced from small businesses who we have personal, long term and trusting relationships with us to not only does ensure quality, but we feel passionately about businesses helping each other. Whilst gemstones are responsibly sourced and our diamonds are sourced through suppliers that adhere to the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council's System of Warranties, preventing the distribution of conflict diamonds both in rough, cut and polished stones.
4.What inspires you?
I often visit galleries and museums in London and around the world. I love ancient and modern art milling through the British Museum or the V&A, fine portraiture of Klimt and Rembrandt as well as weird sculptures at the Serpentine and lighting installations. I love colour, texture and form, but art that is imbedded in culture and has something to say. I read a lot of biographies and autobiograhies of artists and designers, fascinated as much about Georgia O’Keefe as Tracey Emin, Diane von Furstenberg and Coco Chanel. I am currently reading Vidal Sassoons Biography which is fascinating.
5.Where do you make the product and what does sustainability or making a quality British product mean to you?
Everything is made in our studio in London. I design everything and make everything as far as possible using traditional silver and goldsmithing techniques. Sustainable and responsible production is at the very heart of the brand and the ethos of why I made the brand into what it is today. I see many other British jewellery brands either outsource the manufacture abroad often to China and Thailand where large factories make the pieces at the lowest price, faceless workers, unsure conditions, all for the lowest possible retail price. It just didn’t feel ethical, honest, right for me. I wanted to create a brand that is ethical, credible, pure, loved for the designs as much as the people who make them. Passionate about more than just the product, but people and the environment. A brand that can live and evolve and I felt the only way to do this was to be true and have a long term view of every part of the design and creation process. For me that means made in London. It means using ethical and responsible materials, metals and gemstones as far as I possibly can. Our metals come from Hatton Garden to ensure quality. It means reusing and limiting the waste of the actual making and supporting small businesses through packaging, retouching everything. I am a born and bred Londoner. I have lived and worked in London my whole life. I love London and never tire of it. So being a British Designer is very important to me and I aspire to represent British as a top British Jeweller one day.
6.Where you would you wear your jewellery?
I specifically design jewellery that can be ageless, timeless, occasion-less. It is designed to wear all the time to feel strong...personal symbols of independence and freedom. ‘I bought this for myself, I wear it because I earned it, it makes me happy..’
7.Favourite place to relax?
I love being by the water… ideally the sea, on a boat swimming.. I’m a massive gym bunny and love jogging in Hampstead Heath..
8. In the future what styles do you plan to make next?
I’m working on extending my fine jewellery collections, for the International Jewellery Show in London in September 2017. Named Stardust it will feature droplets of multi coloured Sapphires, Tourmalines and Diamonds in delicate and dainty shapes, like waterfall chandelier earrings, multi-layered necklaces and bracelets, soft to wear, falling on the contours of the body, smooth and delicate.
9. What do you think about sustainability and how does it impact your business?
I have built my business around being sustainable and responsible. It’s very much a conscious decision to build it to be ethical from the ground up. It’s easier to do it this way than have a business and then change as much as possible to be ethical and responsible. It’s part of everything who we are and what we do. We are all about being good, honest and responsible from the products we make, the partners we choose to sell with, our suppliers and our customers. We believe that there is a massive trend in consumer’s behaviour to be better educated and more knowledgeable about who, what and how products are made. So although they are little treats and beautiful pieces that uplift and simply make women happy, it is genuinely a vital part that they can feel reassured and comfortable that they were made honourably too.
10. What do you like about collaborating with Madia & Matilda?
There aren’t many retailers that genuinely put sustainability and responsibility at the heart of the business. Without a question, great product comes first. Beautiful fabrics, exceptional cut and shapes, insightful and inspiring colours and fabrics, but heart and soul means a great deal. Shalize created her business with that at the heart, she is a great designer.. Yet she has given herself the added challenge of making her products sustainable. We know there is a great deal of wastage and fast fashion has helped augment the issues of sustainability, but Shalize has quietly and confidently addressed them from within and produces on trend, key essential pieces, well priced with a soul.
To shop now, you can find Lily Flo on our Shop Unique selection or under accessories on madiamatilda.co.uk or in-store in our boutique.
Sincerely Madia & Matilda