When and why did you set up your business?
I set up FiorSó in May 2021. The journey started in 2018 when my youngest child was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Up to that point, I had been working as a lawyer, flying all over the place and life was very busy. Then my daughter was diagnosed and everything stopped.
I took time away from my job to care for her and during that time I started to seriously think about pursuing my long-held passion for jewellery.
I’d long admired people who’d swapped the office for creative enterprise, but I didn’t think I’d actually do it – the change in our circumstances made me see things differently and spurred me on.
Despite looking at starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic, I launched FiorSó last year following my daughter’s recovery. The brand has gone from strength to strength since!
Can you explain your process?
We make earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, using a mix of gold, Swarovski pearls, brass and enamel.
The design process starts with my images and ideas. I keep a sketch book with me all the time, even by the bed, so I can sketch down ideas at any time. I often wake up in the night and have to get the image in my head on to paper!
Over a period of weeks, these sketches will morph into something more cohesive that I can turn into a concept. From the concept comes the design, and then the collection.
The designs, whilst contemporary, often have a hint of art deco or art nouveau.
I’ve lived and worked in London, Paris and Shanghai – all of which have strong art deco and art nouveau architecture – and I think those formative years left a strong impression on me.
So our collections – our new Reverie collection, Calla Lilies collection and Deco collections - are all variants on this theme, albeit quite different in design.
Inspiration comes from all places – art, architecture, fashion, but also historical books and documentaries. I’m fascinated by how social/political changes in times gone by impacted on clothing and jewellery.
For example, the women’s liberation movements in the early 1900s meant that women started to feel confident wearing short sleeves and short hair, which created a new market for decorative bracelets and earrings! You can see trends like this all through history.
What is your best-seller/most popular piece?
Our new spring/summer Reverie collection (art nouveau-inspired floral designs) launched in mid-March and has already almost sold out - so I’m busy in the studio making more stock!
A particular favourite has been our cherry blossom full bloom threader earrings.
Our signature Coco earrings (Deco Classic collection) and our calla lily necklaces (Calla Lilies collection) are also very popular.
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
We make statement pieces that are beautiful, vibrant and fun. Seeing our customers wearing our jewellery with confidence, owning the piece, is amazing.
Having customers return to us to buy second, third or fourth pieces is also joyous. To know they are really enjoying something you have created from your mind and your hands is just fab!
What is the best piece of advice you would give another start-up?
Go for it! Planning is important, but there’s a point when you just have to implement and learn as you go.
In fact, I think if you spend too much time trying to control every detail before you launch, you’ll probably never launch!
For me, it is the best thing I ever did and while I’m working incredibly hard to build the business, it just doesn’t feel like work. I feel very lucky.
For further information, visit www.fiorso.ie or follow on Instagram @fiorsojewellery.