Interview with Florence + Moose

Interview with Florence + Moose

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Dreaming up ideas then turning them into tangible, useable products sounds relatively easy but how many of us would love to turn our passions into a business? My online shop Firain {which is one month old today, woo!} sells gorgeous hand poured concrete coasters by Florence + Moose and the creative brains behind the business, Charlotte White, has been kind enough to share a little more about her brand with us. 

When did you start using concrete in your work? 

Charlotte: I think it’s something that has crept into my work over the last 6 – 9 months. My partner and I bought an old cottage last year (which we are currently in the process of renovating) and I had some left-over concrete from a project. I started experimenting with the mixes and different molds and its grown from there. 

Concrete can be a tricky material to use. What are your tips for handling it?

Charlotte: The best tip I can give for working with concrete is making sure that you prep everything in advance. This makes a big difference when you start mixing the concrete as you only have a limited time before it starts to set. Another thing that I spent a lot of time doing was trialling a range of different concrete mixes to find what worked best for me. And… Always put the water in first before you add the concrete mix. 

Your background is in Fine Art. Who or what are your influences? 

Charlotte: I’ve been fortunate to work/study/live with creatives. It makes such an impact having people around you to bounce ideas against. Visiting contemporary art spaces (and their amazing gift shops) is a real source of inspiration. There are so many artists who have inspired me, I don’t even know where to begin….

Where do you live and how does this affect your work?

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Charlotte: I currently live in a small village in Oxfordshire in an old cottage, which I love. It’s nice to have a tranquil space to come back to at the end of a long day.

Who do you love to follow on Instagram (or anywhere else for that matter?) and why?

Charlotte: It’s difficult to name specific people, because there are so many fantastic people to follow. I love following creatives, designers, small independent businesses. 

Tell us 3 things about yourself that we might not know

Charlotte: Okay, here goes; 

> Our name; Florence (after a 1970’s Beetle that we had which we unfortunately sold last year – best car ever). Moose (we always said we’d name our dog Moose when we got one) We’ve now got a 5-month-old Goldie puppy – called Moose!

> My other half, Gary, who has been my rock for the last 9 years is a massive inspiration to me. We talk through every idea, he helps at fairs, he helps me to pack orders into the early house and with product development.  

> I also work full time as a Merchandiser! Lots of numbers and spreadsheets. 

What are your future plans for Florence and Moose?

Charlotte: The last few months have really been a whirlwind, which I am massively grateful for. But, I’d really like to work on expanding my range (concrete of course!) and I’m in the process of developing a website. I’m just really excited about the future and have loved every minute of it so far. 

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You have a successful small business. What are your tips for those thinking of setting up on their own or starting an Etsy shop?

Charlotte: Running your own business takes a lot of time and effort and it’s not all plain sailing. Having a strong support base around me has been helpful to me. Working in retail has really allowed me to understand how businesses are run. It’s important to understand finance, stock control and time management. When setting up my Etsy Shop, I didn’t really know where to start, but once you’re set up it’s such a great platform to sell through! Firstly, spend some time searching through Etsy and other sites to see what’s out there. It’s important to get your prices and photography right from the start. I also found the articles Etsy produce useful and get in touch with your local Etsy group for support. There are so many people out there with great knowledge who are more than happy to give advice and encouragement. What I found useful is to set up cost cards for all of my products. This is useful in understanding the broken-down cost that goes into each product and make a list of where you get your supplies from.

The main lesson I’ve learnt is to believe in yourself and if you have confidence in in your products then other people will as well. 

thank you Charlotte! Follow along @florence_and_moose and Etsy 

 

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