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April 2016

Posts on April 2016

Live life in colour

Sam Bertram

22 April 2016

Avebury’s Fioriblu are all about colour - their handbags, wallets, belts, gloves & other accessories are quality Italian leather goods that make you feel alive.  We spoke to Rachel from Fioriblu to find out more. Firstly tell us a bit about your love of colour ‘My business partner and I are both Scots but studied Italian together in Italy when we were young. The colour you find in Italy has always had a massive influence on us. In parts of Italy like Porto Venere you get beautiful multi-coloured houses on the hillside. You can’t help but feel happy with a spring in your step when you see the houses lit up by the bright sunlight and contrasted against the blue sky. The intensity of colour is fabulous in the countryside too – the bright yellow of sunflowers and the silvery grey of olive tree leaves. Our Scottish heritage is also an influence on the colours we choose. We’re both nature lovers and Scotland has incredible colour in its hills, heather, sky and sea.  I have dark hair so my favourites are lime green and orange. My business partner Heni is fair and blue-eyed so she’s more about the bright blues. There’s no doubt that colour gives you a lift and our accessories are intended to do just that. It’s interesting because my business partner lives in Scotland and sells very different colours to what’s popular in the south. When Heni goes to a fair the brighter colours sell out faster, whereas in the south it’s the reds, blues and purples that go first. Fioriblu means blue flowers in Italian & ‘live life in colour’ is our strapline. So what sort of accessories do you have and in what colours? Our accessories are made of quality Italian leather and we have handbags, belts, gloves and wallets. We’re just about to launch some other accessories – leather pouches / clutch purses for receipts or passports and long pouches that can fit in things like pens or make-up brushes. We also have bright colour tassel keyrings. They are all available in lots of colours for maximum stand out. There are lime greens, olive greens, oranges, reds, pinks, purple, 2 or 3 blues, browns, beige and terracotta. Silver and gold is also on offer for a bit of party fun! Our style is classic, simple and hard wearing. We’re not trying to be trendy or cool but are offering accessible and affordable luxury that people can enjoy. We have an assortment of handbags all named after flowers. . All our handbags have quirky little details in the zips, handles & compartments. Our newest handbag is the Crocus which has different colour and texture combinations. We also have a furry bowling style bag called Mimosa, the Tulip which is a relaxed style, a clutch known as the Forget me not and a classic tote bag called Camomile. The Camomile has a central zipped apartment for your ipad.  Our belts are really popular as they come in so many colours, so there’s something for every occasion and they won’t break the bank either. Where do you sell apart from online? ‘We go to fairs across the country but we would like to explore other retail opportunities. Our customers are really surprised when they discover us. Most people think they have to go to one of the big stores in London to find a decent handbag, wallet or belt but we’re right here in Wiltshire!  www.fioriblu.co.uk  

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Wedding Glamour

Sam Bertram

7 April 2016

Summer is approaching & it’s a popular time for weddings, so it seemed right to chat with Pewsey’s Rubi Locke Jewellery about weddings, jewellery & the trends for 2016. Firstly tell us a bit about what you do ‘My passion is making jewellery for weddings or special occasions. I absolutely love it. Using a combination of sterling silver, freshwater pearls, Swarovski, antique and glass crystals, I create bespoke items perfect for your special event. It can be anything from headdresses and hair vines to necklaces, tiaras, bracelets and earrings in any combination of colours for not only the bride but anyone else in the wedding party. And it’s not just limited to weddings – I can create jewellery to match an outfit for someone who has a special evening out or hair slides for little party girls. Recently I’ve been making personalised necklaces with silver initials for bridesmaids to wear on the day and as a keepsake. They also make great birthday presents. A mother and daughter wanted matching ankle bracelets with their initials which I thought was a fun idea. I’ve been thinking about creating jewelled head pieces for guests. As trends have taken us away from hats to more simple headpieces I think they’d go down well. As a creative person I couldn’t think of a better job to have.’ So where do you get your inspiration? ‘I mainly get inspiration from everything that’s around me – I love observing nature, I adore flowers, clusters of blossom, trees, shapes and textures. I often make notes and sketches as I work during the day.  I buy lots of wedding magazines and look at the internet to stay up to date with seasonal colours and styles and think about how I could enhance and adapt them to my jewellery. Today I saw a bridal hairstyle that sparked some ideas. It’s a big bun that rolls up and it got me thinking about making a big headpiece that would look like a flower and cover the bun.’ What seem to be the main trends for brides in 2016? I’ve been looking at the colours and there are lots of pastel, ice creamy pinks, yellows and blues. I’ve seen some nice bridesmaid dresses in a delicate light blue with hints of green.   I look at general wedding products too.  I recently saw some cream laced wellington boots for brides which I loved – perfect for the unpredictable British weather on a country estate! I also saw some lovely huge illuminated letters that you could hire to spell out words like ‘love’ as decoration in your venue. I see a lot of vintage props about as well. How did you get into jewellery making?  I’ve worked in graphic design since graduating in Fashion Design and have always been good at working with colour. I always notice colours – when I’m driving round I look at the colours all around and if I like what I see I remember them and think how I can use them in my designs.  So when I met Gillian Million at a toddler group and she offered me the opportunity to come and work with her and learn how to make tiaras I jumped at it. It was there I learnt how to make wired wedding jewellery and accessories. Alongside that I taught myself how to make beaded 'day-to -day' jewellery. It was fantastic grounding for me as Gillian Million now makes bespoke jewellery for celebrities and royalty. I’m really focused on getting the textures and colours right, as well as making sure I make each piece to the highest quality possible. What is it you love most about what you do?  I really enjoy it when people come along for a one to one and we can explore what they want. Brides to be bring along their wedding dresses and shoes and we discuss styles and options. They often come with their mothers and we have a fun time brainstorming different ideas. Sometimes brides have a colour they love which features in their bouquets, so we might add a bit of that colour into the hairpins for either the bride or bridesmaid or both. Often brides have an idea of what they want but they don’t know how to execute it. I love helping them with that. www.rubilocke.com  

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