flora belts have arrived at RUBY! We sit down with maker Viarni Bright, on her journey and creative process with flora. Viarni shares with us her process in creating her handmade pieces made with love, right here in Aotearoa.
"Having RUBY as my first stockist is an absolute dream pairing..."
Tell us a bit about how flora came about?
flora blossomed over summer earlier this year when I couldn’t find any unique accessories that I liked to go with a simple black dress I was wearing to a good friend's wedding. I felt inspired so I searched for any special materials I could use to make my own belt when I finally came across the glass flower pieces and loved them. I ordered 5 not really knowing how I’d put it together, but knew I’d come up with something!
After a few different variations I was happy with my creation and wore it to the wedding where I ended up getting lots of lovely comments on it, along with a few asking where I had bought it. So - I thought I would make a few more for friends who wanted them and it all happened naturally from there. I made an IG page to share and sell them through - but needed a fitting name.
I’ve always loved the name flora and its feminine feel. It just made perfect sense with the glass pieces being flowers. flora means “flower” in Latin and flora was the Roman goddess of spring and flowering plants, especially wildflowers. I played with the name whilst making a logo and it just looked and felt right for the brand.
What Inspires you creatively?
Fashion, art, people, colour, love, culture, nature - everything around me really! Especially where I live, another reason why flora was the perfect name. I’ve been living on our rural property for almost 2 years now - surrounded by endless kinds of flora and orchards whilst growing our own to both admire (and eat!). I’ve learnt so much about it all and can’t wait to learn more. Being more surrounded by nature has definitely inspired me in many aspects of life.
"I wore one of the earlier belts I made with a dress from the RUBY Miami collection as the colours paired perfectly. I was SO pumped to see there was some interest and that the team also felt Rubettes would love flora - fast forward and here we are with them being my first ever stockist. RUBY values are something I've always admired - and some of my most worn wardrobe pieces are RUBY so it's the perfect place for flora to be - I hope you all love what I've created"Shop flora online
What is your creative / accessory making process?
Each strand of material is cut to length, tightly tied off at one end and carefully hand braided. I keep tension on the belt and I take my time to make sure the braiding is even. I line all the glass pieces up and swap them around till each line of five has the perfect mix of that certain colour way. I think about how they’d look styled to make sure they have an even combination. Then I tie in each piece from the middle outwards, securing them in place evenly across the braid by pulling them through each others loop knots and fastening in place.
Could you tell us a bit about the flora Beads and where they are from?
The handmade glass flora pieces come from Turkey. Crafted using traditional methods, each bead is carefully handcrafted by skilled artisans using fair trade practices, with the highest quality glasses sourced from around the world, including the renowned Murano glass. Every glass piece is unique, to me they are tiny pieces of art and no flora belt will be the exact same as another which makes them special.
How has your personal style influenced your development of the belts?
Even though I said I wanted an accessory to wear with a simple black dress - I can actually count on both hands how many all black pieces of clothing that are in my entire wardrobe! My personal style is generally bold, feminine and often 70’s inspired. So that has influenced the belts in many ways. Also, like my personal style I wanted the belts to be playful, imperfect, colourful, versatile and unique, like wearing a little piece of art on your body.
How do you care for the belts?
Being real glass they are slightly fragile - but each flower piece is thick enough to hold its own. However when I’m not wearing it, I store it in a little flora bag. If travelling - I wrap it up in something soft after popping it in the bag, just to be sure the pieces don’t clash together and chip or break. The braid will wear slightly over time, but that's simply the wax coating being worn in and it actually looks really nice and natural when it has a more matte texture.