While we may not have a designated "brand message", I'd like to think that the idea people walk away with when they come to us is that fashion doesn't have to be fast or new. Our pieces are consciously created, our stones ethically sourced, and at festivals half our stock is previously loved vintage items. Generally we find people really appreciate being able to walk into our booth, choose a piece, and feel like they're walking away with something that's only their's. Before anything else we've always placed importance on a sustainable lifestyle, and hopefully that comes across in our brand and ethos.
We got started as a stall in a local farmers market. I (kate) was selling a few simple pieces of jewelry for a little extra cash and fun, and met Damien. We started dating, fell in love, and before we knew it, our combined skill sets had sort of melded into working together and creating a brand that was completely us.
Our brand is unique because our method is unique. Each piece is still hand made by the 2 of us, and especially at festivals almost everything we sell is a one of a kind item. The fact that we're a couple and both bring our tastes into the mix effects things too - Damien brings a more masculine point of view, while I'm attracted anything sparkly and gold.
We'd love to think our brand is made for anyone and everyone. Our tastes are definitely more in the realm of "bohemian", but a good accessory seems to be able to cross style and gender boundaries. Our favorite part of working festivals and bringing our brand to goers in person is the wide variety of people we get to meet. Different tastes, amazing styles, incredible clothes, and beautiful spirits - all unique, and all finding their way into our booth over the course of the weekend.
When I first got started, making jewelry was a hobby. Once I met Damien (a Jack of many trades - leather-smith, carpenter, etc), Flight of Fancy sort of organically blossomed into what it is today. I suppose we felt "official" the first time we had a major retailer approach us about wholesale distribution, but the evolution of our brand has very much followed our own interests. The desire to learn new techniques, inspiration from new sources, and new passions have paved the path our brand has followed.
We are 100% inspired by nature. When making new jewelry, we start with the stone and design around that. Damien's leather goods are made from 100% reclaimed leather, and no two bags are alike because he follows the natural flow and cut of the materials. Our home is filled with plants, crystals, rich wood tones and natural elements, and that generally seems to inspire us on the daily.
Every lookbook and collection has been really fun and special - it's hard to choose! We've probably had the most fun shooting and putting together the looks for our Festival lookbook for 2015 called Desert Daze, and our 2016 Winter lookbook Lupus the most. Having both male and female models in the mix really changes the energy of a shoot, and hey, more and more guys feel passionate about being stylish and having a little bling too - they need representation! With Lupus, we got to work with Project Wildsong - a wolf sanctuary and conservation organization in Southern California. Romping around in the snow with the wolves was a one in a lifetime experience, and every look we put together just felt all the more inspired and magical because they were there!
It's a learning process! We're still small - 2 people and a cat, to be exact - and both of us are artistic types. Neither of us have sales experience, web experience, branding or PR, experience, etc. We are VERY much learning as we go! But it's a great opportunity, especially to discover skills we never knew we had.
Sustainability is of the utmost importance. It's too easy to get caught up in the every day ease that life around us has to offer, but taking that extra step and putting that little bit of extra effort in to get ethically sourced materials makes all the difference when it comes to our stamp on history. Selling vintage clothes at festivals, for example, was the perfect step for expanding our product range in person - why buy new when there's incredible old out there with a story? Sustainability is considering the source of our products, and the mark it will leave on the planet.
Craft is hands-on. Touching, forming, shaping materials from a raw state into a piece of art, and knowing that because that time and care was put into it, the piece is made to last.
It means knowing your sources, knowing where your product and material come from, and that your pieces are going to last. We don't just make jewelry or accessories, we like to think we're making heirlooms - pieces our customers will one day pass on. By making every piece ourselves and sourcing as locally and ethically as possible when it comes to materials, we know hands-on that each piece we put out there has our specific stamp of approval.