I’m Florence Vieira de Melo Macedo, a Brazilian girl passionate about all things fashion. Before creating my own brand, called Florence, I worked in the fashion industry for several years, helping other fashion brands thrive and tell their unique story.
My company got started in the middle of the pandemic. I was coming back from my maternity leave but got laid off due to the horrific situation. During those days and weeks, I decided to use my time for something I’m truly passionate about; fashion. Every crisis also brings opportunities.
When I started crafting my own brand, I started thinking about what was missing from the heavily competed industry. My brand Florence ended up being a lifestyle brand featuring loungewear pieces with some resort vibes, bringing together and mixing my playful, colourful Brazilian heritage and the modern Nordics. With production in both Finland and Brazil, Florence can really pick up the best of both worlds. With Florence also wanted to help people to feel good in their homes and especially in their own skin in the most sustainable way possible.
Every crisis also brings opportunities.
For me fashion has always been more than just about clothing trends: I’m more interested in the culture of it, anthropological point of view and sociology (ie. why people wear what they wear). I wanted my brand to reflect this by offering items that people can express themselves through and not follow any fads.
Sustainability was also super important for me from the beginning. I believe there is no other way of doing business nowadays and in the future, if it’s not in a mindful and sustainable way. It’s the responsibility of all entrepreneurs, whatever your business is. Sustainability should be included in everyone’s mission.
I think in general a lot of people romanticize entrepreneurship. It’s tougher than it seems. You need to be very perseverant not give up even during the hard times. I have also had to work very long hours, sometimes with no results. To be honest, for me the myth that working hours are flexible is the biggest white lie when it comes to being an entrepreneur. In fact, you will have to work all the time and will have to do so many things you don’t like or are not good at.
During the first months of running a new business, I’ve learned that I had to believe in my idea myself 100 %.
During the first months of running a new business, I’ve learned that I had to believe in my idea myself 100 %. If you don’t, no one else does either. I’ve also come to learn to not always depend on others’ approval or outstretched hand. I’ve also, unfortunately, come to understand that the fashion industry in Finland is extremely small, people are not really open to collaborating. This is something I would hope to change in the near future.
The absolute best part of my new-founded career has been seeing strangers liking, buying, wearing and supporting my work and the brand. I honestly love getting the full credits for the job I do. No need to ask permission for crazy ideas, I can just go freely with my intuition. My entrepreneurship has no rules.
Learn more about Florence here: wearflorence.com.