I am so proud to introduce you to this beautiful new online store, Ever So Flo because it is owned by one of my wonderful photography students, Ruth Yardy. Ruth has styled and photographed all the images on Ever So Flo herself, which makes me beam. It's beautiful, don't you think?
Ever So Flo sells beautifully framed butterflies and vintage finds.
I thought it would be lovely to chat with Ruth, so you can all get to know her a little bit more and find out what inspired Ever So Flo.
Where did your inspiration and idea for Ever So Flo come from?
I have always loved vintage and interiors - it is my passion and I could talk happily about Farrow & Ball paint colours til the cows come home….! I come from a retail / fashion and textiles background, having travelled the world sourcing factories and fabrics with buyers and designers for UK fashion high street stores & manufacturers for almost 20 years.
For me, after having our family, it was a natural progression to start something new using my experience, but translating that into my home and interiors. I dabbled with other things, watched other people do what I longed to do and finally decided the time was right to branch out on my own and get on with it myself - I spent the last 6 months slowly working towards Ever So Flo, launching in mid October this year… It as been invigorating and empowering and I love it!
Did you face any challenges setting up your beautiful shop?
Key challenges are reigning myself in - trying to look at the bigger picture for the business and keeping control on the budget - boring but true. I am easily distracted so time management is key when working from home. Sometimes however, I find things that I just have to have and the rulebook goes out of the window…. c'est la vie.
I have learnt so many new skills - just this year - I have discovered areas of creativity that were previously stifled and it has been an incredible journey.
I have re-ignited my love of photography - thanks, in part, to my totally awesome teacher (she's amazing - you'd love her!!) and my inquisitive instinct has gone through the roof!!
I am a techno dinosaur so setting up the website has been a bit of a baptism of fire for me - as well as embracing twitter but again - all positive experiences gained.
Finding new old product is always a challenge - but in a good way. I love the fact that I can go to markets - here or abroad and never have a clue what I will find…. it's fabulous!! I love the challenge of re-inventing something for another use; wondering about the story behind a piece that I find and love; wondering where that piece will end up and always wanting to know why someone picks a specific destination when they buy a bus blind from me - I love the story - the adventure and the emotion behind all of this.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Personally this year - having the balls (sorry!) to pull myself out of a difficult situation before launching Ever So Flo and come out smiling.
For the business - actually having the faith in myself to get on and do it. I knew I could but it's about pouching those self doubts aside and making progress, growing.
I have had an incredible response and support from people when I launched the website a month ago - the support has been phenomenal and it really blew me away.
My family being proud of me, for embracing my passion and creating something positive.
I really like your framed butterflies. Have you always loved butterflies?
I love nature. Butterflies were always in our garden when I was a child. I obviously knew they are less abundant now - rarely visible to my children. I am a hoarder - so I understand the need for people to 'collect' things they love. I didn't like the Victorian way of collecting butterflies but found out about alternative - ethical - ways to do so. All my butterflies are ethically sourced from conservation farming operations worldwide - this is really important to me.
What is your favourite piece in your shop at the moment?
I love the FUN sign, I love the butterflies - I keep meaning to make a massive frame for myself to keep but I always end up selling them - one day…..!
The bus blinds - I love the stories behind people's choices. I have 3 in my front room, they always bring a smile to my face - I love that.
I love the nostalgia of the vintage Christmas decorations- the Nutcracker soldier is a favourite of mine. I'm kind of hoping it doesn't sell, so it ends up on our tree!!
Where did the name Ever So Flo come from?
The name was a collaboration over a missed cup of coffee with a friend - I'll call her Mrs G - she knows who she is!! I had been thinking about the name for months & nothing was quite right….. until the brainstorming session with Mrs G.
Flo was my grandmothers name, Flo is my daughters name & it just felt right.
How are you planning to decorate your home for Christmas?
In an ideal world I would have a muted colour palette of whites / old gold / silver and textured loveliness, new mixed with a few really special vintage pieces on the tree; fairy lights and Dyptique candles burning with a roaring fire.
The reality will be more like a wonkily decorated tree with all the decorations congregated together - where the kids can reach…… I don't have a real fire - but I do have lots of fairy lights and a dyptique candle, so we're almost there!
I have started collecting special vintage or handmade Christmas decorations for the children & Iove seeing them excited about opening up the Christmas decorations box each year and then opening their special 'new' decoration on Christmas morning…. special memories for them and for me. And, what do you hope Father Christmas brings you?!
And, what do you hope Father Christmas brings you?!
Mmm - how long have you got….??
A new bathroom would be good - don't think that will fit down the chimney though!
Hopefully - Prada perfume (I've just run out!); another moleskin notebook…. a girl can't have too many; and waking up to a snowy Christmas morning (but not too early - I need a lie in…!)
Thanks Ruth! I'm so excited about your new store. I love my Tala baking tray and I know I'll be visiting Ever So Flo lots more! x