Tell us about your business – what do you do, who are your clients, and why do they
I hand make sustainable knitwear. The brand has been built with a passion to look after our
planet, with a passion to help people understand the processes involved in making
clothes. It’s very sad that we have come to a stage where we expect all our clothing to be
so cheap, and yet we are willing to pay big money for everything else!
My client understands the value in her clothes, she doesn’t constantly buy and not
wear. She likes clean-cut clothing and simple lines that contour and enhance her
body shape. She understands the value in natural fibres and is willing to take the time to
look after her clothes. She wants to make a difference in the world and understands that
slow fashion culture is the way forward.
How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up as a child I would watch my grandma knit and sew, she was a corsetiere. I learnt
how to knit and sew as a child. By the time I was in my teens I was tie-dying my mum’s old
bedsheets and making an outfit for the same evening. I was always wearing something
different, but always made by myself. I studied fashion and textiles for 6 years and
after winning a major Knitwear Design Award I started working in the knitwear
industry. I designed for a manufacturer for Marks & Spencer, so travelling from the
midlands to London a couple of times a week was often the case. I travelled
with the buyers of Marks & Spencer to major fashion capitals every season for directional
shopping trips which would include New York, Paris, Milan. I travelled to Hong
Kong, China, Sri Lanka and Turkey to visit factories and make sure samples were as
requested. I loved my job.
After twenty years working this way, juggling family life, I decided I needed something
which was going to be more home-based, but my heart and soul was in design and I just
couldn’t let it go.
I couldn’t work for other companies by this time as I realised my ethics had changed. I no
longer wanted to be designing for a price point using yarns smothered in plastic
particles, visiting factories where workers could hardly feed their families for the sake of our
clothing habits. So following a move to Australia I knew somehow I would be designing knitwear again. I did a lot of research, found mini-mills that were spinning small quantities of yarn, realised I
could go direct from the farmer to the spinner, then knit my own products. I was like a child
in a sweet shop, I was in my element – and so flocci was formed.
What do you love most about your work?
I love developing new products. When I’m designing my knitwear I have the whole look in
my mind, not just the one piece. I love making and using my hands to create. I
know I’ve found my happy place when I’m in my studio developing my next piece. I love that
when I’m creating now I’m not harming anything as I only work with natural products, and I
love the connection I get with nature, whether that be the animals we work with or the
plants our fibre comes from.
What impact has investing in your personal brand had on you or your business?
The branding of the business was crucial to help me bring it alive. As a designer I have so
many ideas in my head and I am constantly creating from one product to the next. The
branding has helped pull it all together and give all the products the same focus. Without
the branding it would all have been a little muddled, it made me focus on the brand values
and the look of the brand rather than on individual pieces. So now I ask myself, is that a
What’s the most challenging thing about running your business?
I have only just started this process so it’s difficult to say, but I wouldn’t have gotten this far so soon without investing inheritance money from my dad’s estate. He was my inspiration to follow my
passion, and without him I would not have been able to produce my range of knitwear. So I
suppose for a small business like mine it’s balancing the books with the cost of materials which
have to be purchased upfront of any orders.
What’s one habit you stick to that’s helped in the success of your business?
Take steps every day, no matter how small they are.
What’s one core principle in your business and how do you integrate that into your work?
To love what you do each day, enjoy the people you work with and be kind to yourself and
What’s one piece of advice that has never left you?
I was once told that what we encounter on our journey will be “character building “ and those
words pop into my head often, especially in challenging times.
What’s one trait you think all business owner’s need to survive?
A passion and belief in their product
What are you excited about right now?
Developing a spring\summer range in a beautiful natural fibre harmless to the planet
What does success mean to you?
You can find flocci at:
Julie’s Hair and Makeup by Claire Gorman