Designer Files: Celina Florendo
Celina Florendo created Brave Butterfly in November of 2005. This new company is one of many local jewelry designers that Toronto has to offer. In this short time, Brave Butterfly can be found in stores across Ontario. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions.
How did you become interested in jewellery making?
I've always loved creating beautiful things by hand. I became interested in jewellery making after seeing gorgeous pieces being sold at ridiculous prices and thinking - I can make that!
When did you make your first piece of jewellery?
The first piece of jewellery I ever made was about a year ago. It was a pair of earrings.
Do you do any formal training for jewellery making?
I took a jewellery making course last summer that solely focused on working with metals. However, since I work mostly with beads, I don't get the opportunity to apply what I've learned. It was still useful, though, as it allowed me to appreciate the intricate work that goes into creating metal jewellery.
What are you inspired by?
The vibrant colors that I combine in my creations are all inspired by those found in nature. I believe that nature's colors foster a feeling of balance and harmony that, I like to believe, is passed down to the wearer of Brave Butterfly.
Do you have a design philosophy?
I will design only what I, myself, would be proud to wear.
What type of woman do you design for?
I design for the type of woman that has a classic look that goes beyond the current fads, but at the same time is hip and stylish. She appreciates originality and craftsmanship in everything she buys. She loves accessorizing her wardrobe with beautiful and unique pieces, but it has to be within her budget.
What's your favourite material(s) to work with?
I love working with glass beads, as well as natural materials such as shells, and semi-precious stones, and combine them to create a Brave Butterfly masterpiece.
How long does the average piece take to construct?
The average piece takes about 30-45 minutes.
How did you business Brave Butterfly come about?
After receiving an overwhelming number of compliments (as well as order inquiries) each time my sisters and I would wear the jewellery I created, I began to consider turning my passion into something profitable. I started fulfilling orders while working full-time, but quickly found that I needed to dedicate more of my time as the frequency of orders increased. That's when I decided to quit my full-time job and pursue building my own business - Brave Butterfly.
How did you choose the name of your company?
I have always been fascinated with the butterfly. I loved everything it symbolizes - beauty, femininity, freedom, renewal, and rebirth. I thought it would be fitting to name my jewellery business after it as traditionally, jewellery embodies beauty and femininity. While freedom, renewal, and rebirth represent my entrepreneurial venture. I added "Brave" to express how I felt leaving the comfort of a "normal" job, and diving into the scary world of owning a small business.
How important is the Internet to your business? Do many customers discover about Brave Butterfly through the web?
The Internet is crucial to my business. Not only does it save me the cost of producing and distributing printed catalogues/brochures of Brave Butterfly jewellery, it also allows me to further my reach worldwide.
Shopping parties are quite popular these days. Did that have an influence on your decision to start Sparkle Parties?
I believe shopping parties - or in my case, Sparkle Parties - are an integral part of the jewellery business. Women love shopping with their friends, and what better environment to do that than in their own homes, or somewhere just as comfortable? It also allows me to meet my customers and get feedback on the pieces I create.
How does a Sparkle Party work?
Hosting a Brave Butterfly Sparkle Party is quite easy. Anyone interested in seeing my latest collection with their friends and family can do it. They choose where and when they'd like to hold it, and based on availability, I come in and showcase my jewellery. If there are more than 6 guests attending the party, the lucky host receives a $50 voucher towards any Brave Butterfly jewellery.
What are your plans for the future?
My goal is to increase awareness and boost the presence of Brave Butterfly by distributing to more stores in select cities across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
Brave Butterfly is available at
292 Queen Street West
2624 Yonge Street
831 Queen St. West
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