Before going to University, where I studied Fashion Design, Marketing and Manufacture, I studied Textiles with Fashion at college. I adored textiles and even in my Uni years I would involve elements of textiles design into my collections. In my final year, my graduate collection was all cloth and trims bought in white, I then hand dyed each piece myself in the lab. Digital printing was just taking off at this point and I was obsessed with going to look at the machine that my University had bought in, unfortunately I never got to use it but I was certain I would introduce digital prints to my VF range.
Violet Flamingo is based in Ebor Studio & Gallery FRANK in Littleborough, within the building we have a wide variety of artists and makers, have our own gallery and are host to a array of creative events. Obviously things have changed since Covid but as soon as it’s possible our doors will be open to the public again. The creative space I work in means the world to me, each day walking through our building I’m inspired by what the other residents are planning and making. This then gave me the idea to start collaborating with my neighbours!
Karen Lyons is the owner of our beautiful mill and she practices her sculpture and drawing here too. Karen’s work is absolutely stunning in my eyes and I have a lot of her prints dotted around my home and even tattooed on me. Karen kindly got involved in the first digital print collaboration, creating a series of skeleton flamingo drawings, in turn another Ebor artist Bob France helped create the layout for the design and it was then ready to go to print.
I have chosen to digitally print because it one of the most eco friendly options when it comes to printing, all inks used in the process are certificated as Azo dye free, OEKO-TEX certified and are to European REACH standards. I have also selected to work with a company within Greater Manchester, this will also cut down the travel my cloth will have to do in the production process. Keeping my products as conscious as possible is very important to me and it has been since the very beginning of the brand, nine years ago.
I personally think we should be shopping local and keeping true craftmanship alive in the UK. I want my brand to help support independent artists so all sales of collaboration products in my store benefit the artist too, as they receive a percentage of the profits from every VF sale.
If your a UK based artist and your interested in being a VF collaborator, just drop me a message via Instagram.
I’m looking forward to sharing the new products with you soon,