Instead of donating them to op shops, Florence Olugbemiro wanted to do something different with all her colourful African garments “I felt burdened about where to dispose of our pre-loved beautiful and stunning outfits,” Florence says. So Designed by Florence, Inspired by Africa was born.
Designed by Florence repurposes clothes made from brightly patterned African materials, creating cushion covers, high-waisted and wrap skirts, bandanas and clutch purses. Sydney-based Florence noticed that women were hungry for unconventional designs and products. “Designed by Florence hopes to ethically introduce to the world a varied range of these textures and vibrant coloured fabrics,” she says.
Ultimately Florence would like her business to be in able to offer local women a job in a work-life balanced environment. Designed by Florence has already been able to provide a small income to an African-born seamstress. Florence’s daughter Shallom is involved in the social media marketing side of things.
Florence says being a member of Sister Tribe is important when it comes to gaining knowledge about starting and growing a business and sharing experiences with other sisters focusing on the same goal.
Originally from Nigeria, Florence came to Australia twenty years ago. When not working on Designed by Florence, Inspired by Africa she’s involved in church activities and has self-published her book about cross-cultural marriages, ‘Black Bold n Beautiful-Marrying an African?
Designed by Florence, Inspired by Africa products are available at The Rising Collection in Liverpool and at markets.