Sally Ayres, designer and owner of Pretty Flamingo talks to us about how she started her business and what inspired her to do so...
So, Sally how did Pretty Flamingo begin?
Originally Pretty Flamingo was called It has to be Vintage Darling which started 4 years ago (our 4th birthday in March actually) these label sold high quality vintage items dating back to the 1880's but under these name the brand was limited. I wanted to let my creative side run wild and needed to think of a way I could combine my love of vintage fashion with my rediscovered desire to make things, at Secret Garden Party festival in 2014 Pretty Flamingo was born and our plumage gets brighter month by month, I've never looked back.
Your products are so quirky and unique, what gives you inspiration?
When it comes to jewellery I make what I myself would wear. I am inspired by the world around me, the natural resources that can be discovered if you look hard enough and the beauty in the stars. I'm a bit of a star gazing geek and I think there's nothing more beautiful then drawing inspiration from the vast expanse that surrounds our gorgeous planet.
If you could bring ONE item in summarise your brands personality what would it be?
The song would have to be Manfred Man, Pretty Flamingo - it talks about a women who struts her stuff without a care! When Pretty Flamingo walks by she brightens up the neighbourhood just as it says in the song and this is what my brand is about. It's about showcasing what you naturally have and not being afraid to be bold and unique!
What do you love most about owning a small business?
I love the freedom Pretty Flamingo gives me to be creative and I adore making other people smile. Some things I try turn out a disaster!! But ... That's the beauty of it, I learn and grow with my brand, it's like a journey.
Has it been hard work?
Really hard work! I knew nothing about running a fashion business when I started, all I had was a passion. Whilst building Pretty Flamingo I have held down many jobs just to keep everything ticking along, at times having no spare moments in the day to 'just be' but it's well worth it and I'm so glad that when things felt tough that I never gave up.
Why did you choose REX and what do you love about being part of the REX family?
I chose Rex because I liked the concept and I could feel it in my bones that it was a group of people I really wanted to be involved with. I love the encouragement the Rex family Ives to it's brands and that's helped me feel more confident in what I am trying to achieve.
What does Pretty Flamingo have in store for us next?
I've tried for 2 years to try and get accepted to sell on ASOS as an official ASOS boutique but I've always been turned down. It's a long process and they have very strict photography guide lines - well I've now cracked it and on February 1st 2016 Pretty Flamingo launches on ASOS!! Along aide this and continuing to work with Rex I hope to expand from jewellery and vintage into homewares and my own designs so that Pretty Flamingo isn't just a fashion brand it becomes a life style. I already rent my apartment out as a B&B called The Flamingo Motel, something I wish to expand on very soon and If I can combine my baking skills in there somewhere I'd be a very happy Flamingo indeed.