Hi, I’m Gail and I’m the Founder and Designer at Florio Designs.
I started Florio Designs in 2007 shortly after I got engaged, but the story doesn’t start there…
As a child I was pretty creative, my best friend and I would always be making things, be it jewellery, fimo animals, costumes, magazines or radio shows! When I hit my late twenties, I got back into jewellery making. I had just moved to London, happened across a bead shop and there it was, I was hooked again.
In December 2006 on my 30th birthday, I got engaged (frankly about time too, we had been together for quite some time!). We set a date for 18 months time and the planning began. I knew that I wanted to make the jewellery for the bridal party but I thought it would be nice to make my own tiara too, so I set about looking for a couple of courses. Whilst searching for tiara courses, I also found a millinery course, and I thought that sounded interesting too, so I enrolled into night school and two years later, I obtained a Btec with merit in millinery from Kensington and Chelsea College.
Towards the end of 2007, I was having a ball creating all the accessories for the Bridal party and I knew that I didn’t want to stop once I was actually married. So my husband to be agreed to lend me his surname in advance and I started Florio Designs. He likened to it a Richard Branson franchise!
When the wedding date arrived in May 2008, I had made tiaras for myself and bridesmaids, a flower hairband for my flowergirl and both fascinators for the Mum’s. It was an amazing day and I was so pleased that I had set-up Florio Designs and could continue enjoying the excitement for other Brides about to experience the same.
In 2010, I started teaching Jewellery and Tiaras at the London Jewellery School, I taught there for just under 10 years. Unfortunately they closed during the Pandemic and have moved online and whilst I no longer teach there, I do keep in touch and recently did a podcast for them which you can listen to here
I was working full time in Training and Development as an Operations Manager when I started Florio Design, designing and making in the evenings and weekends (plus teaching on the side!). But in 2013, I had a baby girl and took a little break. Just as I was due to return to work, I found out that my department was relocating and I would be made redundant. Instead of being scared, I saw this as a sign and decided not to find a new day job, but to fulfil my dream of working at Florio Designs full time. This was short-lived however, after a year I was asked to return which I accepted, whilst I loved being Self-employed, it was pretty lonely and I missed the company of other people. But I made the decision to go back part-time so I could continue being creative, and now I have the best of both worlds.
Fast forward to today and Florio Designs now offers handmade Tiaras, combs, fascinators and brooch bouquets. I’m working hard designing new collections, so keep checking back for new products.
So, here I am, wife, mum, corporate player with a creative outlet and I couldn’t be happier.
You can find me at:
Learn to make jewellery at:
(and by the way, my best friend also followed her dream, she now makes polymer clay Brides and Grooms, you can see her work here)