Welcome to Lily Flo,
Designed and Made in London by Diana Sherling
Diana, our CEO and Founder, developed LILY FLO JEWELLERY while working as a Board Executive in Advertising and launched the brand in London in 2015.
Believing that there was a need for women to have pure gold, made in London, goldsmith crafted, fashionable fine jewellery, that was created bespoke, but without any fussiness, but was pretty, dainty and wearable for everyday, Diana launched Lily Flo in 2015, inspired by her daughter, as a celebration of being creative, entrepreneurial and the love of her family.
As an Executive, Diana knew the power of discrete, beautifully designed and hand crafted jewellery to inspire and empower women everyday. How these pieces were like their personal talismans, keeping those that they love close to them.
She felt how they were made were as important as what they were, and this is a core reason why she uses recycled gold (because it negates the social and environmental impact of mining), recycled, ethically sourced and lab grown diamonds and has replaced all toxic chemicals in the in-house studio with green and environmental ones.
She knew to build a sustainable business, she wanted to have all elements of design, production and manufacture in house. She knew she didn't want to be only a designer, but a maker that understands the design, techniques, production and finishing of traditional goldsmithing, so at 40 she went back to college in London taking courses in Contemporary Jewellery, Fine Jewellery, Gemstone Setting at the City Lit, Working Men's College, Morley College, Jewellers Academy and the Goldsmith Centre learning every skill she can... she continues to balance college with her business in order to challenge and push herself in education to continually better herself and evolve the jewellery she makes.
Each piece is handmade to order in her studio, meaning she can control all production (and speed) which negates waste, means that each piece is handmade to your order, tailored and customised completely for you (and that is why we never go on sale).
Our packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials and the retail and ecommerce partners often have a strong ethical perspective.
Diana also desired to build a brand which would support and empower women, which is the spirit behind the company's Future Foward mission
how did you become to be a designer and Jeweller?
I started to design and make in 2015, but my love of art and craft is deeply ingrained in my childhood and family. Both my grandmothers and mother were crafters, art lovers and designers, whilst the men were all entrepreneurs; I was brought up in a world of art, culture and travel, so it was always in my blood. Whilst, I studied Ancient Art and Archaeology throughout school and university and then successfully pursued a career in advertising, London’s creative arts enabled me to enjoy a very modern, technical approach to product design and its intrinsic part of today’s culture.
When I turned 40, I was travelling more with work and being on the leadership team of ad agencies was all consuming, I just questioned whether I really wanted to lead that life, certainly having 2 small children and a hubby that I never saw! My passion for painting, craft and design only increased and really made me want to lead a different life; a life where my skills were my currency and I was in charge of my own destiny. I chose jewellery from my love of ancient art and design, my mothers’ exuberant collection and I just wanted to get my hands dirty learning ancient and modern skills. I went back to college, at the City Lit and I’ve been there ever since learning more and more collection research, technical drawing, goldsmithing, gemsetting and digital jewellery skills to improve my knowledge and professionalism as a designer and maker.
What is your favourite thing about being a designer?
My favourite thing about being a designer, is actually researching and designing.
I have such a love of art, history and architecture, fashion and product design as well as music, poetry and film that I am never stumped for ideas.
I love the design process of taking a group of ideas and influences that hang together around an emotion and add to it beautiful magic for me to draw and paint, and then formulate them into pieces and a collection. There is always a positive message, core to being a beautiful woman at the heart of every collection.
Each collection has to have an emotive crux that deeply connects to my customer and my job is to make beautiful, delicate and deeply feminine pieces for her.
What would you say are your 3 main influences?
Really there are 3 core influences to how I design and the reason why I make the way I do:
Art and fashion history
I am a true geek at heart. I love learning about history and culture, particularly 20th century art, sculpture, architecture, music and haute couture...
For many years I only used my head and I was desperate to use my hands, so I have learnt to paint and like to experiment and take inspiration from other crafts to inspire my jewellery
My jewellery always has to be wearable and versatile to be enjoyed everyday, so I know and study my female muses who are at the core of how I design. My customers are my muses.
What is your favourite piece in the collection and why?
To be honest, my new pieces are usually my favourite as I've worked so hard to design and make them I am so excited about what people will think.....
But I would say my most significant piece is the Stardust Scattered Stars Necklace with diamonds. It’s a piece that before I started to make, I always wanted to have; a necklace, made of solid pure gold, with little diamonds, that sparkled round your neck to feel girly, dainty and feminine, in order to feel powerful, confidence and go-getter at work. I always believed in the power of fashion and style to give you confidence to achieve your dreams in your life and work. That was the core reason why I wanted to design - to support and help emotionally an army of women to rock the world!
Then the reality of making this and making it well has actually taken years of learning and practice. Nor many jewellers at all venture to solder on chains - its very precarious and difficult - a lot of melting goes on and its taken a lot of learnt skill… and then I create the discs using an ancient technique of granulation where you melt tiny pieces of gold into balls and then I hammer them flat and then polish each tiny piece before I solder them onto the chain. Polishing can take much longer than any of the making. Then a further 2 courses at the City Lit later, I was able to make my own mounts and set the diamonds. Due to the size and placement around the necklace chain, as well as being an ethical jeweller and not wanting to waste anything, I created my own techniques to make the mounts and then set the diamonds.
All of this, means that this necklace emotionally celebrates all the things I’ve learnt and taught myself, perseverance and commitment to my craft and future and acknowledges my achievement as its one of my very best selling pieces.