Inside Fleurette Founder Christelle Scifo's Sunny Manly Home
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to the home of floral-obsessed creative consultant Christelle Scifo.
If there’s a worse time than a pandemic-induced lockdown to move into a new home, we’d like to hear it. And yet that’s exactly what Christelle Scifo, the creative consultant and art director behind Fleurette, did over the last few months. She packed up her life into cardboard boxes and moved everything into her new digs, a combination home and studio headquarters. Full of light, with big windows and an open, airy aspect, it was the perfect space for a new beginning.
“I had a lot of work cancel during lockdown and these trying times we’re living through,” Scifo explains. “So I did the best I could to spend the time refocusing my energy and investing back into me, settling into a new space and home, and where I see my work and business.”
The effort Scifo went through, packing and unpacking both her home and her life, has been repaid in spades. “Since coming out the other side these last couple of weeks, I have had some dream jobs and opportunities come through the pipeline,” Scifo reveals. Watch this space.
The creative consultant feels completely at ease in her new home in Sydney's beachside suburb Manly, with its pared-back colour scheme perfect for displaying the objects she has brought back from overseas travels, such as her collection of designer chairs – “I’m mad for a good chair,” she says, “can never have enough, space permitting” – and her assortment of ceramic vases. She has just purchased a vintage Italian floor lamp with a pleated shade that will arrive shortly. “I’m always on the hunt for rare, unique and beautiful pieces,” Scifo says. “I now have a garage worth of space to fill with beauty and goodness.”
Scifo is currently repurposing that garage into a studio and workspace for Fleurette, painting the walls and building some custom furniture. It’s here that she’s going to work on her floral styling and artistry, as well as consulting on brands, events and spaces for select clients. This is the work that Scifo loves to do, and the bedrock of her successful business. “My objective is beauty,” she sums up, simply, “and to make and to create working with the beauty in the world around me.”
Hi Christelle! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I'm a creative consultant and art director working across disciplines with flowers being my key medium, as well as props and objects across the fields of fashion, beauty, lifestyle, set design, still life, photography, art and interiors. Styling and sourcing objects and elements for special events, private residences, weddings, and for editorial work and commercial clients. I curate pieces that I love along my travels, on request, for special projects.
Fleurette is the culmination of my multi-disciplined self, that enables me to work and create showcasing a vast range of skills and passions. It covers but not limited to; creative direction, set design, floral styling, still life, brand consulting, writing and photography. Assisting brands, events, places and people to translate their language into a unique aesthetic of their own using interiors, objects, flowers, food, scent, art and music often creating the language itself.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
Fleurette is an extension of myself and a constant evolution of myself and my practice under it.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
It was for me a very organic process of evolution, growing up a dancer with a love for fashion flowers and food. I was fortunate to have a fabulous French chef for a father and an incredibly supportive, loving mother. Being half French half Australian I had the opportunity to live and work in Paris as a dancer and in fashion through my early twenties, which all guided my path. My career is from a culmination of all that I'd experienced and all that I've done and that I love.
Shop Christelle's look with the Oatmeal Robe.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
Again, my work is organic and influenced heavily by feelings and emotion. Nature is my biggest inspiration and the subject or starting point of nearly all that I do.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your business?
The support of my family and loved ones: the belief in myself and that of others in me. For that, I am very lucky.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
Not over-committing or putting too many expectations on yourself and rolling with the punches. Being comfortable and proud of the work and effort you put in. Flower work isn't easy, it requires strength, endurance and patience. And in this line of work one needs a lot of sleep, when there isn't always enough hours in the day.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self/ someone looking to start their own business?
Stay true to you, be sure to put in the work and keep focused on your end goal. Celebrate the small stuff too, it all helps and whilst you may not see it or realise it whilst you’re in the process, everything works together to get you to where you need to be.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
Just moved in over the lockdown period.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
The light, the windows, the mantle, the garage and storage space, the location and the trees.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Not to the place itself, aside from filling it with all my treasures and slowly acquiring special furniture pieces for it. But I started work painting and building a storage system and custom workbenches for the downstairs studio and garage for Fleurette HQ.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
All the many pieces of me. I've long collected objects and memories from my travels and time living overseas firstly as part of my job as a stylist and set designer but also for myself. It's all happened quite naturally, though it’s still in the early stages and is an ongoing process.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
My vases and vintage designer and antique handbag collection and my chairs.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The bedroom/the bath and soon-to-be studio.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Ensure it reflects you, keep it clutter-free and surround yourself with objects and space and pieces that you love and that inspire you. Lighting it is also key, I use natural and balanced lamp light throughout the space where possible and dress it with flowers and candlelight to always have an ambience about my place.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I do have some very exciting personal projects and opportunities coming up. All too soon to be revealed but I am so fortunate to have built up a network and inspiring and creative people and trusting clients that I am regularly able to consult and collaborate with.
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