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Meet Lindsy Richards of Flora Aura in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsy Richards.

Lindsy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Back in 2012, I was in very poor health. I was exhausted to the bone from being a full-time mother and volunteer. It was a level of fatigue and fog that rendered me unable to care for my family in my accustomed way and had me sitting in doctors’ offices weekly. But no healer or doctor was able to help me because there was “nothing wrong.” After months of questioning and searching why I was feeling half alive, I surrendered. I gave into my “new normal” and had to swallow the shame of being an imperfect mother who could no longer make every meal and volunteer for every field trip or fundraiser.

During this time of dying off to my identity, (rather my identity dying off to me) I began doing something I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I began creating for no purpose or show at all, and I began taking meandering walks with no intention of it being exercise. I submerged myself in what the culture deems useless and unproductive, especially for a mom.

I became a wanderer and a forager full of curiosity. I started seeing overcrowded/overdeveloped Southern California with new eyes, discovering its wildness and offerings. I fell in love with surrounding flora so much it became my muse and inspiration. I felt a deep need to do something with it, to make things with it that would honor its brilliance that goes unnoticed by most. I needed to adorn myself in it! Forget gold and silver… give me wild daisies and vines. Nature’s jewelry. I began making crowns and eccentric headpieces combining florals with oddities like bones, horns, and crystals. Using any means possible to get things to stay in place long enough to take a photo, I managed to pull off some architectural “masterpieces” in the process. While constantly grappling with the laws of physics, I finally came up with a design that became my secret weapon. My base. And after time and lots of testing, it proved to be an invention that could actually be useful to people. It would open up the art of flower crown making to all (sans horns). It felt like I solved a riddle. No more wire, twine, or glue. Just a simple lifting of elastic cord from the leather base and sliding stems under. Wa-lah! I was encouraged by supportive friends to get a patent right away. There was nothing like it in the fast growing world of flower crowns.

Later on, with help from my sister, we found a manufacturer in LA to produce Flora Aura Crowns and Halos in quantity to bring to market. Now, I sell my product off my website floraauradesigns.com and offer wholesale to shops.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Patenting a product, manufacturing, and creating a small business has been a slow and challenging adventure, to say the least, but a very satisfying one. Every day that I set out to move my business forward, I’m presented with a new action item I have never done before, There is new material daily which can feel insurmountable, and not having employees to pass some of the work to slows my pace considerably. But when I do get through difficult tasks, I feel really good about myself.

Stay at home moms are so busy taking care of others that the world seemingly passes us by and our skill sets become dated. Then, once we are ready to re-engage the world, there is so much to catch up with. We have to wake up a part of the brain that has been dormant. But I learn as I go and contract people to come in and teach me or handle of the hard stuff.

Finding the time to get everything done with family and business can feel overwhelming. There is some guilt for not giving as much of my attention to my family as I used to. But hopefully, I’m setting an example for my kids to follow their creativity no matter how strange or selfish it may seem to others. I give them permission to reach for their authentic potential.

I would say I’m an artist first and a businesswoman by default. Nonetheless, I have to shape-shift between these two archetypes so one can support the other. Ironically they also take away from each other too. It’s this weird conundrum and symbiosis. Holding the tension of these opposites is no easy task. One that requires a new kind of discipline out of me which is fierce time management. Quite possibly my biggest obstacle.

Please tell us about Flora Aura.
I’m pleased to say that flower crown making is not just for florists and highly crafty Instagram folks anymore. Flora Aura is an original product for the people and the pros alike. It has solved the problem of tricky flower crown making, granting access to all. It’s so easy it’s funny. No more tedious wire wrapping around stems. No more hiring someone to make one for you. Purchasing flowers are not even necessary, foraging is highly encouraged. Flora Aura products are made from beautiful leather so even if the base is exposed it looks really cool. Best of all, they are made to use over and over again. And very best of all, they are made by in Los Angeles in a beautiful factory by amazing humans. There is a whole lot of value, integrity, and love packed into the product.

It brings me great joy to see what people create with these blank canvases. I have never seen two alike. Flora Aura fosters connection with nature and inspires people to create in their own authentic way. Spreading beauty and creativity is the mission here.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
My word to the wise: Never underestimate the healing power of your own creativity or the deadlines of not using it!

Pricing:

  • The Crown $55
  • The Halo $68
  • The Cuff $45

Contact Info:

  • Address: Lindsy Richards
    880 Cornish Dr
    Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Website: floraauradesigns.com
  • Phone: 858 722 9067
  • Email: info@floraauradesigns.com

Image Credit:
personal photo by Cam Richards, all other photos by Lindsy Richards

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