Flora + Form x Two Fold: An Interview with Danielle Romero
 Photo taken by  The Mango Market

Photo taken by The Mango Market

Today is the official launch day for a new collaboration between artist Danielle Romero of Flora + Form and Morgan Wagstaff (that's me!) of Two Fold Clothing. Danielle and I have been insta-friends since a little after I launched Two Fold and I have been a big fan of Danielle's work for years, admiring it from afar. More than just her work, I've always been intrigued by her sense of self and individuality. Her humble nature comes across in her demeanor and how she portrays herself and her work on social media. 

I have such admiration for other mediums of art. Personally, I am not a great painter or sketch artist. While my strong-suits don't lie in certain mediums, I have dabbled in quite a few other forms of creating and know the time, effort and skill it takes to create a minimal painting, simple white ceramic piece, etc. Danielle's refined aesthetic speaks to her ability to pair down and hone in on only the necessities while keeping her abstract, subtle form, color and texture.

I always find it so interesting to learn more about an artist's process and lifestyle, so I caught up with Danielle and asked her a few questions.

 Photo taken by  Danielle

Photo taken by Danielle

In your own words, tell us what it is you do.

I like to say that what I do is simply create. Many like to label me an artist (and I have given myself this label many times as well) but for some reason I haven't yet become fully comfortable with that designation haha.

Where are you from and how does that play into who you are today and the art you create?

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Miami, Florida. My parents, and more so my dad, constantly had my brother and I outdoors, exploring in nature, so I believe that is where I get that love and fascination for our natural world from.

What does beauty look like to you?

It's difficult to say exactly; I find so many things beautiful, and beauty in so many things. I honestly think there is beauty in every single facet of life, one just has to perceive it as so.

 What are three things that are inspiring you right now?

Trees, although they always inspire me so I don't know if that counts; perhaps more specifically the phase trees in my area are in at the moment. Almost all of them are blooming with flowers and seeds. Birds are also really inspiring me right now. I have been making it a practice to listen intently to them every morning on my walks. I'd say the third thing very much inspiring me at the moment is ancient architecture. Architecture in general inspires me greatly in that I am fascinated by the ways humans separate themselves from nature in the form of shelters and in the modern age, cities. I am equally intrigued by how architecture has the ability to be used to create a shelter (separation) from nature, while at the same time connecting to it through specific design elements.   

 Photo taken by  The Mango Market

Photo taken by The Mango Market

Do you have a morning ritual?

I definitely go through phases of rituals, but for the past few months I have been going on daily walks in the morning. I love this and would like to continue this ritual for as long as I can. 

Who or what are you listening to right now?

Lately, I have been glued to Oprah's Super Soul Conversations. Also the band Khruangbin.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?

I actually have quite a few ideal Sundays, but the simplest and most common I actually achieve is - a morning walk followed by coffee (decaf). Then spending some time in my garden/yard just observing, a quick hour or two of painting or creating after that. Making a nice lunch and then putting on my swimsuit and laying out on the grass to get a bit of sun mid afternoon. If it is cool enough out, which currently it is definitely not, one of my absolute favorite things is to make a campfire in the early evening. My boyfriend and I will have a cocktail or two by the fire before making dinner and then go back to the fire after eating. Finally, I love to end the night with a good movie. 

Do you have a favorite film or group of films? What is it you love so much about that film(s)?

While I don't really have a favorite film because I just love too many, one film I can honestly watch anytime is The Big Lebowski. I don't know exactly what I love so much about it, perhaps just the energy of the film. I find it quite funny, and easy to watch...

Explain the creative process behind a new collection/design. Where do you start?

I typically always begin with a theme or overall direction. From there I go into sketching and color palettes; although sometimes a color palette is the theme I begin with. I feel I need a lot of time to sit and almost observe the theme during this time. Then when I feel a particular sketch or two is ready, or if the deadline is fast approaching haha, I jump into the final work. 

 Photo taken by  The Mango Market

Photo taken by The Mango Market

What was your inspiration behind the "bloom" design you created for this project?

I was inspired by the femininity of spring and summer; mainly the way so many flowers in my area were blooming and waking up to a new growth in the next phase of their life. wanted that to translate into the print and ultimately into the person who wears it.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? 

Don't worry so much.

What is one thing you think the world needs more of?

Personal internal reflection and growth. Hopefully this will lead people to having more empathy which I think is another thing the world really needs more of. 

Is there anyone (any type of artist) that their work has always inspired you?

I know she is a popular choice, but Georgia O'Keefe really inspires me. Although not as much for her actual body of work, but more so her life and lifestyle. I have very reclusive tendencies and I feel a big need to be alone often. I love the idea of living at Georgia's Ghost Ranch in the middle of that breathtaking landscape, exploring in nature daily and creating as a result of that environment.

 Photo taken by  The Mango Market

Photo taken by The Mango Market

What do you think of success? Do you think you've achieved it?

My definition of success has changed many times over my life. Currently, I would say that success for me would be achieving a somewhat specific lifestyle I am envisioning. With that said, I am also becoming conscious to the idea that true success is achieving internal peace and contentment despite the lifestyle, environment, or situation I am in. And no, while I believe I am making good progress, I have not achieved neither the lifestyle I envision nor the internal peace haha. 

What drives you to keep going?

I've attempted to define this myself, but I cannot. My drive to keep going comes from a place within that I have not yet become very familiar with. I am working on tuning in to that place, but it is a bit difficult for me. All I know for sure is that it is there, in the depths of my being.

In tough times (politically, personally, etc.) a lot of artists run to their art to express themselves. Do you find yourself doing the same? What is most therapeutic for you?

When I go through anything emotionally difficult I immediately turn to nature. I find myself needing to be alone and specifically outdoors more often than usual during these times in order to think clearly, reflect, and simply cope. This results in more creation for me though as inspiration is almost always ignited through my time spent in nature. 

What is happiness to you?

I don't feel I can actually answer this question yet. I am learning that for me personally, like success, the truth about happiness lies deep within myself in a place of origin. I have visited this place extremely briefly through different moments in my life; the longest time spent, and strongest felt moments have been when I am completely mentally and spiritually immersed in nature. Those moments have produced extreme and other worldly feelings of ecstasy. These short moments are the only times I can say I've been absolutely happy.   

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 Photo of Danielle with a piece of her work (taken from  Instagram )

Photo of Danielle with a piece of her work (taken from Instagram)

Mo
What's the Hold Up?
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Hey, friends.

I haven't been as present as I'd like to be these past few months. I find myself pulling away from social media and computer work when things are as crazy as they are right now out of sheer necessity. We've had more orders than ever before, so all of my time and energy has been spent on production. While having the influx of orders has been a true blessing, and I can't thank you all enough for your support, there have been a few hiccups and growing pains along the way.

Because TF is only just over one year old, I don't have a lot of past experience to base projections off of for upcoming launches. In preparation for the busy summer and the projects we had coming, I brought on two amazing interns. The plan was to have these incredible ladies help with things other than the actual sewing (like cutting, packaging, etc.), so I could spend my time at the machine. While they have been the biggest help, and I couldn't make it through the summer without them, we have had to take some time to train and teach them how I do things.

Up until this point I have done everything myself – a true one-woman show. I am very particular about how each garment is cut out, constructed, and packaged and can be quite meticulous to ensure the highest quality of each piece I send out. It has been quite a change to go from doing everything myself to having someone else take on some steps of the process and teaching them how I do things. Because of that, we've been taking a little longer to get orders out the door. Being that I am still the only one sewing every garment, we've had to extend our lead time to four weeks (much longer than I'd like). The past few seasons, while they have been successful, did not prepare me for the influx of business we have received this season. I am blown away by your response to this collection. It has been amazing to see our following grow and connect with more amazing women.

Additionally, we've hit a few snags when reordering fabrics. We were recently a part of The Garment Travel Pop-Up. For the pop-up, we wanted to offer the army green and an exclusive black colorway that would only be available during the duration of the pop-up. When I went to order these colors in the linen I was currently using, I was informed that those two colors were sold out and would not be available for another two months. We were really set on offering these two colors, so I went back and forth with the mill to find an alternate linen we were happy with. I'm so glad we were able to find a solution because you all are loving these colors.

In preparation for this pop-up, I enlisted some help from a small factory in South Carolina to sew about a third of the orders. I knew there was no way I would be able to sew the projected amount of orders within the four week lead time on my own and didn't want to extend that timeline any further. My ultimate goal is to keep everything under one roof, but at this stage, I am just not able to hire long-term help and sustain. They are working as quickly as they can, but they have been a bit overloaded as well and are taking a little longer than planned to get the pieces made and sent to me. I received the first wave of pieces and shipped them out this morning. The next shipment should be coming in sometime next week, and those pieces will be shipped as soon as they come in.

I want nothing more than to be transparent and honest about where we are, what we're up to, and what you can expect. While the last couple of months have been a whirlwind and we've had a bit of growing pains, we want to grow gracefully and responsibly. It is quite an oxymoron, but with growth comes some of the greatest challenges. Growing pains are inevitable and are to be expected, so I can't thank you enough for your continued support and patience as we work through these long lead times and  bumps in the road.

I do hate that you're intentionally-purchased pieces are taking longer than planned to get to you. I never want to have to say things are taking longer, but it's where we are. I'm trying to embrace the process. It's humbling to learn and share with you all that I'm not a machine and I'm only human. There will be bumps in the road. Just know we are working diligently behind the scenes to get your pieces made and sent out. I would rather spend the extra time ensuring your pieces are made to the highest quality, than rush through them just to get them out on time.

I can't thank you all enough for your support of this little brand I've created. It still baffles me seeing something I've created become loved and cherished by someone else. You all make my heart sing, and please know I am working my butt off to get your orders to you!

xo,

Morgan

Mo
Two Fold Takes a Holiday pt 2
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I so enjoyed getting the opportunity to spend a day with a few of my favorite people around. Abi is one of the kindest souls around and has an innocent, yet grounded sense about her that is simply infectious. Her personal style is one even I am envious of, putting together looks that are out of the ordinary, but work so well - the perfect muse for this editorial. This shoot wasn't just inspired by the activities we partake in during the colder seasons, but also the magical air that surrounds us during the holidays. Abi paired some of her favorite pieces together that work so well for any holiday gathering or outing. 

 

Photography - The Mango Market

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Shop the looks ::

  1. The Frida top - size small / The Joni pant in black tencel - size small
  2. The Lois coat - size small / The Calla dress in black tencel - size small / Frances scarf / J Hannah Balance necklace / Thrifted heels (similar) / Claire V Alice bag

Mo
Two Fold Takes a Holiday pt 1
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It's finally that time of year.

That time when everything smells of cinnamon and rosemary. When there's a chill in the air and the sunshine is taken over with snow clouds ready to burst. When there's a feeling of joy and magic in the air. Glistening lights shimmer down every street and wreaths and ornamented trees decorate every home and storefront. 

The holidays are truly one of the most joyous times of year. Sitting in front of a fire place snuggled with loved ones. Running into a cafe for a cappuccino to sip while reading a favorite book. Seeing a film or art exhibit to escape the frigid weather. We had a dear friend style a few TF pieces and visited a neighboring city for a little getaway. 

Photography - The Mango Market

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Shop the looks ::

  1. The Reese dress - size small / Lorena coat - size medium
  2.  The Joni Pant in black tencel - size small / thrifted mock neck top (similar) / Lorena coat - size medium
Mo
Give Thanks
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Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday.

This weekend, as we all know, is the biggest spending weekend of the year. We watch as brands and stores offer deep discounts and slash prices and we hurriedly buy gifts for everyone on our lists. This "tradition" instils a mindless consumption mentality that Two Fold is just not about. 

Two Fold stands for more than buying just to buy. The pieces we make are meant to be worn for years to come and fill a void in one's wardrobe. The women wearing these pieces are buying these pieces intentionally with lots of thought behind their purchases.

But because you all have been so supportive this first year, I want to show my gratitude. I can not thank you all enough for your support and love. So here's what we've decided. Just as we have been doing all year, we will continue to send a portion of every sale to a community of women weavers in Karogoto, Kenya. With your purchases we are able to provide them with continuous income to help with the costs of their small business through 410Bridge

Beyond that, we are offering free shipping on all orders this weekend Thursday Nov. 23 through Monday Nov. 27. Use code: GIVETHANKS at checkout. 

This time of year we are reminded to look at our lives and see the good and give thanks. You are the good. You're support is so appreciated and I can't thank you enough for joining me on this journey and shopping ethically. 

Mo