Luckily, I have pretty friends with wonderful ideas they believe in and develop.
I have known Tânia since school. I re-met her on Facebook and I will never forget the story about us she told me, that I had forgotten about. I like her. The story and the friend.
I always say that I’m only a good friend in limit situations, until then, I’m in my corner, missing for several days … and my friends are the ones who get it.
When we got to talk again, we were in tough situations, trying to turn our lives around.
She told me she used to take care of store front windows and I saw the good taste she applies to everything she does.
She now owns Orange Mood. Do you know it?
I decided to do this interview for finding that it is worth of being known!
Tell us a bit about your history. When did handicraft become a part of your days? What kind of pieces did you make in that time?
I think that handicraft has been a part of my days for a while now. My mother bought some decoration magazines and I took copies of things I liked, kept by themes and one of them was DIY (do it yourself), which I often did. Of course, I used to love to go to craft fairs, that unfortunately at the time, there were not many … I learned several techniques of painting in glass, ceramics, canvas… I’ve been doing some things, but mostly for me and for the family.
In some Christmas, I used to make some things to sell amongst friends. Once, I painted a series of frames, sold them all and went to Paris with the money! I think it was the first time I did something in a more serious note.
Only later in time, after college — Sociology major — and some jobs that I didn’t relate to, I decided that I needed to find something that was truly a pleasure to me and I signed up for a shop window design and store decorations course. I started doing work in the area, but at one point had a lot of free time and so I bought a lot of stuff to start making bracelets. So, quietly and peacefully, I spent that summer on Sta Cruz producing the first pieces.
I gave the brand a name so that I could create a page on Facebook, created the logo and slowly it was disseminated amongst friends. There was born,
‘officially ‘, Orange Mood. In the summer of 2012. But only after almost 1 year, I went to the first market and Orange went out to the street!
When you started the fairs, was it already as O.M..?
Yes, my first one was 4 years ago last May 4th. It was in Portela, where I always lived and still did at the time. Sometime, passing in the street I would notice that there would be a fair, but as you know, I’m not the most outspoken person in the world, and still wasn’t really sure about the pieces I was making, so, that way I was left thinking about it. One day I gained courage and I went to the Parish Council in order to know if I could participate. They told me Yes, and that it was in 2 days’ time! It was so immediate that I didn’t even have the time for hesitation, and there I went! I didn’t carry a stall or a sun hat because I thought those things would be provided by the organization. They found me a stall, I suffered from the heat, but the fair went very nicely and from that point I drove away from my comfort zone into larger markets.
For me it was, without doubt, the most important step in the history of Orange.
What kind of materials do you use? Do you have some care in that choice?
From the beginning that the colourful lines are the most important matter of my work. It was on the beach that Orange started and I’ve always followed a relaxed and colourful path too. Colourful, but balanced. It’s much easier for me to create in the summer and I think, this way, I always keep a little bit of Summer all year Then, I vary materials, but yes, I am always careful in my choosing. I want the pieces to last the longest time possible. I love it when today people walk into my store, wearing necklaces and tell me that they have bought them in my first markets :)
How many collections do you launch per year? Where does the inspiration come from?
Honestly, I don’t really think about the collections. I don’t think I’m going to have to do something because it’s winter or because it’s summer. I think it comes out naturally. I’m never too long thinking that I must do something new because it’s rare to work that way. I’m more easily doing something else, an idea crosses my mind and I go experiment, or I see a piece at one of my suppliers and I imagine something. Of course, with the sun and in summer time, I feel more creative! :D Without a doubt, the beach, and everything that surrounds me with relaxed and rustic atmosphere, are sources of inspiration to me. I’m inspired by simplicity.
Do the collections have names? Based on what?
Almost all of them have names. I felt that need when I made the first Christmas catalogue. It was a way to get organized and to people identify the pieces more easily. At the time, I already had several pieces made and I’ve been battling with the naming of them for a while, it wasn’t easy.
But that is a process that doesn’t happen the same way twice. There are pieces that I immediately find a name for. Or for something concrete that inspired me to do them or because they convey me a cute name for collection. Sometimes it happens that they pass on a name, but it’s not very ‘ collection ‘ or remind me of something, but I don’t really know how to define and from these ideas, I research a little in order to find a more suitable name for the collection. In other cases, the very concept of the piece suggests a name.
Do you have a top seller?
Rise, the bracelet with the little medal. This bracelet has a different story.
I wanted a simple bracelet to wear every day, and I made one for myself on the 1st of January 2015.
And then people were always asking about the bracelet that was on my wrist, that’s when I began to sell it.
And, there you have it, in this case the name came because the piece reminds me of the sun, it also symbolizes the rise of a new year… And Rise it stayed. I added the Eddie Vedder’s music with the same name and the sentence from the movie “Into the Wild”, which I love.
It is, without a doubt, the most meaningful piece from Orange Mood.
The pieces that you produce are essentially feminine?
Yes. I always produce for women, but has it happens a lot of the pieces are so simple that they can easily be worn by men, and that’s way a sell to them a lot. Couples who buy two matching bracelets, happens a lot. But I get a lot of requests from men to make something for them. Gentlemen, the wait won’t be long.
How is it like to carry such a project like this in Portugal?
You know, I think there are a lot of possibilities to show your projects nowadays. Suddenly, a lot of markets appeared. So much good stuff being made. I met so many good projects in the markets… There’s immense talent and creativity. The important thing is to have its own identity because in the midst of so much, that’s what makes the difference and people want different things.
What differences do you notice, between fairs and your own space?
From fairs to my own space, besides the comfort of not having to assemble and disassemble the stall… the store was created with the idea of also being an atelier for my customers, in addition to seeing the pieces available at the store, they would also be able to personalize the piece of their choosing, of watching it be made in the colours they want…I’m fond of this dynamic, although some days it is quite impossible to respond to every request.
I already created many pieces in the moment, in the fairs, but in the store this concept is much wider and of course that having a settle space is always nice. It is a doorway for connections and the customers already know that they can always stop by for a last-minute birthday present for that friend!
Why LX Factory?
For me, there were only two possible places for Orange: Or in Sta Cruz or in LxFactory! In Sta Cruz it was from heart! The home of Orange. It’s great for work but movement, and customers, only happen in the summer… Lx Factory because I love the space, the concept completely turned to the arts and because it has long been my fixed place every Sunday in the Lx Market. It made sense to continue that way. So, you can find Orange Mood in LxFactory and punctually in some markets.
I know you have many foreign clients…
I’ve always had them in the markets. In the store, LxFactory is part of the Lisbon tourist rout, so, I think every day there are foreign clients and who often are the majority. I have several foreign clients that afterwards keep buying pieces from me through Facebook, others that come back and suggest the store to their friends. It’s just great.
What’s next in your plans?
Now the summer is coming, the busiest time of the year. I’m going to keep the store open and return to the markets in Sta Cruz, which I love! From 14 to 23 of July, you can visit Orange Mood in the sand of the beach in Santa Cruz Ocean Spirit — Festival Internacional de Desportos de Ondas — and every Saturday in the summer in the village centre. I also want to have some pieces of Orange in shops, mainly out of Lisbon but it is quite complicated to produce and organize everything by myself.
Fortunately, I have my sister, who gives me a hand in the markets, and that is quite a help. — Thank you, dear sis! -
Moreover, I don’t make big plans, I only try not to lose the opportunities that come by. Things have been happening quite naturally, and that has been great. I’m very proud of Orange’s path.
Are you preparing the new collection already? When does it come out?
At the end of May and beginning of June there were several new pieces released and the acceptance was great, they sold out very fast, so I figured I can continue! Meanwhile, it is natural that something new comes up to me. Like I said, I don’t think about it much.