Fleur from C -et- C

Fleur is the founder of C -et- C. What originally started as a vegetable tanned leather studio has evolved into a beaded jewellery workshop and is now also a platform to celebrate work by other local craftswomen and makers. 

She is the designer and maker behind the vegetable tanned leather bags and belts and beaded earrings and necklaces for C -et- C.

She works with a small team in Somerset, creating new designs, styling the new collections and currently finding new makers to collaborate with.

Coming from a background in Textiles and the Interiors industry, Fleur started C -et- C with the dream to celebrate natural materials, craftsmanship and creating pieces that will last. 

Where are you based?

The C -et- C studio is currently based in Somerset and at the moment I travel between there and the little island of Jersey where my family are. I feel so lucky to currently have a mix of the country life and then also beach life.

Do you have a morning routine / daily ritual before arriving to your studio?

Yes! My morning routine is something I swear by. I once heard the phrase 'your mornings make your days, your days make your weeks and your weeks make your years,' ~ since then, I try and make sure my mornings are nice and flow-y before starting work.

I love to start my day with a walk and a podcast or at the very least some time in sunlight with a matcha and always some yoga. I recently started doing kundalini yoga, which just makes you feel like a different person just after half an hour. 

What does a typical day at your studio look like?

It normally starts with checking emails and getting on top of admin, ordering any supplies we may need and making sure all orders that are going out are ready for pick up. I'll check in with my lovely assistant Abi to chat about any custom requests or see if there's any extra materials we might need. 

Most recently my afternoons have been spent speaking with the new makers who are slowly coming becoming part of the C -et- C community. It's my new favourite thing to do ~ I love asking questions and finding out how they arrived at their craft, who inspires them and what a day in their studio looks like. 

How would you describe the Couper et Coudre ethos?

Couper et Coudre (C -et- C) has been focused on natural materials since day one. Sustainability has always been one of my biggest concerns and I have always been obsessed with textures, construction and love looking at the way things are put together. I would sum up the ethos as well designed pieces made from good quality materials that are built to last.

How did Couper et Coudre begin?

I lived in Melbourne in my early twenties and was so inspired by all the independent brands over making beautiful, sustainable creations. Everyone seemed to be doing what they loved and it created such a fun and inspiring city to live in. I think this was the catalyst to wanting to start my own business when I returned to the UK.

C -et- C originally started as a bag and accessories shop ( I am such a bag lady at heart). I worked with canvas a lot before slowly moving to leatherwork and most recently beaded jewellery. It's always been the texture of a material that pulls me to it.

Did you study design or are you self taught and naturally fall into this work?

I studied my BA in Textile design at Saint Martins and when living in Melbourne did a pattern-making course at the RMIT. After university I worked in the interiors industry for a while before deciding to start something of my own, as I realised that working with my hands was where I got most of my satisfaction. 

How does your process work from idea to finished accessory?

I know it's said a lot, but my favourite designs come from play, or when I'm out on a walk or during yoga or meditation ~ in that relaxed state of mind. The Arlo bag came from a day of moving materials around and thinking about a yurt I had stayed in the previous summer.

Ideas for new materials stem from personal obsessions ~ I think the bead fascination came from spending time in my uncles crystal shop when I was a child and his love of precious stones and then, more recently trips to Glastonbury to visit all the crystal shops in the high street.

What do you like to listen to or watch while you work?

I love podcasts and audiobooks. Diary of a CEO, Benshen talks S.H.I.T, Andrew Huberman Lab are some of my top listens. Due to some autoimmune issues over the last few years I have become really fascinated by gut health and fermented foods, so anything about the microbiome and healing foods gets listened to as well. During busy periods or when we have to get a big wholesale order made, Abi and I will put on a surf documentary to work to, or play the Harry Potter's back to back. 

Who/what inspires you?

Ilse Crawford has been someone I admire for years. I love the amount of  thought that goes into her work, how she puts humans at the front of her designs and looks to ignite all five senses with her interior spaces. 

How do you overcome creative lulls?

I normally find that I have too many ideas and not enough time but if a lull hits I make sure to take time away from creative projects to 'fill the cup back up'. 

I did The Artist's Way last year and believe that book is a little bit magic ~ so many changes came from doing the 12 week program and I love to dip back into it to re-read the essays. Julia Cameron (the author) writes about 'artist's dates' and the power of taking yourself out once a week to do something you love. As creatives we are constantly putting work out, that it is important that we replenish our 'artistic well' every so often.

Do you have other designs in the pipeline?

Always a few up in the air ~ I have a couple in my head that I need to get made so I can make space for other things. Right now, my time is focused on meeting the new makers / seeing who is the right fit and getting them uploaded to the website but once that is running smoothly I will get back to designing and creating new pieces.

What dream would you still like to fulfil?

Since becoming fascinated with nutrition and gut health I have really got into fermentation and cooking. I started a little instagram page (@fleurmentation) and website for recipes and recently launched a substack too. I think what I would really like to do in the future is teach some fermentation classes to share the health benefits with everyone or even host a supper club with fermented dishes for people to try. I love cooking for people and having friends and family try all the new flavours and ingredients I've been experimenting with.

What does a typical weekend look like?

At the moment, it normally involves a beach walk, a trip to the local cafe, a yoga class and a surf if it's good weather. And always some cooking and fermenting in the kitchen <3

What are you reading at the moment?

I just started The Creative Act by Rick Rubin ~ I was hearing about everywhere until I finally got the message and ordered myself a copy the other week.

Do you have any tips you'd like to share with other artists?

Consistency and doing the things you're scared to do. Some days things go wrong or I'll get nervous about launching a new design or project. But once you figure out the solution or hit the 'post' button on social media or an email the ball gets rolling and it becomes easier to keep it going.

What I've learnt recently since starting my little side project @fleurmentation is things are always scary at first ~ it's consistently doing the thing that makes it easier ~ like learning to drive, after a while it just becomes natural.

Find our curated collection of beaded jewellery here and belts here.