London based contemporary accessories brand Florian was founded in 2013 by Tola Adeagbo. The handbags are designed with the modern woman in mind and aim to celebrate women all around the world. As well as being an entrepreneur, Tola is also a devoted mother. Here, she talks to Cohorted Cult about her biggest struggles as a female boss and why she is such a huge advocate for female empowerment.
Florian is a Ladies accessories brand birthed in 2013 after I was made redundant in my 9-5 job.
Celebrating and championing the women who wear Florian is at the core of the brand, we pride ourselves in creating high quality, aesthetically pleasing handbags at an attainable price point.
Florian London is all about community, we deeply care about the women who invest in our brand, we highlight them in our phenomenal women interview series, support them with our exceptional customer service, sophisticate them with our unique designs.
Florian London was created at a pivotal point in my life, I just became a mother for the first time and I was made redundant at the same time. I struggled to find a flexible job in the financial sector, whilst at home I started deconstructing vintage bags and selling them to friends and family, it gave me so much joy seeing them in my designs. My partner suggested creating my own brand, with my principal values at the centre of it – creating beautiful designs whilst simultaneously empowering women.
I wake up at 6.30a.m, I meditate for 15mins before I jump out of bed, then I get the kids ready for school, next stop – I go to the gym for an hour minimum.
Then Florian London gets my full attention – this role differs from day to day, mostly I am at the showroom working with my team, answering emails, liaising with our artisan, planning shoots etc. In the evening I switch off and spend quality time with my children, once they are in bed, I usually pick up my laptop again and work till 10pm.
It is important to recognise your strengths and weaknesses. It is also crucial that you are focused on something you are passionate about. Make sure you understand your target customers and existing market. Most importantly get a mentor and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I think the worst for me has to be the plastic handbag trend and the best bag trend is the mini bag trend. I love love a mini bag.
In five years time we want to become a household British accessories brand, we also want to have a strong presence in the metaverse. We are currently working on an exciting project in the metaverse.
I think for me, I struggled with Imposter syndrome, even as others praised me for how far Florian London has come, I put even more pressure on myself to work harder, further accomplishments did not reassure me. I overcame these thoughts and feelings by acknowledging them and bringing them to the light. I also challenged the doubts, and most importantly I stopped comparing myself to others. I realised success doesn’t require perfection, true perfection is practically impossible. I offered myself kindness and compassion instead of judgement and self-doubt.
I am one of 6 sisters and I have two daughters of my own so naturally I am all about being my sisters’ keepers and teaching my two daughters how to support and encourage each other, I truly believe for a society to thrive women must feel empowered and empowered women must support other women.
There is nothing more powerful than an outstretched hand of another woman in your direction, celebrating another woman’s triumphs or success will never take away from your shine or glory, if anything it’ll add to it and create more light. The way I see it, once we discover a way to celebrate our light, life, and purpose we will be able to rejoice those of our neighbour genuinely.
My Mother, because she taught me to fearlessly go after my dreams, I have always admired her strength and perseverance.
I am also very inspired by Oprah Winfrey, because not only did she want to accomplish her dreams, but she wanted others to achieve their goals and follow her footsteps. Despite a tough childhood, she trusted herself, she had a deep sense of purpose and went on to become an inspiration for many women like her around the world.
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