Meet Florence McGlynn of RENCE
Welcome to our first instalment of our Power Woman series. This series is about showcasing and celebrating women in the industry who are owning it. They are talented, they are proud, they are business-savvy and they know no boundaries.
First up is fashion creative, Florence McGlynn of RENCE. RENCE is an online platform of hand painted clothing with sustainable values. It explores the gap between art and fashion, offering unique and customised vintage clothing. We sat down with Florence to find out about her inspiration, herpersonal style and her hand-painted baby, RENCE.
What inspired you to launch RENCE? How did you get started?
I have always been fascinated with repair and making things brand new again. As a child I would find the perfect pair of shoes with the intention of keeping them forever. It got to a point where I found the perfect pair of boots in a costume box that were totally broken, I had my mum take them to the shoe repair and gift them to me 'brand new' again for Christmas. I've always been a painter & interested in working in fashion, but was never so inspired by one of these interests on its own to pursue a career in either. RENCE is not necessarily conventional, but it was a light bulb moment I could not ignore!
How did you transition from working for someone else to working on your own?
It is so common to feel a loss identity in a job as a young creative person. One of the first things people ask when they meet you is, ‘So what do you do?’ It makes you start to question yourself. What do I do from Monday to Friday 9-5 or what do I do with in my spare time that counts? Every role I’ve had has taught me relevant skills to help develop my own business, however you can’t lose sight of your own goals and values. They don’t need to fit into an existing mould- that’s the fun part.
What does your role being founder & director involve?
At the moment it means I am an artist, a sales person, a marketing director and a negotiator. Starting your own business often means wearing all the hats! I source and and paint clothing for custom jobs which often means scouring vintage stores and markets on a Saturday.
A RENCE piece helps to express your style and personality. What would you suggest to women that are trying to find their own personal style?
The first piece of advice I can give is that money can’t buy you style; all my favourite pieces of clothing I own are pre-loved. Buying second hand/vintage helps to embrace your own personal style because it is not mediated by the fast fashion industry which is so reactive to trends. Style is an embodiment of an attitude and RENCE is designed to embrace that and have fun with it.
What does your average week day look like?
Between painting and consulting with clients I am undergoing a cobbler apprenticeship at my local shoe repair. I am learning how to fix and restore mainly shoes, bags and belts but no two days are the same! I try and get to yoga every night and I am also studying small business via correspondence.
What entices you to choose a piece of clothing for a RENCE design? Are there specifics you look for?
The items I currently have for sale on my website are all pieces of my old clothing that weren’t being shown enough love anymore. I only work with second hand items that would otherwise be discarded. This is the main challenge (and the fun part) when sourcing items for custom pieces to suit my client’s brief.
Tell us your favourite design you’ve done to date!
I accidentally put a red leather skirt of mine in the wash and pretty much ruined it. I couldn't bare the thought of throwing it away, I whipped out the leather paints and stared painting roses and lady bugs over all the cracked spots. Behold! The Lady Garden Skirt! It represents the reason why I do what I do. It definitely has to be a fave.
What are three essentials you have in your bag?
At the moment, my book ‘Wardrobe Crisis’ by Clare Press
An unnecessarily large and flamboyant key chain/keys
My Keep Cup!
What can we expect from RENCE in the future?
For now, I just want to be doing lots of cool custom jobs and work on ongoing ‘stock’ collections. I have already met some amazing creatives since launching RENCE which has been really inspiring. There are definitely some collaborative projects in the works and I want to continue to get more involved and learn about all aspects of the sustainable fashion industry.
Browse and shop hand painted, vintage beauties from RENCE here.