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A Flamboyance of Flamingos

I feel I cannot have a website called Shopblueflamingo.com without paying homage to these wonderful birds and explaining where the name ‘blue flamingo’ came from!

Firstly, why flamingos and what does that have to do with fashion?  I was drawn to these stunning birds when I first visited Flamingo Land in Yorkshire as a child.  I remember being totally mesmerised by them.  They just didn’t seem real.  It was as if they were meant to be in a children’s book as a fun loving character, but no, here they were, right in front of me elegantly, nonchalantly doing what flamingos do.  So what do flamingos do?  Well here are some facts:

 

  • They are gregarious birds, preferring and thriving better in larger flocks.
  • Flamingos are wading birds but are genetically close to grebes.
  • The word flamingo comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco”, meaning fire, a reference to the birds brightly coloured feathers.
  • The Pink flamingo (there are also grey and paler versions) gets it’s colour from the food it eats: shrimp, algae and insects. The shrimp contain carotenoids which give the pink flamingos their beautiful colour.
  • To eat they tun their bills upside down in shallow waters and scoop the food up, filtering out the water.
  • They are monogamous and lay only one egg per year.
  • They are often seen standing on one leg with the other tucked into it’s plumage to keep it warm.
  • When it appears that the flamingo is bending it’s knee, this is actually it’s ankle.
  • In the wild they live up to 20 – 30 years, in captivity 50 years or longer.
  • It is acceptable to call a flock of flamingos a flamboyance of flamingos – How cool is that?!!

So, I think you may be starting to get the picture of why at least I chose flamingos as part of the name for my shop.  Their gregarious nature and flamboyance totally emulates what shopblueflamingo is all about, wearing unique, not on the high street, accessory designs on luxurious silk and cashmere – so you feel like the special person you are.   However, I hear you ask? Why blue?

Ok, so blue is my favourite colour but that isn’t reason enough to just throw it into the name of my shop!   In my vivid imagination (some may say weird, but that’s okay, weird is good, it’s extraordinary!!), I imagined a flamboyance of pink flamingos and one of them felt different.  He/she wanted to stand out from the crowd and be ‘blue’.  Blue, just happens to be – yes, my favourite colour – the colour I first painted with in the late 90’s, living in Portugal and embarking on an Azulejos tile painting course (see previous blog for more info).  

So, back to the blue flamingo.

He/she is strutting his/her stuff in the flock and certainly gets noticed.  The meaning behind this is that, oftentimes in life, we try to “fit in” with the crowd even when inside we feel “different”.  Our personalities and passions can often be hidden away as we fear being labelled “weird.”  How do you feel about this?  Do you conform to be accepted?

I was always creative, but it was the easier option, for a while, to conform and “fit in”. So, I hid my passion away for years.  The problem with that is you can only keep it up for so long because it is soul destroying, suppressing that creative energy.  Eventually, my true colour burst out and I started a business in ceramic painting.

I loved it, I felt like me.  My passion was finally out there.  Today, that business is no longer (more info on my website) but I have found my path into the world of using my creative skills to design on ladies pure silk scarves and pocket squares (oh and more recently ties) for men.  It has combined my love of art, design, fashion and entrepreneurial skills in a way I could never have dreamed of when I first picked up the paint brush to do my first design, in cobalt blue powder paint on a bisque ceramic tile all those years ago.

Well my friends, I hope you now understand the meaning behind Shopblueflamingo!

The mantra, or catch phrase I use always is: Be bold, Be unique, Be extraordinary because just like the blue flamingo we are all bursting to show our true colours.  Is that true for you?  

Blue & Pink Flamingo silk scarf Blue Flamingo silk scarf Blue & Pink Flamingo pocket square Blue Flamingo pocket square

So, please let me know you comments on this blog in the comments box below.