Member of the month - Mundo Flo - The Interview

Bags from the Seashore Collection by Mundo Flo
Bags from the Seashore Collection
Name: Adriana Oliveira – Mundo Flo

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm Adriana, 33. I live in the city of Leiria, in the center of Portugal, with my boyfriend and a cat. I'm quiet and shy, a nature lover and a day dreamer. I believe happiness is all about being present and noticing the simple things of daily life. 

Adriana aka Mundo Flo at her studio
Adriana at her studio

2. How and when was this creative passion born? 

I've always needed to be creative and make things, since I was a child. I have had lots of artistic hobbies in my life, played the piano and the guitar, wrote poetry, painted, knitted, sewed, photographed, etc.

3. Did you study for it or for something completely different?

No, I graduated in Biology, with a Master degree in Ecology. I never had a formal training in any of these areas, except in music. My grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet, my nanny taught me how to sew, and my father showed me how to take photos with his old Pentax, and I'm a self taught person in everything else.

Bag from the Spring 2012 Collection by Mundo Flo
Bag from the Spring 2012 Collection

4. Is this your fulltime job or do you have another job?

I like to say “not yet”, I still have to have a day job to pay my bills, but I dream on the day I will be able to do what I love for a living! I'm not working as a biologist either, but at a para-pharmacy.

5. How did this project started? 

Mundo Flo started when I was writing my master thesis and needed something to procrastinate and relax. I felt the urge to make things with my own hands again (since I had made a pause on crafts for a while), so I started making gifts for friends, instead of buying them. I also started a blog then, O tempo e o deserto, which I still keep as my personal blog. In a minute, I was selling my handmade things too!

Photo book/gadget case by Mundo Flo
Photo book/gadget case

6. What inspires you?

I'm inspired for pretty much everything around me that has some beauty and makes me smile. I'm mostly inspired by nature (love plants), natural colors and textures, light, the city, its patterns and shapes, music and cinema.

7. How do you choose your materials? And where do you find them?

I choose fabrics according to colors and textures I want to include in a collection. I gather, write and draw my ideas on a sketchbook first, and then go to local shops in search of materials that match them. Sometimes I buy them online, because there is not much variety around here (and Etsy has an important role on this part). I also use vintage materials I've been keeping for years, that were given to me or bought at the flea market.

Set of 3 photo postcards - Citizen skies by Mundo Flo
Set of 3 photo postcards - Citizen skies
8. Could you share a typical work day?

A typical work day for me for Mundo Flo also means 8h at my day job, so it's divided into several small fragments of creative work + lots of mental planning (and dreaming). I wake up at 7:30 a.m., practice some yoga and have breakfast in the company of my cat. Then I work for 1h for Mundo Flo: I use this time to sew and take photos of finished items. Then I go to work, usually late and with ideas still pumping in my head. During lunch, I do some more sewing or pack orders. Then, 5 more hours of day job work. At night, I'm often too tired to sew, so I rest on the couch and knit, draw or embroider, or go to a yoga class. At weekends, I'm always divided between doing some more work (specially those things that require more concentration or time, like starting new projects, choosing fabrics or shopping them) and life in general.

9. What is your favorite part of your work and work tool? Why? 

My favorite part is planning and designing a new collection, anything seems possible and always looks so nice in my head and on paper! But my favorite tool is my camera, because I just love taking photos. They are a big part of the process, as they are at the same time the rising of a project (the source of inspiration) and its ending (the tool for its promotion).

Taking product pictures - Mundo Flo
Taking product pictures
10. Why did you open an Etsy shop?

I can't remember the reason, it's been a long time now (7 years!). But I guess I was beginning to sell my work and saw Etsy somewhere, and it seemed such an interesting place to try my luck abroad. It still does :)

11. What do you think are the benefits of belonging to a team like the Ptteam? 

It's great to share our passion with other people from the same country, who are struggling with the same difficulties as we are, in the name of the dream of doing what we love. It's inspiring to see those who have already succeeded. And it's important to join forces for the success of small handmade projects and the change of Portuguese mentalities about consumption vs value.

Bag from the Herbarium Collection by Mundo Flo
Bag from the Herbarium Collection

12. What do you do to promote your work and shop? 

I use mainly the internet: I write about my work and sources of inspiration on a blog, Facebook page and Twitter. I also try to use accessories handmade by me, and give them to my friends. I haven't gone to craft fairs lately, because I don't have much time and, to be honest, they don't really work for me.

13. What advice would you like to share with fellow artists or crafters? 

Do something that you're passionate about. Get inspired by your own experiences and life, look around you. Be careful with details, treat your customers as friends.

14. What do you find most inspiring in the country you're from/Portugal? 

The sea! We have wonderful beaches and ocean can be a great source of inspiration (see my Seashore Collection as an example) and peace. I also love traditional ceramic tiles of Portuguese houses.

Bags from the Seashore Collection by Mundo Flo
Bags from the Seashore Collection
15. Where do you see yourself and your project in 5 years? 

I see myself doing this fulltime, enjoying every minute of it and learning new things everyday. I hope I will have a better and consolidated portfolio, my technique and equipment improved, lots of new and returning customers, and several stores around the world selling my products. But my work will still be handmade, personalized and sustainable. This is what I repeat for myself everyday :)

16. What would you take with you if your house was on fire? 

If I don't count with my boyfriend and cat, who I hope are already safe, not much actually, maybe my hard drive, where I store most of my work.

Quick fire questions. Your favorites: 

Book: Se eu morrer antes de acordar (Ana Teresa Pereira)
Movie: Amélie
Music: Alice (Tom Waits)
Artist: Freddie Mercury
Food: soup and chocolate
City: Paris
Country: I'd love to explore U.S.A.

All photos by Adriana Oliveira aka Mundo Flo.


  1. Gosto tnato do trabalho da Adriana! Adorei conhece-la um pouco melhor!

  2. It's always nice to learn a bit more about someone whose work we admire :) I hope to see you fulfill your dreams, Adriana!




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