Top Slovenia Interview: Tina Kosak

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Tina Kosak is the founder and CEO of Floios jewelry and as she likes to say the “Chief forager”. Could you tell us the story of Floios? How did you come up with the idea for your jewelry?

I went to an exhibition and saw a tiny branch casted in silver… It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and I thought. People need to wear nature. I am going to make wearable nature from the waste we are producing. And I am going to tell stories about nature and I will not touch the form of nature. Nature is perfect. This is my story.

What does Floios represent and what is the goal behind the brand? How is Floios jewelry brand different from other brands? 

We’re a conscious brand and we don’t want to cause any harm to nature or humans with our process. Our primary goal is to create a tactile but also storytelling communication channel for nature.

As Chief forager at Floios, can you walk us through what the process of making Floios jewelry is like? 

It depends, sometimes I pick something on my walk in nature or in the city … I need to tell a story about the future of a particular tree due to climate change. I take GPS coordinates of the designer plant and then make a cast and make traditionally handcrafted  jewelry in our studio.

What materials are used to make Floios jewelry? 

Recycled silver from digital waste or discarded photographic materials.

We read one of your statements, where you say “We are not designers, we are design foragers”. Could you explain what you mean by that? 

Yes … We are not! We can’t take ownership of nature’s design, we are only utilitarian designers.

Ljubljana was named “Green capital of Europe” in 2016. Could you share with us your favorite green spots in Ljubljana? Where would you take us to? 

Ljubljansko Barje it’s where I live and also a tiny piece of nature that inspires me.You know it changes so much with seasons and light. Botanical garden… such an unpretentious precious garden. I have been going there since I was a little girl.  Križevniška ulica is a tiny street that became an urban green oasis due to the local community. Walk from Špica to the city center along Ljubljanica banks with beautiful willow trees (growing living pharmacies did you know their bark was used to produce aspirin?).

Which piece of Floios jewelry does in your opinion best represent Ljubljana? Does it have a story behind it?

Ljubljana bracelets can take you on a journey through the city of Ljubljana. Mint bracelet picked at Ljubljana BARJE, dead nettle bracelet picked in front of the Modern gallery and tiny strawberry flowers picked at Rožnik.

You are committed to being environmentally conscious and responsible. Why do you think that is important? 

There will be no future for humanity if each one of us doesn’t do fair share.

Do you have any tips on how to be more environmentally responsible? 

Take a bike, use car sharing, drink tap water when in Slovenia.Think before you buy. Eat local food and appreciate nature, say hi to a tree for the first time and be kind.

Are you currently working on any projects you can share with our readers? 

Yes I am working on city bracelets that will be designed by plants growing in eu cities and green city guides with interesting locals will take us to their favourite, sometimes secret green spaces.

What is your motto in life? 

Embrace the change.