Fonfique is a brand founded in 2014 in Istanbul by Ceylan Kolat. Its purpose is to add color to one’s life, to make them smile. We had a chance to talk to Ceylan who is the founder and designer.
First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself and Fonfique?
Fonfique was founded in Istanbul in 2014. Actually, I have been planning to make a brand under the name ‘Fonfique’ since my university years and I knew I wanted to use my own drawings but the product range wasn’t decided on yet. After experimenting in the field of printing and textiles, I created a collection of small, leather accessories and the ongoing Fonfique adventure began.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a gift wrapper. I used to wrap everything. I still love it. It has really helped me at Fonfique.
I decided to be a fashion designer in my middle school years. I continued on this path until the third year of university. Then I realized that what I was interested in was illustrations, colors, drawings, and I headed that way.
Where did the name ‘Fonfique’ come from?
When I was born, my mother spontaneously called my Miss Fonfique. I decided to use this name since it was special for me and I thought it sounded appropriate for my brand.
We know that nature inspires you to create your designs. But how do you decide what to draw?
All patterns have a separate story. I can get inspiration from many different places. For example, the elephant pattern was inspired by my trip to India, and the Imperial styled birds were inspired by an exhibition on the emperors of China.. I try to examine all the publications and books that I can find. Also, Pinterest and some blogs can be inspiring.
What are you doing when you’re not working? What are your hobbies?
I’m watching tv series 🙂 (favorite series: Friends, Call My Agent, The Crown, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) I like emptying my head, spending time with my friends and family. I try to travel a lot.
Where do you like to travel the most?
Definitely London because I feel very peaceful and it feeds me a lot in terms of work.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I can connect with people whom I don’t know, thanks to my drawings. This is very good for me spiritually. Also, another thing that I like a lot is that I can set the time myself. This makes me more productive.
What’s your least favorite thing about your job?
The production part is the part I dislike the most. Nevertheless, I am very lucky that I work with producers who give me all kinds of support. Although it does not look like it from the outside, unfortunately for me, only 20% is a creative process. The rest is solving problems.
What would your friends say if they described you in three words?
I’m connecting to my best friend for this question:
Loving, well-informed, sweetest adviser.
What are your top three favorite places in Istanbul?
Bebek, Belgrade Forest, and Kandilli are my favorites.
Could you tell us your favorite movies?
I love Wes Anderson and Pedro Almodovar’s films.
What inspires you?
People inspire me. Their points of views on life and events, the feelings, the stories.
What is your favorite color?
Pink and Green, together if possible 🙂
What is your favorite animal?
My dog Zuzu (a white chow chow)
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this job?
I would be a baker or a florist.
When do you draw your designs?
I usually draw in the house for a few weeks and draw from morning to night. When I draw, I usually listen to Daft Punk’s album ‘Random Access Memories’. Then we make my drawings into patterns and start experimenting. In the process, there are patterns and drawings that are eliminated.
What advice would you give to your high school self?
There are many things that I would say but I will share the most important. When you reach a goal, the process you spend to reach that goal is much more valuable. I would have liked to learn that at a young age. The process is very important. Unfortunately, some of the mistakes the system has made – such as entrance examinations to universities or colleges – it difficult for me to understand that. But once the school is over I realized that people should listen more to their inner voice. They should be able to do their jobs and leave some things to time. They shouldn’t beat themselves up for what they couldn’t achieve but should be more flexible on the way to success. That’s when life opens new doors and paths for us.
What was the hardest thing about creating your own brand?
I think it was the hardest thing for me to dare to present my drawings that I shared only with my own little circle, to people I never knew.
It’s ironic that this is now what makes it special for me.
What would you like to say to teens who would, in the future, like to create their own brands, own creative companies?
Being creative or succeeding in your own field is not enough to continue your work. As I mentioned before, the creative process is a very small part of the job. It is strongly linked to the ability to communicate correctly with people, to master technical issues, and to your problem-solving ability to be able to bring a design to life. So, I advise all young entrepreneurs to get some experience in a corporate life before starting their own adventure.