We had the good fortune of connecting with Flavia Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Flavia, how do you think about risk?
I truly believe you have to take risks in order to get to where other people don’t go. I used to always play it safe. I started to follow my mom’s footsteps and got into med school. I was in my 3rd year when I realized that it wasn’t for me. That’s when I started taking risks. I quit med school and moved to the US to learn metalworking, a college degree that doesn’t exist in Brazil. If it wasn’t for taking risks I wouldn’t have met my husband and had my kids, and I’d be creating some pretty noses and lips instead of jewelry! I feel that taking risks takes practice and it’s a constant exercise of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But without it though, the creativity and innovation wouldn’t exist and I would be just another jewelry designer.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I design architectural minimalist jewelry mostly out of sterling silver. I base most of my designs on buildings and bridges around the world. I study architects and their work to inspire me on my designs and I create every piece by hand myself. I was born in Brazil and I was raised to think that there were limited options of “good” careers. I studied hard and got into med school, but realized it wasn’t for me in my 3rd year. That’s when I moved to the US to go to ASU. Brazilian Art schools didn’t offer the different types concentrations that American schools do. This move allowed me to go to a school that taught me a vast array of metal smithing techniques that I wouldn’t have learned had I stayed in Brazil. It wasn’t easy to move here by myself and against my family wishes. It took time to overcome the cultural shock, but embracing being different and the “international student” helped shape how I viewed myself and my art. Meeting my husband also helped me feel more at home. Figuring out how to pay for school wasn’t easy either as not many scholarships are available for international students. I had to start at a community college to keep costs down and I was a nanny was pretty awesome as it was flexible enough for my school hours. All this taught me to to work hard for I really wanted and never give up on it.
My brand reflect my life a bit. I design for strong women that work hard for what they want, for women that look at life as a challenge to be conquered, for women that are not afraid to be different and stand out from the crowd.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start the day with a hike. Spur Cross is a nice hike in Cave Creek that shows that the desert is more than just cacti. It is beautiful when the wash is running after the rain. Afterwards I would stop for some coffee at Local Jonny’s in Cave Creek.
In the afternoon I would visit the Heard Museum and later head to the Raven’s View wine bar to enjoy the sunset with amazing food wine, and jaw dropping mountain views.
The other days I would follow with more hiking. I enjoy Camelback and Pinnacle Peak which shows the city and desert views.
I would do some shopping around 7th street, Camelback corridor, and Arcadia. I love stores like Phoenix General, Local Nomad, and UrbAna and the amazing restaurants around that area.
I could not leave out visits to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and the MIM. They have great stores as well. Local art shows like Tempe Festival of the Arts, Scottsdale Arts Festival and Fountain Festival in Fountain Hills are great to connect and support local artists.
One of my favorite things to do on Thursdays is to enjoy all the amazing galleries during the the Scottsdale Art Walk followed by dinner at Malee’s on Main.
Of course I would spend a good amount of time at Taliesin West including their Sunsets and Sips night.
I would also do a quick day trip or one overnight stay at Arcosanti.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So much of where I am is because of others… my dad Hélio José Scaranari Filho for covering for me when I wanted to quit med school
my husband Troy Bennett for encouraging me, believing in me, and supporting me in stating my business
Becky McDonah for teaching me pretty much all I know and opening my mind to designing conceptual jewelry
Other: tiktok: @flaviabennettdesigns