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The 2 in 1 of Rust and May

The story of the brand began to be written in Bali. Joana Dias fell in love with the aesthetic and local crafts and, with a résumé with stints in the accessories area of brands such as Eureka, Parfois and Inditex (Uterqüe), the designer finally decided to write her own chapter. Rust and May was born in late 2015 and offers a 2 in 1 to customers: clothing and home furnishings.

«I’ve always wanted the brand to have two names, in order to divide families. “Rust”, focused on home furnishings and “May” for clothing», starts to explain the founder of Rust and May to Portugal Têxtil, anticipating that the differences do not end in the name.

«”Rust” is entirely produced in Bali by skilled artisans, each piece is unique because it is done manually», reveals Joana Dias, stressing that she was «careful to ensure “fair trade work”, besides having personally visited the places where the pieces are produced». The “May” line, on its side, is «100% made in Portugal» and «it had an excellent reception from the beginning, exactly because it has its own design, quality fabrics (linen) and for being made in Portugal», she continues.

Rust and May is available on social media, with an average of 50 orders per month, and at a showroom in Oporto city, opened on June 16th. «The showroom comes exactly I felt a need for the customer to be able to feel the pieces, to see and touch them, especially in the home furnishings», explains Joana Dias on the bet in a physical space.

When asked about the distinctive features of the brand, the founder is quick to respond: «quality pieces, an original design, with an average price and a strong emphasis on natural materials», summarizing that «these are the mantras by which I guide me».

To these characters in Rust and May’s story, there’s one other aesthetic feature, which is allowing the brand to grow its clients’ base «every month». «I can say that it is a brand with a boho touch with neutral tones. Although boho is usually associated with vibrant colours», she says. «There is a great appreciation of natural raw materials, such as shells, bamboo, wood, linen and cotton», adds Joana Dias.

In “Rust”, «feather’s collars and beaded boxes are the bestsellers» and in “May” the Alexa top «wore by various national bloggers» is the best-selling product of the spring-summer collection “Bare”, available until August.

Rust and May’s “readers” are mainly «women in the age group of 25 to 35 years» and the price range is as diverse as the brand’s offer. «I have spoons made with mother of pearl costing one euro and furniture in teakwood costing 620 euros», reveals the founder on the price range, while underlining that she is «very careful when it’s time to give a price». «I do a constant market research so that there aren’t any major discrepancies and, thus, practice fair prices», she assures.

According to Joana Dias, the next chapters of the young brand launched in December 2015, involve the creation of an e-commerce portal «to expand the market», which already has orders coming from Spain, and the opening of a brick-and-mortar store, considering, however, that the showroom was, for now, «the major achievement. It’s a proof that the brand is evolving».