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Factory Floor Jewels

ACID Member Focus Interview with Factory Floor Jewels, Jewellery Designer, on Intellectual Property

ACID member Factory Floor Jewels represents a fusion of tradition and modernity. Where the conventional idea of a factory floor, typically associated with manufacturing and production, is transformed into a realm of creativity and aesthetic expression. It’s where raw materials are not just processed, but meticulously crafted into exquisite pieces of jewellery that tell stories and evoke emotions.

What is fascinating most about Factory Floor Jewels is the synergy between human ingenuity and mechanical precision. Behind every jewellery design lies a symphony of skills. From the artisan’s deft hands shaping metals to the intricate machinery that aids in the creation process. It’s a harmonious collaboration between tradition-steeped craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

Moreover, Factory Floor Jewels embodies a narrative of sustainability and ethical sourcing. In an age where consumers are increasingly conscious of the origins of their purchases, Factory Floor Jewels’ jewellery stands as a beacon of responsible production practices, ensuring that beauty doesn’t come at the expense of environmental integrity or social equity.

Below we delve deeper into the world of Factory Floor Jewels, exploring their nuances, challenges, and the limitless possibilities they hold for the future of jewellery design and intellectual property.

Factory Floor Jewels Interview Based on Jewellery Design and Intellectual Property

Kate owner of ACID member Factory Floor Jewels standing next to jewellery design exhibition at Top Drawer

When and why did you first start creating your jewellery designs?

I first started designing jewellery around 2016. I had no formal training and the first thing I worked on was my artist statement and branding. I had set up a shop that sold locally made items in Liverpool, so I understood that brands with stories sold well. The Factory Floor Jewels brand story is about my Dad who was a packaging engineer. I grew up surrounded by engineering tools and used to go into the factory with him on a Saturday sometimes. When I was MD of a commercial interiors practice in the 90’s and 00’s we visited lots of furniture manufacturers and I was always more interested in the factories than the showrooms. Liverpool has such a rich history of manufacturing and engineering and there are still some really old school manufacturers going. I’m inspired by their materials, smells, sounds, and tools.

I took classes at the London Jewellery School in Hatton Garden to develop some specific skills. After trying out selling my large ‘couture’ jewellery pieces at markets, I realised for many reasons that Wholesale would be a better fit for me, but I would need to develop a specific collection for this market.

I exhibited at Pulse in 2018 and then after that Top Drawer in 2019 and January 2020.

Did you have any knowledge of intellectual property (IP) when you started your jewellery design business, Factory Floor Jewels?

My previous work in the furniture and interiors sectors meant I understood the main issues of intellectual property and also about the services and education that ACID offer.

Have you ever had any intellectual property issues or infringements? How did you deal with it? Also what was the effect on yourself and your jewellery design business?

Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with intellectual property infringements; although sadly, I’m very aware of some really bad infringements and behaviour affecting small designer makers like me, often involving much bigger companies. I believe in the collective power of communities and in collaboration and support. So I’m in a few makers groups online and good friends with some other makers including jewellers. It’s shocking how often someone I know will be dealing with an intellectual property issue.

This year, Factory Floor Jewels came back to Top Drawer after a 4-year hiatus from shows and exhibitions since the pandemic. What was it like being back? And do you feel anything has changed for jewellery design?

Yes, it was a big decision for me to come back post pandemic. Personal circumstances made it hard until recently and I also needed a lot of practical help to make it possible. I have a progressive illness called AS which affects my mobility and strength. So I needed someone to help me set up, friends to help me take breaks from the stand and then to help me pack down and travel.

From launching my wholesale jewellery design catalogue fully in 2019 up until the first lockdown I did well and built some great relationships with retailers. It’s been a tough time for bricks and mortar shops. Sadly, some of my original stockists have not survived the downturn or have had to change their business model significantly.

I was quite aware that a lot of retailers I spoke to are no longer seeing trade fairs as their only way to find new suppliers and so I was concerned about footfall. It’s definitely a big investment to exhibit at a trade fair, particularly when travel and accommodation are needed too.

Footfall was less than previously for me, however this meant more of the attendees were genuinely looking to buy and place orders. So, although it felt slow, Factory Floor Jewels did better than at previous shows.

It felt great to be back as my focus for 2024 is to increase the number of stores Factory Floor Jewels is stocked in.

The reaction from buyers really boosted my confidence and I’m glad I did it.

ACID member Factory Floor Jewels earring jewellery design

Have you brought any new jewellery designs to the marketplace recently that you would like to share?

I have a new collection called h5o which was born out of a one-off piece I created for my friends 50th birthday gift. It’s predominantly steel with some brass and includes several lariats. A necklace style that Factory Floor Jewels has become quite well known for. I launched a whole collection that builds on the original jewellery design at Top Drawer.

What is the best aspect of ACID Membership for Factory Floor Jewels?

I originally joined so that I could use the logo on my literature and website. It is important to demonstrate that you understand the issues of intellectual property and Copyright and take them seriously in your design business. I’d like to hope that it works as a deterrent for poor intellectual property behaviour in this respect.

Thankfully, this is all I have felt I’ve needed to use, although I do need to start using the Intellectual Property Databank too.

I see ACID as offering a community of like-minded designers across different fields and this collective voice can become very powerful in combatting intellectual property infringements.

What advice would you offer to a new designer, any intellectual property or jewellery design advice?

I feel like there’s a lot to learn about the business side of being a designer that predominantly isn’t taught at university or elsewhere. Taking the time to get educated about book keeping, pricing, marketing and of course intellectual property is very important. It’s worth doing at the start of the journey rather than in a crisis when something needs fixing later.

There’s lots of membership groups on social media and mentors and a host of online resources, so take advantage of them and set up some systems for your admin.

Joining ACID is a good call too as there’s a lot of intellectual property resources and education available through their membership.

ACID values the support of its members to enable it to campaign for design law reform. Do you have any messages for Government/Policy Makers on intellectual property issues?

I feel like ACID does a great job at highlighting significant intellectual property cases. However, I am sure there are hundreds more that don’t really get to make the news. It would be good to make policy makers aware of how commonplace intellelctual property infringement is. Thinking about who policy makers are is interesting too. Not just public sector and legal, but also those at the top of HE and FE institutions and examining bodies who set curriculums etc. Let’s make education about intellectual property available to more people so it becomes a talked about subject.

Factory Floor Jewels

www.factoryfloorjewels.com

Factory Floor Jewels is proud to be an ACID IP Charter Signatory so she can state she is a jewellery designer and business who believes strongly in respect, ethics, and compliance in design. Anyone can be a signatory and it is free to sign. It allows you to state you are aligned with our ethics on original design and helps us with our campaigning for intellectual property design law reform.

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