Close this search box.

Your Cart

No products in the basket.

From the Newsdesk

ACID Member Focus – Garter & Veil

ACID member Gemma Victoria, founder and designer at Garter & Veil discusses how she became a designer, how she uses her own inspiration to set herself apart from others and why her specialised techniques will become family heirlooms. Importantly, too, her focus on intellectual property (IP) ownership is always in her design process from idea to marketplace.

Garter & Veil design and make specialised, high-end bridal accessories and jewellery. Established in 2020, Gemma has worked tirelessly to build up her bespoke brand, creating handcrafted luxury bridal accessories and she now also has an international client base. Gemma’s passion for creativity and design is evident with her long list of skills, from embellishment, couture sewing, hand-dyeing, and pattern drawing. As a hands-on designer, Gemma allows her imagination to take the lead, finding beauty in unexpected places and imbues her designs with her enthusiasm and joy of the design process.

Gemma is a designer with artistic respect and integrity, actively choosing to not become inspired by other designers in her field. Rather than follow industry trends, she stays true to her own inspirations (often nature), what the materials needs are, and influence from clients personalities. This process allows her to be original rather than mainstream. Gemma’s unique designs are beautifully elegant and contemporary pieces, expertly crafted.

Luckily Gemma really understands the steps she needs to take as a designer to protect herself if she gets copied. Gemma uses the Member of  ACID logo as a deterrence to would-be copyists. By ensuring she has evidence of her design process through images and details lodged on the ACID IP Databank, which date and timestamp files, she is putting belt and braces protection around her designs and business. Gemma also cleverly uses the term ‘Trade Secrets’ when designing, by implementing certain techniques in the design process which make them individually hers. It enables her to have ‘secret’ abilities and materials which make it much harder to be replicated.

Gemma’s all-round knowledge of IP and how she implements it in her business strategy so early on, is because she had a visit from ACID at university. Her story is evidence that it’s so important for IP to be taught early in a designer’s career development. By arming designers initially with IP education, they can grow into responsible, protected designers who design and innovate the future.

Gemma Victoria

You clearly have a passion for designing modern and elegant bridal accessories. When and why did you first start creating your designs?

Garter & Veil officially began in 2020 from my cottage garden studio during covid. I was on the brink of redundancy so I decided to finally pursue my love of handcrafted accessories for bridal and event wear in the hope that I wouldn’t have to return to a desk job. I have always been highly creative and my skills were honed over many years after graduating with a fashion & textiles degree at Winchester School of Art. I choose to specialise in bespoke headpieces, jewellery and couture wedding veils and now each piece is designed and made onsite within my intimate and exclusive boutique located in the historical West Sussex village of Storrington.

Your bridal designs are classic, yet contemporary with a twist of wonder about them. What inspires your designs to stay ahead of the curve?

I will always look to nature to inspire my designs, the soft and organic work synonymously with the bridal world. Occasionally, I’ll find materials I really want to work with so I will design around their strengths to create something unusual. I am also often asked to create bespoke designs and for this I will seek out the personality of the wearer and draw up a piece to complement their outfit. I think it’s important to not be too influenced by trends in order to remain timeless and covetable.

Do you take any particular steps to protect your IP rights?

I mention in my product listings that I am a member of ACID and that all products are copyright of Garter & Veil. I have the ACID logo and IP statement on my website and I have also registered  lodged a number of designs in the ACID IP Databank.

I keep very concise records of my design process, timestamped imagery and notes on methods etc. so should any of my items be plagiarised, I have evidence to open a case. 

You designed a special Union Jack headband, which was worn by a presenter for the coronation of King Charles III. Did you design it especially for the occasion?

I had intentionally created the design with the coronation in mind, however ensuring that it had some durability in terms of future use. I am delighted Kinsey Schofield sourced it to wear for presenting the Coronation across various International News channels on the day. However, the headpiece can be worn for any event you wish to show your patriotism such as sporting events or parties.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your IP has been infringed upon? If yes, how did you deal with it? What was the impact?

Many hobbyists on marketplaces and social media channels do try to replicate work in my industry. It’s been happening for many years along with manufacturers who mass produce items overseas. As soon as a new trend arises there are multiple versions on a theme, but usually a lower quality version using poorly sourced materials. However, I have learnt to ensure elements of my design cannot be easily replicated and I am very conscious not to disclose my techniques or unique material sources. That way should any of my own designs be infringed upon I know they will never be to the same quality of my own work and will lack authenticity.

Did you have any knowledge of intellectual property when you started your business?

Yes, thankfully a representative from ACID visited my university whilst I was studying Fashion & Textiles and we were given very good advice before we entered the professional world. It was that visit that made me become a member of ACID decades later!

Which ACID Membership services have you used and how have you benefited from being a Member?

Using the logo and IP Statement on my website is a great deterrent. Being a member ensures I can continue to keep these active for anyone looking to be heavily ‘inspired’ by my work.

Have you brought anything new to the marketplace recently that you would like to share?

I have recently added some new embellished and embroidered headband designs to the website that have been met with great enthusiasm. Each piece is hand sewn in my studio taking many hours but they are currently one of my favorite things to make and are future heirlooms that I hope will be treasured for generations to come!

What is the best aspect of ACID Membership for your business?

Knowing the support and advice is there should I need it and having the resources to educate myself.

What advice would you offer to a new designer?

Keep records of your design process including any images and utilise the ACID IP Databank for additional back up. Be careful not to disclose too many of your methods or creative processes on social media unless you want to actively teach someone how to replicate your product. I also refuse to follow other designers in my field so that I won’t be influenced by their work subconsciously. Social media has a habit of pushing others work at you, so you must be active in seeking inspiration from unique sources. 

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 IP issues? Do you think that the copying of designs is deliberate and blatant?

When copying is deliberate and blatant it is currently difficult and costly to navigate the right way to protect your designs and brand. Steps need to be made to provide legal aid to small business owners and to make the process more transparent and accessible.

Have you signed the ACID IP Charter yet? Anyone can sign, it’s free, you get a free logo to display, and it shows you are standing up for respect, ethics, and compliance in design. By becoming an ACID IP Charter Signatory, you will play a crucial role in shaping the future of design protection. If not, you can sign here.


Garter & Veil

Spread the Word

Latest News

Newsletter Sign-Up

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

IP - Protect it or forget it!
Become “IP savvy” and part of a growing community who are anti copying in design