Read the compelling story of how ACID Member The Crafty Lass® has put IP at the heart of their business strategy and how they have made full use of their ACID Membership Benefits to support their business!
When and why did you first start creating your products/designs?
The Crafty Lass® began in 2015 as a craft workshop and creative commissions company. However, I have been designing and being ‘arty’ for as long as I can remember! Based in Lower Boddington, Northamptonshire, we primarily focus on encouraging adults to try something new, meet new people, drink tea and make something unique and beautiful at the same time! Our workshops are intended to be therapeutic, not ‘difficult’ or ‘exclusive’ just some crafty time out from our busy modern day lives.
In addition to teaching, we also make commissions for events such as weddings, parties and for businesses and gifts. We sell a bright and graphic design led ‘The Crafty Lass®’ greeting cards range and have recently dipped our toes in the water for new product designs including an MDF Christmas range, for table and tree decorations, and a craft Advent calendar – The Crafty Lass ADVENTure!
I started the business when I simply quit my 9-5! Bored of office politics and being tied down to non-flexible working hours – and with a desire to work for myself, I launched the business initially holding ‘mobile’ craft workshops. Now we have a dedicated craft studio in the glorious Northamptonshire countryside.
Did you have any knowledge of intellectual property (IP) when you started your business?
I knew how important copyright protection was, and it something I was aware of throughout my Printed Textile Design BA (Hons) degree, which I studied at Loughborough University. Unfortunately, ‘copying’ can be rife in the industry with a constant desire for the latest look and trends to be included in a range. This often leads to things being replicated… but I have always morally thought just how ‘wrong’ it is to copy a design. What is the point? Good design stems from uniqueness and individuality – not stealing something that isn’t yours. I hadn’t heard of ACID whilst at University – but I noticed more and more the ‘ACID’ logos popping up on stalls at fairs and in shops. It stood out as something I should look in to should I go into any sort of business requiring design protection.
Which ACID Membership services have you used and how have you benefited from being a Member?
Being honest, I need to use the ACID Marketplace and the services much more than I do! It is a fantastic initiative and I need to schedule time in my diary to make everything as up to date as possible. I renew my membership every year, and I feel safe knowing that I have submitted designs to effectively ‘date stamp’ them, should they ever be required/called in to question at any stage!
Have you brought anything new to the marketplace recently that you would like to share?
Our recent Christmas range is something that was very exciting to launch – but looking forwards to 2019 there are lots more craft workshops and some wedding commissions have already been booked in and a few other exciting crafty plans! It will be a ‘watch this space’ for new The Crafty Lass® launches and designs however I am also excitedly planning for maternity leave as we expect our 2nd child in June 2019.
What is the best aspect of ACID Membership for your business?
I like having my certificate and member of ACID logo to use if I am at any public event, and for use on my website. It is a strong statement and a deterrent for anyone considering using any aspect of our designs.
What advice would you offer to a new designer?
To just simply ensure you keep a record of everything involved in the creation of your designs! Keep on top of adding things to the ACID IP Databank.
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?
It is very difficult for SMEs to take legal action because of the time and costs involved. I would like to see simpler design laws and access to justice made more accessible to micro and small businesses. Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of the creative industries and those who possess these skills need to ensure that their IP is not eroded by copying. The Government must encourage an ethos of respect for IP and support this with a much more robust enforcement system against those who steal. IP theft should be treated just as seriously as the theft of other valuables.
You can read more about The Crafty Lass® here.