5 Minutes with Freedom To Exist
Posted on September 05 2017
CultureLabel is proud to introduce our partner Freedom To Exist.
Fte is a London-based artisan watch company, creating beautiful timepieces for men and women. Each detail has been expertly designed to be functional, yet stylish, regardless of the trends. We met with fte's managing director, Paul, to find out more about the inspiration behind the brand!
Choose 3 adjectives that sum up Freedom To Exist
Minimal. Affordable. Timeless. When creating fte, we were very committed to producing the best specification watch we could, at the best price. Our watches use Swiss made Ronda movements, and italian leather straps, which are a higher specification that our competitors. We also wanted to steer away from fast fashion, we created a range of watch designs that look fresh today, and will do so in 5,10, 20+ years. We didnt want to create products that were here today and gone tomorrow, we created a family that will last.
Tell us about how you got started; What was the inspiration behind the creation of FTE?
Kirsty (my partner and Creative Director for fte) and I were out shopping one weekend when we had the idea for our business. Kirsty had her heart set on a new watch and we really struggled to find something she liked, in the style that complemented her outfit and style, at the right price, that would fit her wrist. Another customer in the shop was having the same issues and we wondered if this was the business we had been looking for. We had met while working for Habitat, and then joined MADE.COM together as two of their first employees, so we knew we could work together and we were on the lookout for the next project we could work on together, this time, a company that we would create ourselves.
Learn more about the founders of fte here.
Describe a day in your life (office)
First thing is preparing the packages for the overnight orders. We are fortunate that we have a small item, which allowed us to sell to a global audience as soon as we launched. We have regular sales in Japan, Australia and America. Kirsty and I will look at priorities for the day; fte is just the two of us and we do everything ourselves. Often we spend time liaising with stores, customers, suppliers, press and marketing, whilst also managing the various social media platforms.
Where do you take inspiration from for each design?
Kirsty is the creative force behind fte, she spends lots of time gathering images, sketching and documenting her thoughts and concepts. She is very practical, and designs move to a cardboard model phase very quickly, as she plays with form until its just right.
Are there any particular designers/artists you look up to?
We are both big fans of NENDO, we attended their exhibition at the Milan Fair this year and it was one of the highlights of the whole event. They consistently wow us with their designs, and are ahead of the game compared to everyone else.
What does the future hold for FTE?
We aim to grow our team soon, with more people we can spend more time growing the brand and increasing brand awareness. New colours and designs are in the pipeline, and we intend to keep growing organically and maintaining control of our brand and ethos.