The jewel in the crown
While we are still processing all the patent and trademarking information overload, I have been working on another part of my shoe concept… the final little twist on a unique part of my design.
When we left for Italy last June, this part of the shoe – the buckle design– was not fully resolved. The general idea was, but the exact execution wasn’t finalised. I spent every spare moment discussing with Andrew, whilst wandering the streets of Copenhagen, staying up and discussing late at night, I drew concepts on the bathroom mirror (ideas don’t just come between the hours of 9 to 5 whilst sitting at a desk!), we sketched on napkins whilst eating gelato in Italy… looked for inspiration in retail heaven on Orchard Rd Singapore… we threw all sorts of ideas out there. “There’s no such thing as a bad idea”, so they say.
When we returned home, we met with an industrial designer to work through all of the key requirements, writing down an extensive list of the characteristics it must have (distinctive, elegant, easy to use, etc). We spent two hours thinking outside the box by looking at other types of objects I hadn’t yet considered. But the funny thing was after all that time, we came back to the sketch we’d drawn on the back of my plane ticket on the flight home. So it was that after two hours of discussion, and the to-ing and fro-ing about the pros and cons of other approaches, the industrial designer looked at that sketch said ‘why don’t you just flip it around?’ It was like a real-life ‘Mr Squiggle’ moment! I guess sometimes you just need to look at something from a completely different perspective to see its true potential…
With a design concept that I wanted to be truly special – a really unique angle to my range – there was then a heap more time, energy, and resources required to ensure it was just perfect (like my logo that I have been working on… but don’t get me started on that!) So since that meeting with the industrial designer months ago, I have re-sketched and drawn it to scale, we’ve made a rough cardboard mockup and large scale foam mockup, had 3D models and renderings drawn up, and for the past three weeks had left it with a jeweller to cast up the first prototype in metal. Yep, you read correctly – a jeweller! (And not just any jeweller either, an amazing friend that handmade our wedding rings… so that part is pretty special to me too).
Yesterday, me and my bump took a trip back to Matt at Mirai Jewellery to collect my new prototype – and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been a journey to see it go from sketch to cardboard, to foam, and now finally to metal… something that I can actually hold in my hands!
Next steps? Testing, testing, and more testing until it’s perfect. Then to follow up on the patenting…
It’s taken me longer than I’d hoped, but I’m now one BIG step closer to sharing the finished product with you all!
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I’d love to share with you what inspires me and what I learn along the way… Join me?