Name and company: Francli Craftwear
Where do you live?: Falmouth, Cornwall
NDA : Tell me a little bit about your business and what was the impetus to startup?
Franki & Ali : We make quality equipment for outdoor makers. Inspired by the lifestyles of craftspeople who live a rural, healthy and creative life and also by vintage workwear, sportswear and military clothing with its quality and timeless functionality. We want to apply these properties to contemporary workwear for the re-surging trend of craftspeople making with their hands.
NDA :What is your biggest achievement so far?
Franki & Ali : Our biggest achievement so far was being involved in HUCK magazine's working artisans club.
We featured in both a short film and magazine article about what we do and why. It gave us some amazing support and feedback and a lot of our following success can be traced back to the exposure they gave us.
The highlight was a collective exhibition where we were given the chance to showcase our projects and collections alongside other creative businesses such as Miscellaneous Adventures, Satta skates and Neon Wetsuits.
From this exhibition we have been contacted about a variety of exciting projects including appearing in a series of short for Channel 4. It was definitely a turning point for Francli.
NDA : What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Franki : We have decided to put the prices up on our products.
When you start out you don’t realise all the different factors that go into pricing a product, i.e. labour costs, overheads, mark-ups etc. Its been quite an uncomfortable process but after 2 years of refining the same product you become confident in its quality and also realise the necessity of making a profit in order to create a sustainably viable business.
Ali : Our toughest decision so far was when we had to put up the prices of our rucksacks. We don't to want to be an inaccessible brand and are always trying to keep the lowest possible retail prices. However our original calculations were naive and hardly covered our costs. We quickly realised that something needed to be done for Francli to become a sustainable business.
NDA : What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
ranki : In regards to Francli 'People should love you or hate you, but never be confused by you' -Thom Hunt.
In regards to general life : ‘Treat others how you would like to be treated.’
Ali : 'People should love you or hate you, but never be confused by you' -Thom Hunt.
Stay clear and firm about what you stand for. Some new ideas and opportunities can tempt you away from that foundation so you have to constantly check yourself and your brand values.
NDA : Many people only contemplate setting up their own business, what advice would you give to spark the catalyst?
Franki : Just do it.
Or… do like we did. Start it as a 3 month project and then just keep going. Keep in control. Keep positive. Money can cripple you so as long as you’re in control of your (business and personal) money then you will be fine. Keep having fun.
Ali : Planning and preparation are important but you can't predict the future. Sometimes you just have to throw yourself into it and work it out as you go. You can't prepare for everything but you can react quickly, it's better to start and constantly improve than not start at all.
NDA : What do you do to stay active and how has it changed your life?
Franki : I love just being outdoors. Long walks, Swimming (in the pool and sea), running (sometimes). If I don’t get outdoors and exercise enough it really has an affect on my mood and my work.
Ali : I find the best way to be active is to do what's fun! I like being outside so I mainly cycle, run and sea swim. I'm also quite competitive and like to achieve new things, last year I trained for the Falmouth triathlon and this year I ran the half marathon.
It's taught me that it's hard to complete things with self pity, you'll achieve so much more when you're enjoying it. Sometimes that means looking for how you can enjoy it with a positive attitude! Long-distance challenges aren't just about fitness, it's the mental training too.
NDA : Do you have any favourite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy everyday?
Franki : Get up early. Achieve two things a day. Eat healthily but treat yourself occasionally. Laugh with friends.
Ali : Always make a conscious effort to look for the positive and what you're grateful for. Be patient and don't throw in the towel when you don't get it right the first time.
NDA : Do you consider yourself a ‘healthy eater’ and are there habits you wish you could kick?
Franki : I would regard myself as a healthy eater. I’m very aware of what i’m eating but I also don’t fully restrict myself.
I wish I could be more organised with my lunches at the studio and pre-plan for the week - It means I often grab and go.
I would like to be more balanced with my food - ie, eat more protein, balance my carbohydrate intake. You realise more and more when you grow up that food is fuel and it can have a huge impact on efficiency at work and your mood.
Ali : I consider myself a healthy eater but I'm not particularly strict. I love food that tastes and feels fresh so luckily I'm drawn to healthier foods anyway. I don't have any portion control and I'm never full, I wish I could say no more! My way of dealing with my bottomless stomach is not to try and restrict it (that just makes me teasy) but to exercise as much as I can and avoid too much sugar or processed foods. This way I can eat as much as I want without any guilt.
My weaknesses are crisps and coffee.
NDA : What is your typical…
- Breakfast : Marmite on toast OR yoghurt with blueberries and almonds
- Lunch : Oatcakes, hummus, salad / A vegetable wrap / soup
- Dinner : It varies a lot, depending if i’m waitressing at my part time job but if i had the time to cook I love fish / Mediterranean style food.
Breakfast : Large bowl of porridge with seeds, nuts, prunes, banana and peanut butter.
- Lunch : ranges from tuna salad/veg and rice/soup/turkey roll
- Snack: pickles!!
- My favourite dinner is - Brinner (breakfast/dinner): brown toast with marmite and avacado, topped with mushrooms, tomatoes and two poached eggs. Loads of pepper and sometimes chopped almonds.
NDA : Lastly, how lucky are you, and why?
Franki : I feel incredibly lucky.
Sometimes this gets clouded by stressful situations of running a start-up but you only have to walk 10 minutes down the road and see the sea before you can feel grateful again.
I feel lucky and thankful everyday for the support of my family and friends.
Ali : I'm so lucky I feel guilty about it!
Obviously running a start up is full of stress and financial insecurity but so many other things make up for it.
Living in Cornwall means I get to see the sea everyday and always feel like I'm on holiday.
I have a loving and supportive family, amazing friends and an understanding boyfriend - all of which keep me constantly laughing!
My work means I get to make with my hands at a beautiful farm, surrounded by super inspiring, creative people.