Let Me Introduce Myself, Part 3: The Evolution of Pattern and Fold
Part three: The evolution of Pattern and Fold.
So first things first; Pattern and Fold is not the first form my business took. I made paper wedding flowers and origami bouquets under the guise of Modified Heart Designs and when I left the film industry and was between ideas of how to evolve I gave it a simple name of GMMG Design Studio, a one size fits all sort of name, a temporary fix until I figured things out.
I’d been making and designing on a low key level while I still worked in the film industry and had taught myself a few different things in origami. On one hand people asked me to make them wedding flowers which I really enjoyed, on the other hand I really loved making more sculptural modular origami pieces with my go to being creating things from the classic sonobe unit.
This has been evolving over many years and when I wrote up my first basic business plan with The Princes Trust back in 2014 my elevator pitch was something along the lines of “bespoke origami creations made from patterned paper printed with my own unique designs”.
To be honest that hasn’t changed much; it’s just become more detailed and more focused with a few other strands added in.
When I left the film world I spent some time at home in Donegal, figuring out some aspects of my new business model. I knew when I quit the industry I wanted to be more clear about my business purpose and I knew that whatever I created and whatever form it took, that fair pricing, a fair income for myself and a way to give back and pass on my good fortune would be important elements of my plan.
After taking the time to work out the actual costs, and the time involved in making a wedding bouquet I decided the price point was too high (even to be paid at a minimum wage) to pursue it. And so instead I worked out exactly what I enjoyed about the making process and the handover, and why brides were trusting me with such a personal element of their big day. I soon realised I’d prefer to teach others and share my skills and give them the confidence to create their own bouquets, bringing them closer to creating such a personal element of their big day they could treasure forever.
So that was one big aspect worked out.
I moved back to Belfast and started working in Transport for a while until I got settled into a new routine. I chipped away at different parts of the business and began to develop my first origami kit and my first pattern designs. I felt like things were moving a little too slow on my own so I started looking for help. I found myself a studio space at Conway Mill and found inspiration and a little more drive being surrounded by so many other creatives. I enlisted the help of a business mentor that specialized in small creative businesses and it was then that I really began to see my business evolve.
While working with the mentor he asked me to create something he called “an artifact of the future”. It really helped me focus on where I saw my business in a few years time, what was really important to me and how I would achieve it. I couldn’t pull such an article together when I still had, what I felt, was a makeshift name and so Pattern and Fold was born. It defined the two biggest aspects of my business.., Pattern Design and Origami. It was so simple and obvious but totally hidden from me up to this point.
My elevator pitch is now something along the lines of:
“Pattern & Fold is a range of beautifully designed origami kits and paper products helping bring some mindfulness and positivity to your life”.
I've since changed employment and now work for a lovely family owned company, Kukoon Rugs. I work with a great bunch of people and find the environment much more encouraging to grow and develop, within the company and without.
The origami kits are a little behind schedule but you can see my first pattern designs on my range of notebooks. My teaching began on Culture Day with a bunch of really enthusiastic kids lining up to make origami hearts. You can sign up for my workshops here:
Hope to see you at one soon!