Aimée Furnival creates playful products, gifts and designs all from her studio in London. This plant loving, independent business seeks to spark joy in the everyday, with stylish homewares and with the help from her sausage dog Stanley!


Hi Aimée,

Can you tell us a little about your background in design and when you realised you wanted to pursue a creative career?

I have a BA in Applied Arts, a 3D designer-maker course which focused on work skills in ceramic, metalwork and woodwork.

I was always super creative and loved making things, I'd transform shoe boxes into mini doll houses, collage plans for new garden design and every surface in my bedroom was a canvas for my weird and wonderful creations!


What do you think you would be doing today if you were not designing at Another Studio?

Maybe something sport related. I was very close to studying sport, exercise and nutrition at university but after taking a gap year I realised I wanted to have creative career. Now I’d love to be a carpenter although I’m terrified of a chop saw!


What would you say are the challenges behind being an independent designer nowadays? 

Hmmm, I guess for people starting out; funding a project, new product or education would be a challenge. Personally, time is my big challenge as running of the business is very consuming so I have less time to design. Finding the right people to work with is challenging, but when you do it’s so sweet and rewarding!


Can you walk us through what a normal day as a designer looks like

Well, right now with the pandemic it’s a little bit different, but I start work about 9am, prioritise my to-do list, answer emails and then speak with staff and freelancers who are working remotely. 

I like having a varied role so no week is the same. I’m currently working on new designs which I tend to get into after lunch whilst listening to a good podcast. I’ll finish around 5-6pm, go for a run or do a workout then walk our little dachshund Stanley.

 I’ve always got some personal creative project on the go so right now I’m tending to my seedlings for my new herb garden or natural dying fabric with avocado stones which is a lengthy process!

"I think every business and individual has their part to play with creating a more sustainable future."

Could you tell us more about your creative process when it comes to designing and making? 

I like to sit with an idea and consider it for a while. If it still excites and interests me after 3 months, I’ll start researching and sketching out some designs. 

We do a lot of metal etched pieces which I design in Illustrator and then get sampled. Depending on how complex the design is I may sample up to 3 times in metal first. 

Then, it has to pass my two strict tests: Would I buy it? Is it original and unique? If it gets past this stage I’ll start working on the packaging.


Each of your designs are intricate and unique, how long would you say does it takes to make one of your products?

A minimum of two months for metal etched designs. Some of our products require collating a lot of research, illustrations and packaging design (like the Houseplant Care Cards) which can take six months, maybe more. 

I’m always working on several ideas alongside running the business so it’s not like it’s 6 months solid of working, I like design to evolve over time and ensure we’ve thought everything through.


What are your favourite materials to work with?  Paper is always my favourite as this is where all our designs start out. I LOVE all the different paper stock available for the packaging!

I’ve been know to spent many hours in a decent paper stop such as Sheperds Fine Papers based in Victoria, London. 

(https://store.bookbinding.co.uk/store/)


What do you hope to communicate to your customers with your products?

Playfulness! I want people to smile when they see them.


A more sustainable lifestyle is very important to us and to our customers, could you tell us what you do to approach your business in a more sustainable way?

Sure, I think every business and individual has their part to play with creating a more sustainable future. For sometime now, the studio has been ‘plastic free’ packaging - we recycle or reuse all our packaging and use paper tape instead of plastic. 

We always use FSC paperstock for our product packaging - (recycled options in most cases).


Do you have any future plans to increase your sustainability further? 

Over half our products now have 100% biodegradable packaging and we’ve been working hard to move all products from cellophane plastic to a biodegradable starch based clear film.

It’s still a work in progress as the technology and materials are available, but we have to bulk buy bespoke packaging as this is not yet available on the market. 

As a small company it’s difficult to balance as the biodegradable film only has a 1 year lifespan and requires a minimum run of 50,000pcs. I’m determined to get there by next year!


If you could chose one of your products to keep with you forever, what would it be? 

Probably the Flying Squirrel Plant Animal, he just looks so fun and cute and would be a great companion.