Kirsty Whyte and Paul Tanner Create Timepieces in Their Spare Time as Freedom to Exist - interior design Blogs

Kirsty Whyte and Paul Tanner Create Timepieces in Their Spare Time as Freedom to Exist

We check in with Kirsty Whyte and Paul Tanner who launched Freedom to Exist after seeing a void in the watch market.

London-based product designers Kirsty Whyte and Paul Tanner designed their first timepiece after Kirsty couldn’t find a watch small enough for her delicate wrists ? or at least one that wasn’t covered in branding or diamontes. They had spotted a gap in the market: between fashion-driven overtly feminine watches and masculine, hyper-connected digital watches, there was space for something classic, understated and quiet ? and Freedom to Exist was born. ‘We wanted a little space away from the overwhelming noise of branding and technology,’ says Kirsty. ‘We believe freedom is the freedom to choose, to fall in love, to wear what you want, how you want to. It is the Freedom To Exist.’

The first Freedom to Exist watch was the 30 Edition, named after its 30mm case ? the watch Kirsty was looking for but couldn’t find. ‘While we were on the hunt for a watch for me, we were in Liberty and overheard a lady with the same issue, so we were confident there was an audience out there,’ says Kirsty. They were right and the timepiece was an immediate hit, in no small amount due to the thought that went into every detail. ‘There are so many elements that we’ve carefully designed and specified, we sometimes drive our manufacturers a little crazy!’ These carefully thought-through elements include the domed glass, the brushed case and polished bezel, the way the hands perfectly align with the markings on the dial, the genuine leather straps chosen by color to complement all skin tones, the Swiss movement that guarantees quality, and the tactile quality once you get your hands on one.
The 30 Edition was such a success, that soon people were asking for a larger size. ‘The most frequent feedback on the 30 Edition was ?I love my 30mm watch, do you have a larger size so that my boyfriend can also wear one"?, or ?I prefer to wear an oversized watch, do you have the same design but a bit larger"?,’ says Kirsty. ‘As we are a bootstrap startup and completely self-funded, we did not have the money to place an order for the larger watches straight away.’ To avoid having to wait for sales of the 30 Edition to fund the new larger size, they took to Kickstarter.

‘We successfully funded the production of two models of the 40 Edition watch, but it was far from stress-free,’ laughs Kirsty. ‘We had assumed that we would put up the listing and the money would just roll in, but we had to promote and market our listing every single day. Towards the end, as we got closer to our target it did become easier as people seem more willing to support a successful project, but getting the initial traction was harder than we had anticipated. We learned a huge amount and would defiantly use Kickstarter again.’

With so much going on, you’...
Source: design-milk


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