Flock is a fabulous online interiors shop supporting fledgling surface designers. The focus is on bringing their striking patterns to market and giving them a slice of the royalties. You can buy directional digitally printed upholstery fabric and soft furnishing fabric by the metre. Patterned cushions, reupholstered mid-century cocktail chairs and digitally printed ply furniture are also available. If you’re a style conscious consumer who doesn’t want to live in a beige world, you’ll love this outstanding offering full of surprising eclectic designs. I caught up with the owner of Flock to find out more about her collaborations with talented graduates.

flock fabrics

Fabric Collection

Meet the Flock Owner

This business is owned by Jenny Wingfield who tells me about her life before setting up her online business. “I studied Performance at Northumbria University which is very different from the world I am in now. I chose to tailor my course towards Set and Costume Design. When I moved to London this morphed into working in Interior Design and the Furnishing Fabrics department at Liberty. When I look back at my BA course now I realise that it was incredibly creative, explorative and collaborative and these are the skills that have helped me set up my own venture.”

flock owner jenny wingfield

Jenny Wingfield

It was while working at Liberty that Jenny realised just how under represented graduated designers were. She elaborates – “The graduate shows are so full of life with exciting work and cutting edge in terms of future trends. Unfortunately, it’s rare that this breaks through and if it does the designs are rarely credited. I understood from my own experience the need for graduates to gain help, assistance and business advice. That’s why I have set up a royalty system so the maker benefits from continuous sales which they can funnel back into making a new collection. It’s all about working as a collective and helping one another which is where the ‘Flock’ name comes from. It conjures up images of taking flight, spreading one’s wings and grasping opportunity. It’s also a textile term which brings everything back to what we do and the nature of our business.”

flock cushions

Cushion Collection

Jenny tells me how she discovers new talent – “The New Designers show in Islington is an incredible place for me to meet graduates specifically in textile design. However, quite a few of the designers come from other backgrounds; illustrators, graphic designers or the field of fashion. If I’m looking for specific designs I might set a brief to a university. Recently, Instagram has become an invaluable source, this is how I found Kate and Will of Touching Elbows. Most importantly I’m looking for people with a passion, drive and technical ability who are willing to collaborate.”

flock product selection

Product Selection

Offering consumers, a fresh, vibrant and eclectic collection of bold and brave patterns in vibrant colours is key to Jenny’s proposition. She says – “For me it’s more about a pattern or design feeling exciting and different rather than being influenced purely by trends. Finding the right pattern is a journey, from locating a sketch or design to thinking how this could work commercially in interiors from upholstery to curtains and cushions.”

flock cocktail chair

Upholstered Cocktail Chair

Having started out with one design and her business plan it was baby steps until Jenny felt comfortable enough to leave her day job. Her first big break is thanks to Liberty, Jenny reveals – “Liberty bought the first design which was completely priceless. It gave us the exposure to showcase our ideas while being seen by the store’s artistically minded customers. With our first piece of press coverage coming from Elle Decoration, we got off to a great start.”

flock digitally printed ply furniture

Digitally Printed Ply Furniture

Jenny offers a few words of wisdom to entrepreneurs – “I was always very open to taking advice from other people. This is something I would recommend to anyone wanting to get a new business off the ground. Research, ask questions, learn, explore, gain knowledge and experience where you can. Having face to face communication is imperative, set up a network of supporters and like-minded people who you can rely on when you need a sounding board. Have your own direction and don’t be too influenced or worried about what other people are doing. Just focus on staying original and authentic and you will be recognised for this.”

View the Flock Products

Jenny talks me through the product offering – “We sell digitally printed, beautifully soft 100% linen and linen blend fabrics by the metre suitable for upholstery and soft furnishings. We also have a coordinating cushion collection available in two sizes in each of the designs. All of the fabrics are digitally printed in Lancashire and the cushions are made up by our local seamstress. We also sell a range of beautifully reupholstered mid century cocktail chairs in collaboration with expert furniture restorers Florrie and Bill. These are lovingly called ‘Flocktails’ and are available to order in our fabrics. We have just launched a range of digitally printed ply furniture pieces too. These are printed renewable sourced birch ply tables, available in three of our most popular designs with powder coated steel hair pin legs, all made in the UK.”

flock products

Product Selection

Jenny tells me about the design talent she works with …

Rachel Parker: “Rachel graduated from Norwich University of the Arts in 2012. We discovered her at New Designers where we were drawn to her beautiful, colourful collage work. She mainly works in print and has a huge love for embroidery, cross-stitch and traditional craft. Rachel enjoys combining techniques to create dynamic, textured and intriguing designs of complex and colourful patterns.”

flock, rachel parker chair, fabric

Rachel Parker: Northmore Major Chair and Fabric

Angela Johnston: “Angela graduated from UCA Farnham in 2012 and we also met her at New Designers. Angela has a passion for geometry, architecture and nature. She has an incredible ability to combine the sharp, vivid imagery that she finds in inspiring architecture with the fluid organic patterns taken from nature to create stand out designs. Angela has recently relocated to Edinburgh and is working on developing her own range of textiles and accessories.”

flock angela johnston fabric

Angela Johnston: Cracked Ice Minor Mustard Fabric

Gyeongmi Shin: “Gyeongmi is a graduate from the prestigious Chelsea College of Arts, currently living and designing in Seoul. Gyeongmi draws her inspiration from 1950s-60s British architecture, in particular the Barbican and South Bank. Her work is elegant and pared back in a monochrome colour palette. She has a confident design style that translates beautifully for both interiors and fashion.”

flock gyeongmi shin

Gyeongmi Shin: Flint Curtain

Lucy Rainbow: “Lucy creates elegantly simple repeats for soft furnishings that take their inspiration from mid-century aesthetics and in particular mid-century furniture. Lucy is an incredibly talented screen printer, her work is bold and striking which translates beautifully on to many different surfaces. We have recently placed her most popular selling design, Aldgate East, onto a printed ply surface for a range of tables, adding a splash of pattern to any room.”

flock lucy rainbow aldgate curtain

Lucy Rainbow: Aldgate East Minor Ink Curtain

Amy Pegler: “Amy is a talented graduate of Hereford College of Arts. She is trained in design for both fashion and interiors with a specialism in silkscreen printing. Amy’s work is very playful and she uses a variety of techniques to create her designs. Her latest work for us is called “Tape” which is an experiment of exposing electrical tape on a silk screen. She often uses an eclectic colour palette to create her designs.”

flock, tape cushion, amy pegler

Amy Pegler: Tape Cushion

Touching Elbows: “Kate Gibb and William Edmonds are talented screen who work collaboratively in the studio playing with pattern, creating designs that are joyfully layered and intriguing. We found Kate through Instagram and were drawn to her bold and exciting use of colour. Working with Will, their joint venture celebrates exploration and utilised happy accidents within design.”

flock touching elbows cushions

Touching Elbows: A Shingle Night Cushions

Buy the Flock Products

To find out more about the designers, products and patterns go to the website www.flock.org.uk. You can also buy from the Etsy UK. Price points are £70 per metre for the fabric, £65 for 50cm x 50cm cushions, £45 for 30cm x 50cm cushions, printed coffee tables £585, printed console tables £575 and printed side tables £385. Products can be shipped worldwide. Stockists are located in New Zealand, USA and Europe.

They also offer an upholstery and curtain making service online. If you are looking for a bespoke fabric do get in touch with Jenny. She can customise the colour, scale the designs, print onto cloths for indoors and outdoors and any type of surface. The bespoke service is for both residential and commercial clients. Keep your eye out for new products including beds, throws, bedding, wallpaper, rugs and even swimwear!

Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Flock. Thanks: Jenny Wingfield and Simon Midgley. Disclosure: This feature includes the following affiliate partners – Etsy UK (if you click through from my website and purchase items from the affiliates I will earn a small commission).

 

 

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Flock Supports Graduate Surface Designers
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  • Last modified: December 18, 2017