Aetha Design – 29th April 2020
The past 5 weeks have been a whirlwind for everyone in the UK. In fact, we are yet to speak to someone who hasn’t been in some way effected by Covid19 and lockdown.
We thought at the end of this month we would give you a bit of an update on our team, our work and also what we plan to do in the future. If you read our last update you would have seen that we moved our studio into our kitchen. This was all fine until we were printing 3D face shields for care-workers and the NHS through the night and after the fourth week of not sleeping we suddenly realised we may not be insured to have the workshop operating from our house so this week we made the decision to move back to our studio in Poole Quay. Dan is still working from his family home up in Nottingham and dialling in on Google Meets and various Zooms most days with clients. However Sophie, Tom & Josh are back in the studio where they now have full use of the workshop and 3d printers which with some of our projects is necessary. The studio is closed to external people however some of our clients are medical so obviously those projects are essential.
Sophie has set up more of a production line with the 3D printed visors which are now spread out in our meeting area at the studio rather than the kitchen table. The extra space is better for the production of the visors and means we can print overnight without any interruption.
Since our last update just over a month ago, we had an influx of NHS teams for the local hospitals, Care Givers and Care Homes enquire about our face-shields and after making over 150 we realised we would need some help to fund the materials if we wanted to give away more so we set up a Crowdfunder campaign which got fully funded within 24 hours (£1000 was our initial target) Over 10 days the campaign raised just over £1900 which has enabled us to make over 650 shields with enough material for 100 – 200 more. We have hand delivered them locally and posted boxes of them across the UK. We are proud to have donated some PPE to key workers who are on the front line in this uncertain time. So far, our visors have gone to the BCP Hospital, Poole Hospital, Papworth Hosptial, Cambridge Ambulance Team, NHS Nuffield Procurement team, various care homes local and further afield in; Canford Cliffs, Oakdale, Wareham, Whitstable & Brixham and some individual residents of Parkstone Avenue (our elderly neighbours!!)
We can’t believe the kind words that people have sent us, words of encouragement when we have put together 250 in a day and donations everyone made to the Crowdfunder. The most amazing thing about the whole experience for us was that we got offers of help from other local designers, some of our suppliers and local companies so we could keep up with demand. We have had the designers at Muc Off printing bright pink crowns for us (image above), HeyCreate donating acetate and crowns, Rob Dykes (a local designer) and also and most amazingly a local lady called Beth who 3D prints at home for fun and so she can interact with products better as she is blind. It shows you that in times of uncertainty companies and individuals club together to make things happen quickly and we have been so delighted to make new connections and friends who once this is all over we can have a beer or two all together.
Below are some images which have been sent to us of the teams receiving their face shields at various locations across the UK.
We are very happy to say that we have also been able to continue working with our clients on their project work. It appears that businesses want to use this time to invest in R&D – it may just be the right amount of time and space away from sales which gives them time to think strategy for new projects. We have also gained a number of clients who have now got the time to focus on that dream idea they have always had or the side hustle which they have kept at the back of their mind and they are using this time during lockdown to be proactive and invest time in their product.
In the coming weeks, we are hoping to do some Instagram & Facebook Live design workshops including one on sketching hosted by our designer Dan & one on the design process by Aetha founder Tom.
Our other area of interest at the moment is making sure current final year students at University who are studying Product Design have a channel to get feedback on their portfolios. We are hoping to run a workshop on the 12th May at 11am which any Product Design student can join where we discuss how to make a good PD portfolio. We will post information up on our Instagram and Facebook pages so please follow us for future info. We will follow this with another on interview techniques from the whole team. We are hoping this gives up and coming design students some inspiration and tips to think about for when lockdown is lifted.
We want to thank you for your continued support – stay safe, be kind and keep in touch with us online and through our social media channels, as we look ahead to brighter days where we can go outside again as much as we like to get that creative juices flowing again. In the mean time, enjoy your daily exercise and don’t take this weather for granted. Our team have been taking the time to run locally, cycle from the house and enjoy the time outside. There are some great virtual events to keep the team occupied on ZWIFT and MAVERICK VR RACE which Sophie, Tom & Josh all enjoyed last week.
Here are a few images the team have taken while being outside in the local beautiful area which is Dorset. It is times like this when you realise where you live has such an important impact on your life.
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