James Plant | “Plant” For Success
Everyone knows the big designer names, especially in the fashion industry. However, there is a pool of other designer goods and services that don’t get the same attention. It is a hard fact; one does not have it easy as a designer.There are those lucky few who manage to get out of the crowd and shine! You can argue it is luck, more talent or hard work differentiating them from the rest, but it seems that they have it all, especially desire to strive. James Plant is one of them; an industrial product and furniture designer who has managed to combine his creativity with running a successful business.
James got a First Class Degree with Honours in Contemporary Furniture and Product design from Buckinghamshire Chiltern University. Later on, he did an Entrepreneurship and Innovation course, part of BSEEN program at University of Birmingham. He first established his business in Birmingham because of the large network of manufacturers available and the support system the region offers to entrepreneurs, including Birmingham Made Me.
‘Working with Birmingham Made Me has been a great opportunity. In the first year I’ve exhibited with them my work got noticed by several of the large manufacturers, also involved. This allowed me to start designing with them and start several longer projects that are going to be in the industrial manufacturing sector.’
London is where James Plant is currently based at but keeps visiting Birmingham regularly. Some of his clients include Heals, Anthropologie, Liberty of London, Selfridges, Top Man and Pedlars. An interest has been shown in his designs from the Chinese market, where consumers are ready to pay more and wait for a delivery for the quality of British design. James is the co-founder and Creative Director of luxury-contemporary homeware brand Plant&Moss which has exhibited at Birmingham Made Me Design Expos 2012 and 2013.That’s where he met with other exhibitors and formed collaboration with Hille to develop a new chair for mass production. Since graduating in 2008, James has won many awards such as 100% Design New Designer of the Year Award. His designs have been selected to showcase at events, including London 2012 Olympics and Best of British at Vivienne Westwood in Milan Design Week.
At Plant&Moss the designers strive to create products that are not only enjoyable and unusual but also personal and to have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. The products are made in Britain with most of the manufacturers based in Birmingham, which is why Plant still spends a lot of time in the region working with the manufacturers, ensuring the quality of the products. One of the brand’s most popular designs is the ‘odd couples bench’. The bench has two different backrests representing the two different characters of the people that would be gracing it.
James Plant started as an independent designer, continued as a co-founder of a creative furnishings workshop and participated in many exhibitions and design shows. Now his name is a part of a well-known brand and he is established as an innovative designer.When talking about the design industry, James says Birmingham is a great place to start and to expand a career in design. ‘I think the easiest place to get started in that is coming to Birmingham Made Me, the great event on the 19th November, and just coming down and speaking with the manufacturers yourselves and seeing what there is and what opportunities there are on offer.’
What is there more to say? Come and be inspired at Birmingham Made Me Expo 2014!
Article Journalist: Elena Nikolova
Video Production: Mantas Jankus (Filming), Algirdas Sakickas (Post Production & Technical Management), Elena Doncheva (Production Management)