Goldfinger Factory is a social enterprise in West London designing and fabricating bespoke furniture and objects from reclaimed materials sourced from retail, hospitality and construction partners. We sat down with its co-founder Marie Cudennec to learn more about their making journey and the impact of entrepreneurialism.
What were some early making influences that inspired your journey?
I think I was born with an entrepreneurial flair and it’s something I’ve always sort of done. At age 14, I started a babysitting business where I scaled it by using friends whom I trusted and I would take a commission for setting up the bookings. I’ve always enjoyed the game of money, creating opportunities for other people and developing a self-sustaining enterprise.
What early challenge in your enterprise did you have to persevere through?
At the beginning I was balancing my corporate job [luxury fashion & beauty then a tech startup] during the day and spending all my evenings and weekends with Goldfinger, whilst the founder was on the ground doing the day-to-day. As much as I enjoyed my job ¾ towards the end, the work just felt soulless. I wanted to do something with more purpose, but at the same time, my salary was paying Goldfinger’s bills. We finally scaled the business to the point where I could leave and focus fulltime on Goldfinger in 2015.
How is your enterprise incubating makers?
Looking at maker-spaces and similar models, although what they do is great, it’s still helping a relatively middle class demographic, which at the beginning of your career as an artisan you can’t afford to pay, so it excludes a huge part of the market. So we started the Resident Artisan programme where skilled and talented makers rented space from us, but the currency paid was their time rather than money. So for example, if we had a Tom Dixon bespoke fabrication job, the artisan would help produce the furniture in return for use of our space and resources. The artisans who went through our programme went on building their businesses and later went into their own space.
How can we get hands-on with Goldfinger Factory during the festival?
Inside the Goldfinger Factory tent, we will be providing a variety of woodworking demonstrations and hosting a different workshops. If you’re keen to make your own rolling pin, suitable for all of your kitchen needs, the workshop is available 23 and 24 August.
You can turn waste into gold by making elegant jewellery. At our work jewellery workshop, running 23-26 August, you’ll be designing necklaces using reclaimed wood that you’ll be able to take home afterwards.
For both kids and adults, explore the art of stenciling on wood our furniture finishing specialist, Rasha El-Sady. You’ll begin by creating wooden placards that can then be detailed with stenciling and transformed with any wood or fabric. This is available 23-24 and 26-27 August.
Website – goldfingerfactory.com
Instagram – instagram.com/goldfingerfactory
Twitter – twitter.com/goldfingerHQ