Words: Catherine Sarsfield
Behind the seaside town of Falmouth sits Argal Home Farm, a creative hub of workshops and offices surrounded by green fields of green, that houses designers and friends. Two of the hubs tenants are Franki Basely and Ali Goodman, the co-founders of Francli, the brand taking craftwear to a new level.
Having both travelled up to London to do internships after finishing their degrees at Falmouth University, Franki and Ali decided that the city lifestyle wasn’t for them and returned to the coast to regroup.
Francli – a project born out of an idea at university – was finally formed, and although was initially set to be a short-term project, since its inception the girls have never looked back.
With dogs roaming around and plenty of space to wander and think – and the added bonus of a zip wire in a neighbouring field – it’s clear to see why the girls decided to make the move back down South.
“It felt like we had left something special behind,” Franki says on their return to Cornwall.
“We would often escape university work on the weekend to shoot air rifles, make fires and explore the Cornish coast.
We went on these adventures with close friends on other design courses, discussing our ideas of design, creativity and life. It became our creative outlet and kept us motivated during our final year.”
The products are versatile and functional, yet hold a certain beauty
These women are dedicated to creating multifunctional, practical and bespoke products whether it’s for their clients, their collaborators or for those who are buying from their online shop.
Re-purposing army kitbags has turned into an impressive collection of functional rucksacks,Perfect for taking on coastal adventures, down to the sea for a surf, or packed full on a camping trip.
Their up-cycled phone cases and card holders – made with recycled wellington boots – are an example of their sustainable ethos.
The butchery apron designed for woodcraft experts 7th Rise, shows how the products are versatile and functional, yet hold a certain beauty.
It’s a collaboration that Franki and Ali cite as one of their favourite projects to date.
“It was our first completed live project, a process that took over a year, and it’s really satisfying to look back and see how much we learned and evolved since we first started,” Ali tells me.
Up-cycled phone cases and card holders – made with recycled wellington boots – are an example of their sustainable ethos
“I feel like it’s one of the most complete and considered products because we tested our ideas so vigorously. It’s also been one of our biggest sources of education and experience and still influences new products and projects.”
Francli’s ethos is simple: slow, purpose-led design, connecting with nature and learning through collaboration.
With the wealth of ‘craftsmanship’ that’s pervading modern culture, it’s great to see a brand go back to basics and ignore trends, fashions or fads, focusing on creating products that are simple yet effective and ultimately timeless and beautiful.
Having recently won a design competition with Pedlars and Ernest Journal – for which they had to reinvent the use of a Swiss Arm Zeltbahn – they are now developing their first item of workwear available to buy online: a zero-waste studio smock, using innovative pattern cutting to prevent any production off-cuts, which will be launched at the Good Life Experience Festival in September.
“The Studio smock will be our first item of workwear and definitely not the last,” Franki explains excitedly. “We have something in the works through our live projects that will take this further but we can’t reveal anything just yet so keep your eyes peeled!”
As two women who are helping to redefine the role of women in the outdoors craft world, I ask if it’s important to them and the brand to champion women as not only outdoor explorers but curators and creators of these kind of products.
“It’s so important to us that women are recognized and celebrated equally as outdoor craftspeople and artists.” says Franki.
Franki and Ali are keen adventurers as well as savvy businesswomen and top notch designers. These girls crave exploration as much as their products do
“In Falmouth we’re surrounded by amazing women doing great things in craft and sport: from woodwork, foraging, painting and metal-work to rowing, climbing and surfing. They are inspiring, not because they’re women, but because they are skillful and determined.”
Practicing what they preach, Franki and Ali are keen adventurers as well as savvy businesswomen and top notch designers. These girls crave exploration as much as their products do.
“We try to make the most of living in Cornwall; walking, camping and sea swimming. We also get out of Cornwall when we can to explore the other amazing places that the British landscape has to offer, hiking in places such as Snowdonia, the Lake District and Isle of Skye.
“However I think our biggest adventure so far has been starting a business – it’s been a huge learning curve of some epic highs and lows but it’s not lonely when we have each other.”
” It might be seen as a daunting career decision but as long as we’re constantly learning, working hard and having fun, those inevitable hard struggles don’t seem too hard to overcome.”