Behind Flatout Frankie is Sarah Gardner and a bunch of people who just happen to get a kick out of cardboard, folding, construction, great design and good old-fashioned play!
I came up with the idea when it was time to head back to work and [my daughter] Lucy was old enough to do without me for a few hours a day. I had already made a few hand-drawn ovens for family and friends, so knew I loved doing this kind of thing. I could either go back to freelance graphic design work, or mix together two of my obvious passions – graphic design and kids. It was an easy choice, to cardboard toy land we went.
Our designs are done by thinking of something I fancy kids playing with or having in our house. Making teeny-tiny prototypes (which are so darn cute, I need to do something mini one day soon) and then big ones to test and play with. If we still love them, we get busy manufacturing.
In a former life, I travelled around the world gathering inspiration in a cardboard rocket.
My favourite Flatout Frankie toy is the Little Cook Oven (pictured left). Not only is it a constantly played with toy in our house, by both boys and girls, it also works as a great little storage unit. It’s amazing how many things we can fit in it! I am considering installing a row of them along one wall.
Not many people know this, but Flatout Frankie was nearly called Flat Mabel. I still love this name, and think there may be a cardboard character down the line called Mabel, and yes, she will be flat.
After school at Flatout Frankie, we dance.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).
Idealog is part of ICG. We work with clients like Woolworths New Zealand, All Good, Huffer, Liquorland, Resene, Citta Design, TVNZ, Spark and FCB on their event activations, in-store, in-office or out-of-home signage, content creation and vehicle wraps.