Who are you?

My name is Ali Bell and I am the founder and chief creator of Frill Factory CIC.

What does your business do?

Frill Factory CIC transforms spaces through Set Design. We specialise in creating social atmospheres for the events and wedding sector across Scotland and beyond.

Alongside our product range for hire, we handcraft striking murals and backdrops that breathe new life into forgotten fabrics with ultimate style and bold energy, with a clear mission to reduce landfill. We believe in using our design tools for creative empowerment and emotional awareness to help shape inner growth.

Where are you based?

We are based in West Dunbartonshire because our roots lie in the heritage of Clydebank, particularly Singer Sewing Factory. We micro-manufacture using nothing but Singer sewing machines and use materials otherwise sent to landfill, in partnership with local charities.

We empower and motivate young people in West Dunbartonshire through emotional intelligence lessons with a mission to build a young person workforce focused on textile micro-manufacturing from our studio in Clydebank.

How did you get started?

We set up a pallet table in a small room in our local community centre and have grown from there into a larger manufacturing studio.

What is your background?

I have a degree in Visual Communication obtained from Grays Art School, with specialisms in Illustration and Urban Art.

Throughout my degree I curated pop up shops and exhibitions across the city with a real interest in product development. After graduating I pitched to Creative Scotland for £10,000 and collaborated with The Lighthouse & MakLab – building Scotland’s first ever showcase for graduate Design talent.

I spent the next three years working in Regeneration across Scotland as a Project Manager; developing Social Enterprises across central & rural parts of Scotland winning awards for Social Impact and Design Impact and during my post helped to support over 3000 young people. Most recently before taking the plunge into self employment, I worked as a consultant project manager for New Lanark World Heritage site.

What is your top tip?

Intuition is everything.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

When I first started the business I applied for seed funding from my local council West dunbartonshire and firstport and received £15,000 to help me jumpstart my enterprise in 2017. School of social entrepreneurs has helped support my social enterprise in 2019 and has been a great resource.

What was your first deal?

When I was at art school in 2011, I set up a pop-up shop which a bride spotted and hired me to style her wedding out in the country.

Where do you plan your firm to be in five years time?

We envision Frill Factory CIC as a driving force for alternative Set Design; an influencer of innovation – inspired by our local Clydebank heritage, ‘Singer Sewing Factory’.

Useful contacts:

School of social entrepreneurs -https://www.the-sse.org/