Solveiga Pakstaite is a 23-year-old freelance designer from Hertfordshire and her latest invention ‘Mimica Labs‘ (previously named Bump Mark) targets Britain’s rising costly food waste.
Mimica Labs, a bio-reactive food expiry label showing you when your food life cycle has ended, has won her several awards including the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2015.
Working under her own company, Design By Sol, Solveiga explains how her interest in design and technology at secondary school leveled her to create one of her memorable achievement to date.
“My idea is a never seen before idea”
“I graduated from Brunel University last summer with a BA 1st Class honors in Industrial Design & Technology.
Between the 2nd and final year of my course, I did my industry placement year with a design consultancy and one of the projects that I worked on was with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
I spent most days chatting with blind people and wondering how they go about their lives. One day, I asked how do you know when your food goes off – they responded that they had no idea.
Nothing had been invented to deal with this problem.
I knew straight away that I would go back to my final year and do my final project based on this question.
My idea is a never seen before idea and it is really weird because it uses texture to show when something goes off. It is seen as a big risk and the challenge was finding the first company to say “We’ll try it.”
I was very excited when this particular retailer approached me. It was a perfect fit in terms of their values and that which Mimica Labs puts across.
Unfortunately, I can’t reveal their name yet.”
Design By Sol
“Both my parents taught computer science at University and they were very keen for me to get into that but I’ve always had more of a creative edge.
No one in my family has quite gone into the design before but I’ve always been encouraged to think critically.
At the moment, I’m running my business from home but hopefully, in the near future, I’m looking to recruit someone who can really bring that business dynamic to the company.
“I enjoy working for myself and not bound by 9-5”
After my graduation, I did an internship with a consumer’s research company and I was trying to balance it with attending client meetings during my lunchtime – it was crazy!
There was an opportunity for me to stay on for three months but I wanted to leave.
Since January 2015, I’ve been doing my own thing and I have no intention of leaving because I love working for myself.
Initially, I never wanted to do engineering and design because I was one of those kids that changed what they wanted to be like every year or so.
I always chose design and technology at school because it was a subject for an easy grade. I enjoyed it but never took it seriously.
I had first picked 5 universities to study psychology but I realised, while studying for my design history exam, that I had chosen the wrong thing. I had to turn down all five offers and it was terrifying canceling all of it.
I then looked at the league tables and Brunel was the best for design. Somehow I got in and it was the best last minute decision I’ve ever made.
My company is my life. My strengths lie in creativity and problem solving and I think that’s why I enjoy working for myself and not bound by 9-5.”