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Travelling tec guru’s ‘man in a cage’ idea
There is a restless streak in Jorg Schlieffers that has driven his life and career since he reached adulthood.
Aged 22 and still a student based near Hamburg in his native Germany, Mr Schlieffers acted on impulse to follow his girlfriend, Claudine, to New York.
He explained: “Germany seemed too small for us. We wanted to have a new adventure. Life is all about adventures.”
But the bold move paid off both professionally and personally.
He eventually married Claudine and the couple now have three children.
Once he had completed his studies in industrial design in New York, he landed a job with a design consultancy in the city.
The company, Symbol Technologies, specialised in barcode scanners for retailers.
Mr Schlieffers spent almost a decade working there, although his desire for change saw him coming to the UK as European design director.
He said: “I was here for two years but the company wanted to move back to the States.
“That was when I decided to try a new adventure.”
He set up his own business, Thinkable Studio, a product design consultancy offering state of the art design for clients.
He said: “It was what I had always wanted to do. I have worked with hi-tech products for 20 years. It is challenging and never an easy ride but also fun.”
One of Thinkable’s cutting edge products has been a computer built into a headset for telecomms firm Motorola.
It is motion sensitive with an inbuilt screen that has applications ranging from plumbers needing access to pipe networks in a building to surgeons working in a field hospital.
The medics can connect with hospital-based colleagues anywhere in the world who can advise on best procedure in real time through live images.
Having successfully established Thinkable over the past six years, Mr Schlieffers, now 44, has again turned in a new direction.
Despite readily admitting to having no experience in the industry, he has set up a jewellery company, Saxons of Oxford, which specialises in eye-catching designs such as the Man in a Cage which he admits took years to perfect.
He added: “I love creativity in any form. I have always liked jewellery and I have dabbled with a number of complex hi-tech tools such as 3D printers.
“There is a caged man in everyone. You have got to break through it.”
The jewellery range is manufactured in the UK and has a distributor.
It will be introduced at the International Jewellery Fair next week where he is hoping to cause a stir.
He admits to investing tens of thousands of pounds in Saxons but it is money well spent as far as he is concerned.
He said: “I have been able to apply creativity and hi-tech tools in a different industry.
“Over the next two years we have to build the brand and see where we are.
“Jewellery is a passion and if you don’t try you will never know.”
As for the name, Saxons of Oxford, it was an obvious choice for Mr Schlieffers.
“I grew up in Lower Saxony and it had a nice ring to it. Perhaps it is history repeating itself.”
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