Re-imagining the world of work.
16 November 2017
The importance of workplace flexibility and how to keep your business agile and dynamic.
We asked Khadija Kapacee, Co Founder of ‘Edit_Brand Studio,’ a few questions about setting up a new start-up business in Manchester....
Khadija, can you tell us about your new business venture and what factors led you to start-up your own company?
Edit_ Brand Studio is a brand consultancy and design studio co-founded 10 months ago by myself and Creative Director, Karen Hughes. We initially set up with the aim to find an alternative way of doing what we loved but on our own terms. Having more freedom, control and flexibility over the way we worked, benefiting not only ourselves, but our families, partners, kids, dogs and obviously our clients.
After working in the creative industry for many years we were craving a different way of working. Although we both loved agency life there were a number of frustrations particularly for myself being a new mum, I was finding it difficult to find the right work life balance.
At the same time, we also noticed that a growing number of talented and highly skilled people were stepping away from the traditional agency model, searching for more ownership and flexibility as well as control over when, how and where they worked. This led to our interest in workplace trends and how the future workforce want to be masters of their own fate. Teamed with this, we sensed an appetite from clients to work in a more fluid way - wanting their creative agencies to be more adaptive, responsive and proactive to their needs.
And this is when the idea for Edit_ was born. What if we embraced this shift in mentality and re-imagined the traditional agency model? What if we could bring together the ‘perfect edit’ of highly skilled freelance professionals who were all operating independently and at the top of their game? Packaging up our offer so we could collaborate with the right people for the right projects. Not just for our benefit but for the client too. Offering the same high level strategic and creative brand solutions but with leaner, smaller, more flexible teams. This tailored approach would allow us to create teams that could be more reactive and adaptive to our clients and their projects.
Although we could see there were many benefits to this approach, we quickly realised that for this to happen, having eight individuals working in eight different locations wasn’t going to be efficient or practical. We were going to need to find a space where we could all work together. Although initially we started looking at traditional office space, we soon realised our ambitions and office aspirations were bigger than our budget. Plus, we needed to find a space that would work for us when we are a team of two as well as a team of ten. This is what led us to the idea of coworking.
Can you tell us more about the benefits of coworking office space and why you chose Colony?
Coworking fits with our ethos of being flexible and collaborative. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and gives you a lot more space for your money; giving us the option to expand and shrink our office needs to suit the project. We searched and tested a few co-working spaces in Manchester but it was tricky to find the right balance between an inspiring creative space and a professional working environment. This is when we found Colony. Straight away it ticked every box - It had the right mix for us, our clients and collaborators. It was cool and creative as well as professional and presentable. And also as a new start up business, co-working wasn’t a huge commitment for us financially.
Are there advantages to being part of a coworking community?
We were one of the first members of Colony but what has surprised us the most is that the more members that have joined, the more we’ve enjoyed working here. There’s a real buzz about the place now, with plenty of opportunities to make new connections and meet like-minded people. Agencies that in another world would be classed as your competition actually become your adopted colleagues. There’s always a brain to pick and there’s a real supportive, community spirit building.
How has Coworking affected your business?
We’re only ten months in and things are changing for us all the time, so far we’ve found there’s been a real appetite for this different way of working both from collaborators and clients. Like everything, this flexible approach comes with its own challenges but encouragingly we’ve managed to win and deliver a number of high profile brand projects and campaigns for clients of all shapes and sizes whilst building up a small, efficient and profitable start up business.
Here’s to the next ten months….
Thanks to Khadija Kapacee, Co-Founder of Edit Brand Studio.
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