For December’s Made in Sussex, Sussex Business Times takes a look at The Brighton Studio, a recently opened studio complex in the heart of Brighton, which offers creative working spaces to businesses large and small, local and national
Set up by creative power-couple in the summer of 2016, Head Make-up Artist Xoë Kingsley and Studio Manager and photographer, Olly Hearsey, The Brighton Studio has already opened its doors to an impressive list of clients, including photographers such as Lancton and Alex Lake, as well as Youtube star Zoella, and brands such as Superdrug and Churchill Square shopping centre.
Having outgrown their old studio premises, Xoë and Olly snapped up the space in New England House when it became available via Brighton and Hove Council, knowing that the opportunity was too good to miss.
In addition to a converted living-room-come-editing-suite, the couple had been working from Lion Works studio in Eastbourne, where the pair built a reputation for creativity and professionalism, growing their client roster from small local businesses such as Long Man Brewery, Sugarhill Boutique and Gresham Blake to internationally renowned bands including Jaguar Land Rover, Woolovers and Siemens.
Moving the business to central Brighton was a logical step for Xoë and Olly, who had been based in Brighton for more than a decade having originally hailed from London and Herstmonceux, respectively. Aside from the improved commute time for the pair, the benefits of opening a studio in Brighton were clear; the attractive proximity to Brighton train station (and therefore to London and the wider South East) and Brighton’s vibrant creative scene and growing reputation as a business hub.
Indeed, the Brighton Studio is located in the world’s first purpose built high-rise industrial business centre, New England House, built in 1963 in the Brutalist architectural style. It is one of Brighton’s original creative spaces, currently hosting a number of digital, design and creative businesses across its eight floors.
As well as two large photography studios and a make-up room, The Brighton Studio includes a bright and airy shared working space for ‘lens based creatives’ such as photographers, graphic designers and videographers. Having spent much of their own early careers splitting their time between their home editing suite and Eastbourne studio, Xoë and Olly were keen to create a collaborative and professional space for creatives to work from and bring clients to, in a convenient central location. All desk space users have preferential access to the studio spaces and equipment hire along with access to secure, high speed internet and ergonomic sit-stand desks.
Though not necessarily the first issue to spring to mind – having worked in the industry for many years, Xoë and Olly were deeply aware of the physical toll photography and its associated disciplines can have. So, in addition to sit-stand desks, they installed a custom height make-up bench in the make-up room to reduce unnecessary bending and back strain.
Where possible, eco-friendly materials have been sourced and local suppliers used. The break-out space in the studio includes a reclaimed wooden bar, made from Sussex oak floor, while snacks and drinks are provided by Brighton based Real Patisserie and Sussex’s own Small Batch coffee.
The whole space has a welcoming and personalised feel to it and it’s clear that its owners care very deeply about their clients and the quality of their brand.