Happy Birthday to us- we are 10 today!
It was July 1st 2010 and amidst a lot of chaos the keys were obtained for Unit 3 Weeford Workshops. This is where the real work began to convert this old motor cycle workshop into a workable photography studio. Co owners Karen and Warren set about painting the whole commercial premises. With Warren’s famous last words of “it will be finished in about 2 weeks”, it actually took 6 months to complete the work! After many long days and being covered in paint,, the studio had been built, in a fashion anyway. With much help from family and friends, adjustments to the building had been added. Additions of wall insulation and an inside toilet had been added as well as converting the back office into a hair and make up room.
Sadly though due to the length of time it took to convert this old workshop we had missed the Christmas market and it was now in January and we were now wondering how the hell are we going to get any customers? Social media at the time was in its infancy and not really used as much for business as it is today. So during a freezing January – The coldest on record with temperatures at minus 10, the Tworld Studio team walked for miles posting leaflets through doors to advertise family portraits, make overs and photo shoot experiences. Whilst we had just a couple of enquiries it wasn’t on the scale required to build a proper business. Therefore in addition to the photo shoot experiences, renting the studio to other photographers was added to the services criteria. However this in itself brought new issues as the building was huge it was difficult to heat. So we invested in a space heater but this produced so much condensation and made the concrete floor really really wet which was dangerous for customers. A further round of redecoration was required and and wooden stage created for the studio backdrop area which really did the trick. Now was the time to make it all work after so much financial investment by each of us. This was accelerated by the new marketing platform called Groupon. The first Groupon deal set was for a group make up workshop which brought in over 400 customers instantly. The result was amazing but so overwhelming to deal with. The next deal set in partnership with the platform was for a photography workshop but this time we were so much more prepared.
Fast forward to 2012
As the business grew new additions were required. So the upstairs mezzanine was converted into an office/ meeting space and the staircase that lead to the mezzanine floor had to be moved as the ceiling sloped and it was dangerous as clients could bang their head on the beams.
With the new space the business grew further. We no longer hire out the studio but in 10 years have developed further brands within the studio. The first one being our own model agency Creative Image Academy. This works hand in hand with our commercial photography and commercial clients requiring the right face for their campaign.
A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into the last 10 years by the team and truthfully so much blood, sweat and tears to make this work. There has been so amazing highs of working with celebrities, prestige corporate events, photographing celebrities and working on shoots internationally. All this did not seem possible on 2nd July 2010 when we were covered in paint and wondering what the hell we were doing. Not only this we are proud to have done all this without debt, bank loans and on a rock bottom shoe string budget.
You may wonder how this is achieved?
The answer to this is simple. To run a business it isn’t just about the skill you are trying to sell as your service. It is also about educating yourself to know about advertising, marketing and making connections. By joining the local Chamber of Commerce we were able to access many training events. This has given the business knowledge for laying a firm business foundation. Also building time into your diary to ensure you are doing adverting, marketing and connecting with clients is absolutely essential. Without this you cannot run a business and gain clients.
So what is happening in the next decade?
Currently we have been affected by Covid 19 but what businesses haven’t? We have been closed since March which is the longest we have been closed since 2010. However during this time we have utilised the time impeccably.
As it is the birthday of the studio we have given the premises a face lift and will be adding new lighting and flooring to give customers who visit the studio a great experience. We have also adhered to government guidelines and added extra sanitation and hygiene facilities as well as buying new furniture to help with social distancing measures.
Commercial Photography Clients
We are continuing to be on solid foundations as a business and we are looking forward to working with past and new commercial clients. We are proud of our past assignments of which some include working for top brands such as Argos, John Lewis, Costa Coffee, Pertemps and more.
Our weddings have mostly been postponed to 2021/2022 so we are very excited to seeing our couples get hitched after this crisis.
It will be great to welcome families back to the studio especially those who bought vouchers from us and could not make it to us because of lockdown.
Creative Image Academy- Model Agency
Our books are now open for new models who are wanting to enter into the industry. We want to be prepared for all our commercial customers so we can deliver the complete service for their needs.
TWorld Training- training academy.
We have been successfully running our training academy now for a number of years. During lockdown we have developed some online only courses for our students so they can study at home at their own pace. This is our pilot scheme and we will grow further once it is established.
To all clients that have engaged with us, worked with us or trained with us in the past 10 years we cannot thank you enough. You have made the dream of owning a studio come true. A dream that was discussed many times in a pub over a pint. But aren’t all great ideas formulated that way?
It is sad as we did want an open day for our 10th anniversary for anyone who wanted to come along and spend some time with us and have a drink. But due to Covid19 this is not possible. However once we have finished the current clear up we will announce our official date of reopening. And hopefully we will see you all then!