Welcome to Studio 125

Readers,

Welcome to Studio 125. This is the “official” reveal of our space, the one with the backstory and ALL the resources featured in the countless Instagrams taken over the past six months. It’s been a journey, and to be frank, we’re still working out the kinks. Nonetheless, it’s finished enough to invite you in for coffee or a cocktail IRL, so in essence, it’s finished enough to share with the internet.

This space was just a glimmer in my eye almost a year ago now. I had a baby in my belly, a house jam-packed full of STUFF and no dedicated space to get messy and make things. I knew it had come time to take the leap of faith and find a space of my own, but it felt like really bad timing to be taking on a five-year commitment. It also felt like leasing a space was a public declaration of saying “I’m running a business” and who did I think I was for being so bold?

I looked at spaces about half the size of the one we’re in, and if we were to go that direction, I was worried we wouldn’t have the full flexibility to open the things we make for W&D to an audience, and in person. For as introverted as I am, the idea of being able to extend and translate the ideas behind W&D to experiences has been a goal I’ve been driving towards for a while now.

Life has a way of pushing you past your insecurities and comfort zone. There are usually a few key people cheering you on, like the person you’ve hired to help with your finances (I’m looking at you, Erik and Alex), and a partner who is willing to take a bet on you and your vision. After looking at 6 spaces and not feeling confident with any of them, the clock was really starting to tick. I was looking very pregnant and my consulting travel was about to wrap up. We needed to find something and find it fast.

My accountant gave me the “go ahead” to look at a space that was definitely too big for the current state of our company, and even though there were a number of factors pointing towards staying conservative with spending, the benefits slightly outweighed the risks, and I signed on the dotted line a few or so before going into labor.

This is what the space looked like before we fixed it up. The windows had been updated and I liked that there was a little nook, perfect for a kitchenette.

I designed the floor plan and approved a very small amount of construction. We had a conference room built using the same aluminum materials used for the building’s windows and designed one big quartz island in partnership with Cambria to act as the focal point for the space. Below are renderings I shared with our design partners:

We broke the space up into four areas based on our needs:

  1. The Entryway. The floor plan is shaped like a lowercase “h” with less natural light reaching the back of the space. We wanted to be able to hide our creative clutter from clients and anyone passing in the hallway, so we created a makeshift foyer by placing a conference room about 9 feet from the entrance. This made a hallway of sorts for clients and guests to walk through before entering the larger open floor plan. We designed the foyer in collaboration with CB2. We wanted it to be comfortable enough for people to take calls but structured enough to stay clean and put together when the rest of the studio is in shambles.
  2. Conference Room. This was the most expensive part of the build-out but it was also very necessary. We saw this as a way to break up the floor plan, all the while creating a quiet space to sneak away to. Our goal was to have the natural light reach the back of our space, while still allowing the conference room to maintain a sense of privacy. We solved this with a half-wall on the south side of the space and small glass floor-to-ceiling glass wall on the north side of the space. The glass wall on the east side makes the narrow hallway appear less cavernous. This is where some of the magic happens. The amazing conference room chairs are from Furniture Maison.
  3. Workspace. Our goal was to keep our work area clean and simple. We thought the best way to achieve this was with Ikea desks, Ikea filing cabinets and some really lovely Pretty Pegs Legs, CB2 Office Chairs, and gorgeous pendant lights from Cedar and Moss. For the most part, a 60″ wide desk gives you enough space to have a collaborative work environment while not feeling crunched on top of you neighbor. We lined the east wall with shelving and displayed our props and nicknacks. It’s convenient and so helpful to see everything at once instead of digging through bins and boxes. It also solved our storage problem! Below the conference room half wall we lined Ikea filing cabinets on wheels to create space for printing, packaging and mailing things out.
  4. The kitchenette is the heart of the studio space. The big quartz island doubles as a work table, with electrical outlets and 8 stools for meetings and studio visitors. My favorite part about having this space is being able to invite friends, clients, and acquaintances over to make themselves at home before heading to their next meeting.The kitchen shelving was done by a local cabinet maker provided by the contracting company and painted with Moonlit Walk (434-1DB) by Dutch Boy. The countertops and large island are set in Swanbridge Quartz from Cambria, and we opted for strong contracting Navy 6″ Hex Tiles by Fireclay for the backsplash. Some of my favorite kitchenette elements are the retro SMEG fridgeTrinsic by Delta Faucet in Champagne Bronze, the Lignum shelves and the Haleigh Wire Dome Pendants by Rejuvenation. The leather roadhouse stools from CB2 contrast in style and give the island a rich touch.
  5. Lounge: This is our hangout area. We have meetings here and sometimes kick back and work on larger projects. The puppies love our big sectional and ottoman from Article, pillows from Citizenry, marble topped Mara coffee table and rugs curated by Frances Loom6. Shooting Bay: This is where we take photos. My studio mate Colleen at 2ndTruth is a photographer. So, naturally, we designed the space around the optimal location for a shooting bay. We put Ikea shelving on wheels to make moving things around easier, which also helps section off the space when clients are in shooting and everyone else is working at their desks.

I can’t believe how long this process has been! And now that we’re here and using the space regularly, we’ve realized it’s potential and have decided to expand next door! Studio 125 will not only be W&D’s home base but will become a joint partnership specializing in both studio photography and events. There will be three shooting bays, one kitchenette, one full kitchen, a wall of floor to ceiling windows and a wide array of seating. Our offices will be moving to a space enclosed with glass garage doors for maximum flexibility. Follow @studio125_mpls on Instagram and join us on our renovation journey as we build this space! We are currently booking the space for May of 2017. Contact hello@studio125.co to get in touch.

Images by 2ndTruth