Freedom to be creative at Studio 64

By Joseph Aldridge


Imagine an office with the characteristics of a flat - a place where hierarchy, office politics and dull uniformity are replaced by friendship, collaboration and the freedom to be creative.

Inspired by such a vision, five young self-employed professionals left their home-offices to set up a shared working space in downtown Tauranga.

The result is Studio 64, an inner-city working space that mixes the facilities of an office with the relaxed atmosphere of a flat.

Situated above The Med cafe on Devonport Road, the studio office features blackboard walls, six desk spaces, a big flat-screen television in the meeting room and an outdoor patio where the members gather on Friday evenings for barbecues and beers.

Founding member and leaseholder Kyle Goldsack said the idea was born during an informal discussion at a young professionals breakfast.

Mr Goldsack had been looking at joining another shared workspace but had not committed because he wanted a greater ability to personalise the space than the organisers allowed.

"So we were throwing ideas around and I'd known that this place was up for rent so I said 'I know a place, if we went five ways it would work out to be nothing'. So I called up the real estate agent and we were in within an hour and had a look around and I think we all verbally signed up on the spot."

The group included an architectural designer (Mr Goldsack), two marketing coaches, a cinematographer and a web designer. They have since been joined by a creative designer.

Studio 64 had been successful on a number of fronts, Mr Goldsack said, giving its members the credibility of a city office as well as providing a hub for after-work drinks and social events.

The studio's success had generated a waiting list of other self-employed professionals eager to join, making expansion into the adjoining studio unit an inevitable next step.

Sheldon Nesdale, who will sign the lease on the second unit, explains: "Our shared vision is that if we have six people here, six people there, and another six on the waiting list, that's a portable workforce that's ready to go elsewhere or be happy with this and keep the waiting list going, or take the entire old post office building and just be an awesome co working space/business incubator."

The pair hope Studio 64 will become the go-to-place for people looking for creative business solutions.

"It's like the new-age way of doing an agency," Mr Nesdale said.

"The traditional agency has all the overheads whereas we're like a bit of a pseudo-agency. We're an agency of the future."

In the future, the members of Studio 64 would like to pool their resources to start up companies to provide services where a gap in the market is identified.

 

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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