Based in Bromsgrove, Studio B61 is a creative services agency offering graphic design, marketing and communications strategy and in-house printing solutions.
It works with corporate clients across a range of sectors, including property, finance, leisure and tourism and also works with public sector clients. Directors Hannah Dudley and Sian Conway first met on an entrepreneurship scheme at Coventry University.
Graphic designer Hannah had been working on her own for several years and Sian had been gaining experience in a range of senior marketing roles. When they explored the possibility of joining forces to set up a creative services agency they realised they would benefit from some mentoring and training. The pair also felt they could benefit from financial support for capital investment in new equipment
In August 2017 the pair contacted Worcestershire Business Central and signed up for the Enterprising Worcestershire programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Worcestershire County Council and district councils. During the two-day finance and marketing workshop they also applied for Enterprising Worcestershire grant funding.
“We got the full grant that we applied for and we used the money to buy two new computers, new photography studio lights, monitors, new chairs for the office. We also bought a drone because we’re going to expand into aerial photography for property clients, and the funds also enabled us to gain a qualification from the Civil Aviation Authority which gives us a license to operate a drone commercially.”
“Both the mentoring and the funding gave us everything we needed to get going and get off to a flying start,” says Sian. “Our new equipment meant that we were able to work more efficiently, expand our service offering, and compete against some of the larger marketing agencies who have state of the art equipment.”
Having hit the ground running, Studio B61 has been able to bid for larger projects. The team now counts Severn Valley Railway and HMP Hewell among its clients and continues to work with Hannah’s former design clients including Harris Lamb property consultants.
“We spend a lot of time getting to know clients at the beginning – getting to know where they’re at and what their goals are. Sometimes we take on one-off projects, other times we are working as an extension to their team,” explains Sian.