Featured Photographer: Katrina Jackson
Location: Rochester, Indiana
How big is your space? 900 square feet
Tell us about your business journey how long have you been in business have you concentrated on seniors or other genres? I been in business for 5 years.
What was your turning point in deciding that you needed to open a space? We have been pretty fortune to own a few acres and 2 years ago we built a new home on our property. Our old home was originally designed as a loft style home (It’s basically a 2 car garage with a full loft/home above). So after a year of it sitting empty we decided to re-model the space and convert it into a home studio.
What would be your one tip about financially planning for opening a studio space? My situation was little different in the sense we needed to use it for something weather we re-modeled it as a huge game room or use it to generate more revenue for my business it was something that needed to be done. I would recommend splurging on SAMPLES!!! You can add decor as your budget allows. My studio still isn’t 100% complete but I can add to it as time and money allows. I ran out of funds so I refurbish a lot of the decor. I used a lot of white and gold spray paint. I will continue to trade out pieces as my budget allows. I also splurged on a sofa & chair! All my clients raves about my sofa and chair. It’s very chic but also really comfy!
How long was your process of opening your space? 2-3 months. Winter is my down time, so we used the winter to re-model, and I was opened by March.
What was your favorite part or is your favorite part of your studio space? I honesty love everything!!! It’s very chic! I also love the fact that even though it’s completely remodeled It has a great story backstory.This building means so much to my family. For starters my husband build it over 10 years ago, it was our first home. We literally was on the roof crazy in love nailing nails on the roof so we could start building our future together. We literally lived in the space the first 9 years of our marriage, My daughter spent her first 8 years of life in this building we used to call home, she learned to walk in this building. It’s always fun when I tell people what the layout used to be! Where the kitchen, living room, bedroom was! It makes for a great conversation piece.
Looking back on your growing business, opening a space and currently running in your space what would be something that you might change? I wish I would have done it as soon as we moved out but I was so overwhelmed with the new house.
How has having your own studio space changed your business? It has allowed me to have a more professional place for my clients to have hair and makeup done. before I was doing it in my kitchen. It also allows for me to control my ordering sessions better. I’m able to control the setting. I am now able to dive into the studio shooting world and offer those kind of sessions to my clients.
What was something that was a surprise during this process whether it be a positive or a negative that you would want somebody going into opening their own space know about? Here’s the good bad and the UGLY. We received a lovely letter from the city asking about a business permit. Well I didn’t realize that I needed one on my private property. So check with your couty/city. All city’s have different rules. We had to go to a hearing and my fellow neighbor could contest. The was very stressful not knowing if all this was for nothing. Everything was approved and then we had a new hurdle! Because this building is now for business we have to have a commercial restroom. Well we have tried every possible way to keep the restroom but all options will put us in the $10,000 or more bracket we would even have to move our current swimming pool. So this winter we will have to actually remove the restroom. 🙁 We will then add a restroom in our home garage on the property or allow clients to use our home restroom. We tried everyday possible to get around it and we don’t see a reason spending that kind of money right now on a new commercial septic system. Kinda bummed about that, but in hindsight they could have not passed the business and I could have been shutdown! So I will take that I guess.
How did you go about designing and decorating the layout of your space? Did you hire a designer do it yourself? I did it all myself. I also used Pinterest to get ideas. Having already lived in it for nice years. I know year round when the light is best and what ways to put furniture. My studio is all natural light, We didn’t add any windows during the re-model, that is how the house was originally build. I wasn’t even a photographer back then but I feel god was already laying down the foundation way back then.
Thank you Katrina! We love your space!