#FridayStartup Showcase: Kelly Irvine of Kooky Studios

Hello creatives! Our #FridayStartup showcase continues and this week, we have been speaking to Kelly Irvine from the WIBA nominated Kooky Studios. We spoke to Kelly about running her own business, her life as a creative innovator and her inspirations! What are you waiting for? Read on and prepare to be seriously inspired!

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In summary tell us a bit about your business and the services you offer.

Kooky Studios is a Liverpool based photographic studio that provides an individual style on portraits, portfolios, fashion portfolios, fashion films,music photography, music videos, wedding photographs and family portraits in studio and on location. The studio is situated in the Baltic Creative triangle, in Elevator Studios.

What inspired you to start the business and how did you get started ?

I am the Head Photographer and  Managing Director of Kooky Studios LTD. I founded the company in 2013, after having dreamed of owning my own successful business. I have a diverse background in creative industries, having worked not only as a photographer and graphic artist but as a hairdresser and a hair and make-up artist, for 14 years prior to Kooky Studios. This has allowed me to gain a vast understanding of the fashion and art industry, that helps me to work with a variety of clients today.

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Who is your ideal customer/target audience?

Our target market consists of musicians ,models, actors ,artists, products , brands, online fashion brands and the general public.

 Please describe a typical day for you.

A typical day will vary depending on if we are shooting or not. If we are working on a fashion photo shoot or online brand, the day will begin with greeting clients and getting them prepared for their photo shoot ahead. This consists of hair and make up, advice and direction then onto to the shoot! Other days can consist of blogging, inquiries and social media.

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What would you say is the best thing about having your own business?

The best thing about having my own business is the feeling of achievement in doing something i am so passionate about. building something that has developed from my heart and mind.

And what kind of challenges have you faced when setting up the business?

6 weeks into the business my partner backed out which was very stressful and very hard; to take on such a challenge alone with almost no budget at all was daunting but I knew I could do it! Surviving with only the help of an assistant twice a month has allowed me to become a strong business woman. The help from a company called Rockstar Youth was really great too. Here I found a great mentor Karen Gould, who has supported me greatly this last year!

Where would you like to see yourself/your business in 3 years time?

In 3 years time Kooky Studios will have developed into a complete digital house, providing all visual needs to help launch the careers of musicians, models, designers,actors and the general public. We will bring London standard to the city.

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Do you use social media platforms to promote and grow your business? Which ones and how?

Social media is VERY important to me especially as we are only beginning our 3rd year as a company! The fact they provide free advertising and networking is a major factor. We use Twitter, WordPress, Facebook ,Youtube and Instagram. These sites have allowed us to gain viewers and followers from all over the world from the USA, and Europe to Australia and the Far East!

What do you feel has been your biggest achievement so far within business?

I have three achievements i am very proud of: being published 9 times by Vogue Italia online, being in the shortlist for best newcomer at the DIB awards and being selected to be a case study in the book called “happy entrepreneur mindset” by Karen Gould.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start their own creative business?

My advice would be to prepare yourself for late nights, early mornings, 7 day working weeks, and stress but also for joy, excitement, pride in yourself and if you have chosen a business you have a great passion for,you will get there in the end! DON’T GIVE UP!

Who/what are your creative business inspirations and why?

My creative business inspiration is Show Studio created by the amazing Nick Knight; my dream is to create a studio like this one day but with my own individual style. Nick knight has taken fashion photography and film and combined it with graphic art which is totally my passion! Also Andy Warhol is a great inspiration and to own my own modern day ‘factory’ would be my dream come true. Other artists I admire are Guy Bourdin, Alfred Hitchcock and Annie Leibovitz.

Thank you very much Kelly for taking the time to talk to us about Kooky Studios! Kelly has been nominated for a Women In Business Award (WIBA) in Liverpool, taking place in early March. Best of luck to Kelly and all the other nominees; we have our fingers crossed!

Website – www.kookystudios.wordpress.com

Twitter – www.twitter.com/kookystudios

Facebook – www.facebook.com/kookystudios

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