Like many start-ups, Eatcake Design initially worked in the back bedroom of a flat with little more resources than a coffee machine and determination to succeed.
Our first real office was a modest space on Chandos Road, Redland. It wasn’t much to boast about in itself, but it’s proximity to a potential collaborator led to our first ‘proper’ client relationship. That client kicked us up a level, both in terms of satisfying and mutually fruitful work and our own financial viability. They were impressed by our portfolio and approach, but also liked the fact we could easily wander round and meet face-to-face.
That geographic serendipity has always informed our choices when looking for places to work. On a personal level we wanted to work within walking or cycling distance of where we lived. We also wanted to be grounded in Bristol, and part of the Bristol community. It was always obvious to us that we had to work in central Bristol rather than in a distant business park in the suburbs.
Our next move was to a nice big attic space above a travel agency on Park Street. Everyone in Bristol knows the street, which proved to be a great benefit in drawing new clients. We began many of the business relationships that we still have today. Again, most of the people we worked with during this time were based in and around central Bristol in easy reach of our office. We were able to meet with clients regularly and freely. Not just to discuss ongoing projects, but to have lunch or a quick coffee. Many of those clients became friends and we’re still collaborating with then now.
When we were in a position to buy our own workspace, we chose a location that’s the essence of central Bristol. Our office on Queen Street is a former soap warehouse that backs onto the floating harbour. It was fairly quiet when we moved in despite it’s central location, but now we’re surrounded on all sides by new development. The neighbouring building generated the power for Bristol’s tram system, but it’s now being redeveloped to attract creative businesses. It looks likely that our neighbourhood will become known as a creative district, which is great for us and encouraging for our clients.
We still work with people nearby. Some are small organisations starting up or developing, others are national and international companies headquartered nearby. Of course, we’re always willing to travel in order to meet the right client, but looking back at our track record that hasn’t been a pattern that’s common for us. Clearly friendly and productive personal relationships are are a natural fit. We’re always looking for the next one.