Name(s): Ashlee Hamon, Regina Rached, Gayle Zer, and Becky Daly / Age(s): 28-31 / Profession(s): Vintage Heights Stuidio: Photography, Florist, vintage rentals, styling / Rent or Own Studio: Rent / Square Footage: 1,000 / City, State: Tampa, FL / Years in Studio: 1 year
There are four of you who run Vintage Heights Studio. How did you ladies team up together? Regina and myself (Ashlee) became friends a few years ago and would often meet up to talk business. We were both craving a space of our own for consultations and of course to photograph in. We love shooting on location but we dreamed of a studio. We quickly discovered that even together we could only afford windowless shoe boxes. Realizing that we could find a better space if we brought on more people to share it with, Regina decided to reach out to two ladies she had recently met. Gayle and Becky seemed to be at the same stage in their business as we were. They also were vendors that would be perfect to have under one roof! Regina and I being photographers, Gayle being an amazing florist and stylist, and Becky having an amazing inventory of vintage furniture and props. Luckily they were both excited for the idea of having sharing a studio! Within perhaps only hours after the idea was planted Becky found the listing for our bungalow on Craigslist and we fell in love! It was an entire charming vintage bungalow right in the heart of our favorite neighborhood, had tons and tons of windows, parking, and was right next door to an adorable coffee shop. We arranged to meet with the owner and check it out right away. It was at that meeting that I actually met Gayle and Becky for the first time, and we all gelled immediately. We knew this was the place and pounced. We spent a few weeks white washing the inside and setting up shop. The first year has flown by and we could not be happier with it’s evolution!
All of you currently work in the creative industry, but what was your first job after school? My first job was for TSS Photography, photographing children’s sports teams. However I also continued to bartend for 3 years after graduation before I decided to start my business. At the time that we met Regina was still a 2nd grade teacher and Gayle was still a pharmacy tech with Target part time. They are now both happily full time! Becky has full on career in defense contracting and loving her creative outlet, enough so that she hopes to make the transition to full time as well.
What kind of services does Vintage Heights Studio offer? Between us Regina and I offer boudoir photography, head shots, portraits, product photography, and of course wedding photography. Becky offers full service vintage rentals including delivery and styling. She has everything from brass candelabras and colorful glassware to Victorian setees and 60’s couches. Gayle is a very passionate and creative florist offering full service for weddings, events and more!
The concept of VHS is so brilliant! Multiple services met in one visit! How did you come up with this idea? It was born out of necessity. We all wanted to have a space of our own which inspired us to team up. We LOVE having a gorgeous umbrella for us all to operate under. We love working together and being able to directly expose and refer our clients to each other is fantastic!
How did you stumble upon your adorable bungalow studio? Good old Craigslist! We were searching for commercial properties for rent and hit the jackpot!
The style of VHS is so vintage and eclectic. Where did the inspiration come from while styling such a unique space? We really did hit the jackpot with the space itself. We all love and appreciate it’s authentic and original charm. The outside was already painted with wonderful colors that really help it stand out from the street so we decided to go with the scheme for our branding as well. I think it all flows so nicely together. As for the inside it did need a lot of TLC. We cleaned up the hardwood floors and gave the main room about 10 coats of bright white paint, perfect for photography! Gayle and Becky then painted their rooms in a peach and mint that fit in well with the exterior and branding. We also decided to hang full length curtains in the bathroom to showcase the gorgeous claw foot tub! Becky’s vintage furnishings went perfectly with the space as well and we are continuing to rotate pieces through. We wanted to be vintage but not Grandma’s house either, so we’ve been careful to curate the right amount of vintage and mix it in with modern style.
Do each of you have similar styles? How did you come to coordinate a style that all of you could agree upon? I think we all really do share a similar style. No matter what theme or decade we are working on independently or together we always gravitate to the unique, clean, and vibrant. It’s been a pleasure! You can find styled shoots that we have collaborated on here: Swooned Magazine + Off Beat Bride.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a business with another person? In my opinion I think find what flows. WIth us everything came together very easily and when we’re all in one room it’s like a faucet is gushing with creativity. Find people that inspire you and who are open to collaboration and experimentation to begin with. I would stay away from anything that seems forced or that isn’t transparent. We have all become great friends but also great resources. Together we can share ideas, accomplish goals, and learn from each other. I think once you find your tribe make sure to be smart and draw up contract and agreements next. That has helped to make sure we are on the same page and right foot from the get go. Each of our responsibilities were clearly discussed and now we enjoy being able to depend on each other.
Currently Eating: No, not pumpkin flavored everything. Not ALL the time at least :) Right now we are loving all of the local restaurants on our street! Across from us is a James Beard Awarded chef even! But the latest and greatest is definitely authentic Ramen soup.
Currently Watching: Broad City over and over and over again. We cannot wait for season 3.
Currently Dreaming of: Travel!
Currently Planning: A shift in the organization of the space. Becky will be growing into a full on warehouse by the new year. She will still be a member and keep some pieces furnished for us. We will then be freed up to move Gayle’s room into Becky’s which is larger. Which then free’s up Gayle’s room for Regina and I to turn into our office! We will be moving our computers and desks from home and we cannot wait!