JackWills: What is Shut Up Studio and what do you do?
Beth Salter: I set up Shut Up Studio in 2015 in Brighton. We are a design studio working with clients from multiple industries around the world; from retail to branding, art direction to styling. We are an ethically conscious studio and love to work on issue-based projects, and with small businesses. In addition to this, we run Shut Up Supplies, which is our range of ever growing supplies that we stock in design-led stores in London and Brighton.
JW: When did you start working at Jack and what were your roles here?
BS: I worked at Jack firstly as a freelance graphic designer in August 2011, after completing my MA at Central Saint Martins. This led to an offer of a permanent contract as a mid-weight designer.
JW: What is the one memory of Jack that you look back on most fondly?
BS: Great people who turned into great friends and excellent parties that have turned into excellent memories.
JW: How did your experiences at Jack help you in starting SUS?
BS: I learned a lot that helped me build the skills I needed to set up my own business. I really got to grips with how integrated marketing, e-commerce, graphic design and store design work and how a campaign rolls out across different media. I learnt how to create relevant and engaging concepts for different campaigns and most importantly how to manage my time working on multiple projects.
JW: What gave you the inspiration to go it alone?
BS: Running my own studio has always been my dream. I chose Brighton for its innovation and creativity as a city. It’s really entrepreneurial. I moved there from London and went to local networking events. Through this, I met so many fantastic people. In particular, I met some inspirational women who were so positive about setting up their own businesses that it drove me to make my dream a reality.
JW: What has been the key to your successes?
BS: Hard work, staying focused and being flexible, easy to work with and responsive to clients are all key to building great working relationships, which I truly believe is what has got me where I am and where we are as a studio. Our initial success was definitely due to staying in contact with colleagues from previous jobs – I can undoubtedly say working at Jack provided me with so many great contacts, which have come to Shut Up Studio for our design skills since. Many of these people are themselves entrepreneurs.
JW: What does being ‘entrepreneurial’ mean to you?
BS: Answering this from a creative perspective, it means that you have the skills to set up solid foundations that enable you to work as a steady business. Once you’ve built on this, you’re then able to steer your projects in new and interesting directions – allowing yourself to work on more diverse and exciting projects.
JW: What would your advice be to people looking to start up their own business?
BS: Be bold about who you are and what you want from your business. Be prepared for some hard work – in more ways than one! It also reaps some fantastic rewards and satisfaction.
JW: What does the future hold for SUS?
BS: Our aim is to continue to grow as a company and work with an ever-expanding client list, whilst continuing to work on ethical and issue-based projects – which we see as the heart of what we do.
We are really excited about the current collaborative and studio project called Yimp, which we are working on with an excellent writer, Sian Hogan. The collaboration is multi-platform and the subject is focused on casual sexism in society. The idea is to create an arena for open discussion around the subject, creating a hub for creative and written work, plus a publication. We are currently in the process of getting materials together to create an open call, allowing us to work with contributors and give the project a bigger voice, so watch this space!