Creative specialists bounce back from redundancy with agency success

A trio of creative specialists who bounced back from redundancy last year to launch their own agency are celebrating the company’s first birthday with a string of new contract wins.

True.Studio, which was set up by Drew Burtenshaw, Gareth Willowe and Mark Richards, has capped the first 12 months in business by securing new creative services briefs with North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College and an initiative to tackle depression through cold water swimming in Jersey.

The latter has seen the company develop the ‘SeaClearly’ brand, an e-commerce website and a mix of products that will help fund the campaign and help it meet its target of supporting hundreds of people with their mental health.

“We occasionally talked about setting up on our own and redundancy accelerated that conversation, giving us the opportunity to put ideas into place quickly and deliver something different to the marketing world,” said Burtenshaw, creative partner at True.Studio.

“Between us we have over 50 years’ combined experience in creative work, branding, account management and digital management, but more importantly we have a shared passion to deliver great work that isn’t determined by the size of the client and how much money they spend.”

He added: “This has proved really popular with Covid-19 accentuating the need for marketers and creatives to focus on demonstrating empathy through these crazy times. Polished, pixel-perfect messages just aren’t going to resonate, instead consumers are looking for authenticity and meaningful relationships with brands.”

True.Studio is currently operating remotely, with the three creatives working from home studios dotted around the Black Country and Shropshire.

In addition to the recent wins, the company has built up a client list spanning retail, education, manufacturing and leisure, including a sustainability campaign for Wyboston Lakes Resort.

The trio offer access to creative expertise, branding, website development, copywriting, video production and digital marketing, with a trusted network of specialist associates helping it deliver additional services and capacity if required.

Richards, account director and partner, said: “It was always our intention to set up True.Studio as leanly as possible and not get tied into expensive leases.

“We are not ruling out moving into our own premises in the future and this may be driven by additional demand for our services.”

Fellow creative partner Willowe added: “A long-term aim of ours has always been to open an online store to sell our creative overspill. We work with some incredible and ambitious clients, but, at times, there are restrictions and boundaries.

“This outlet gives us a platform to launch our own ideas from and gives us more creative flexibility to run with – our sketchpads and notebooks are full of ideas that we’ll bring to life when we go live with this at the end of 2020.”