When he graduated in 2011, Andy Williams soon discovered that getting that all important first job in the creative industry was not easy. Most suitable vacancies required two years’ experience.
The Studio provided me with all of the support and resources I needed to set up my design business.
So, he decided to create the perfect bridge between graduation and employment.
He secured a tenancy with the Studio and set about building Future Fresh – a graduate-friendly design studio which actively recruits graduates, helping them to accumulate that much-needed experience.
Two years on, the company has established its niche – specialising in data visualisation – and has worked with a range of organisations in the environmental, logistics and social science industries.
The Future Fresh team now numbers six – two of whom are 2013 graduates – with plans for further expansion during 2014.
To accommodate the growth, in February 2014, the company moved to new offices on Nottingham’s Fletcher Gate. Meanwhile, the team are working hard to become a recognised and reputable producer of data visualisation solutions.
As the business continues to grow, Andy looks forward to offering many more graduate opportunities.
Why did you originally apply to join The Studio?
I’d never thought about having my own business, but when I graduated and found the design industry difficult to break into, I decided that my route into design would be via my own business. The Studio provided me with the support and resources I needed.
How has being a tenant helped you to progress your business?
Being a Studio tenant, I’ve had access to a wealth of invaluable resources and – without a background in business – I’ve had to do a lot of learning along the way.
The Studio provides regular workshops with industry experts which helped me get to grips with business essentials. I also had access to excellent facilities, including office space, computers and relevant software for my business.
The Studio’s networking opportunities can’t be underestimated either. I’ve met people with lots of business knowledge and experience who I’ve been able to call on when I encounter a problem or get stuck.
Megan Powell Vreeswijk has played a huge part in setting up Future Fresh. Without her, I’d have struggled to progress the company so well. I’ve been able to ask her anything and if she can’t help she always knows someone who can!
Two years on, where is your business now?
I am now working full-time for Future Fresh with my Business partner, Nathan Kohut. We’ve found our niche in data visualisation. Future Fresh is still growing and we’re working hard to become a recognised and reputable data visualisation studio.
What are your planned next steps?
This year, the team is expanding with the addition of a new full-time designer. To accommodate our growth, we’re moving to new offices in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter. We’re also going to build a marketing and sales department to raise Future Fresh’s profile in the creative industry.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a Studio residency?
Starting a business is really challenging, but the Studio has supported me through the whole process and I’d recommend joining The Studio to anybody starting a business.
“It's not a job if you love what you do.” This is how I feel about Future Fresh – and it’s all thanks to the Studio.