12 months. 1 new office. 1 bright future.
By Mike Edwards, Managing Director
Today marks twelve months exactly since we opened the doors on an exciting new chapter in the Kaleidoscope story. Time flies when you're having fun.
When we decided to refocus the company back in January 2016 we asked ourselves two big questions:
1. What is our vision for a new look business
2. Where should our new look business be based?
After some initial discussions about our vision, we immediately started the search for a new office that would meet our ambitions.
Don’t get me wrong, our old office in Rodney Street had served us well for 24 years – but the new management team’s vision was for a fresh, inspiring environment that would support our future as a progressive creative agency.
Our search took us right across the city but we kept returning to the Cotton Exchange on Bixteth Street. Perhaps it was because of the proximity to our very first home on Fenwick Street, which stirred up some fantastic memories. Maybe it was because of the vibrancy of the business district, which offers so much opportunity to be social, collaborate and learn from others. Or perhaps it was just the opportunity to set up home in a fantastic building that has played such as crucial role in the city’s history.
Whatever it was, it just felt right and was our clear favourite.
We met Matt Lee (Head of Sales at Bruntwood, the owners of the Cotton Exchange) several times. It’s fair to say that we drove poor Matt to distraction with our obsessive focus on exploring every idea, option and detail. After choosing our preferred suite and with a pen hovering over the contract, I asked Matt if he really had shown me every space in the building. He replied “Well, there is a space on the 7th floor that was the Cotton Association’s old boardroom. We don’t know what to do with it though.” As soon as I saw it, with its beautiful full-length orange velvet curtains in tow, I knew we had found our new home.
Two months, and a significant refit, later we were in. The only thing we brought from Rodney Street – other than ourselves – was the jukebox that now takes pride of place in the new office.
I can honestly say I feel like we’ve been here for years. It felt like our spiritual home straightaway.So what have we enjoyed the most about our new place?
Bruntwood are great landlords. They have high standards and a great team and take a lot of the stress and hassle out of the day-to-day for us
It’s a sociable place with events happening in the building every week – from yoga and meditation to professional seminars through to Christmas Quizzes (just don’t ask my colleague Elaine about her Christmas jumper ‘moment’!)
There’s a great bunch of tenants here, some of whom we are now actively collaborating with on projects
Great views of the city from all sides of the office, oh, and our own private roof terrace with astroturf and deck chairs (and soon to be installed bee-hives, so the numbers in our team will go up to around 20,006!)
But most importantly, the building has provided us with a brilliant and inspiring environment to make visible progress in pushing the business into a new era. This was confirmed when James Kirk joined as our new Strategy Director. It’s been refreshing to work with James, as he has been challenging how we do things and driving us to develop a progressive business plan, as we open new doors and collaborations.
We can see that, since we relaunched five months ago, we are getting to where we want to be. Sure, we could do with a few more projects coming through the door, but the future is looking bright.
I feel totally re-energised and the team is hungry and fully engaged as stakeholders in the business.
Someone said to me the other day that the business feels like it’s got the energy of a start-up but with great heritage and wisdom…that will do me for now.
Have a look at five things we’ve learned along the way since we opened our doors at Fenwick Street in 1988.