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Rent a studio or work from home?

Rent a studio or work from home? Some thoughts on how to decide

There comes a point when you need to decide if you’ve outgrown your jewellery making workspace at home. So, what are the pros and cons of renting a jewellery studio versus working from home?

It took me a while to decide to rent a desk space in a studio to work from rather than work at home. I currently share a studio at Hill Street Design House in Edinburgh. This has been a really great move for me for lots of reasons but might not be the right choice for everyone so I wanted to give some of the pros and cons and my thought processes on it if you are also thinking about it.

Hill Street Design House event hire room

Jewellery making from home

This is the main consideration for me. It doesn’t cost me any extra to work from home plus I don’t have additional costs e.g. travel
The time it takes to travel to and from the studio could be more usefully used making jewellery from home (and will I go there!)
Any time I get a great idea I can act on it if I am working from home

Your ability to work from home, of course, depends on the amount of space you have and whether that space can be dedicated to your work
Life/work balance
There’s no separation of life and work and that can be difficult to manage. This was the main one for me that prompted me to get my desk space. I was finding it increasingly difficult to separate things out and it wasn't working.
There’s always something else to do at home, it is difficult to concentrate solely on making and designing

Renting a studio

Dedicated space
You have a dedicated space for your jewellery making, not a room that sometimes needs to be used if guests come to stay! In my case my desk was in the living room so there wasn't a way to shut the door and just focus on leisure time.
You have the opportunity to network with and learn from other designer-makers at the studio, to work together and collaborate. It's also great not to be alone, to be able to pop along to another person's studio and say hi. We also have nights out and pizza Friday!
Selling events
Many studios have open studio events where the public are invited in to buy. I recently visited Cockpit Arts in London and was told that many artists make their year’s rent back through sales at their two annual open studio events
You may be able to share expensive equipment that you wouldn’t buy otherwise e.g. rolling mill, polisher etc

Financially, renting a studio is a big commitment, an additional monthly cost, especially if your income is sporadic. You also need to factor in the cost of travel between home and your studio.
Travel time
Depending on where your studio is, you will spend time travelling to and fro
So, how do I decide?
I think there are two important things to look at when deciding whether to rent a studio or continue to work from home. Firstly, the logistics. I can see that my business will develop if I rent a studio space. The key for me is to have a space that is convenient to get to. When I lived in London there wasn't a viable option that didn't take about an hour to travel to. I live in Edinburgh now and my studio is a ten-minute walk. For me, if it isn't convenient I just won't go there!
The second thing to consider is to know yourself. Really think about whether you will be able to make the most of the opportunity of having that dedicated space for the next 12 months.

How do I find out what’s available in my area?
Keep an eye out in the local press as well as on Gumtree. In addition, Benchpeg, a weekly email newsletter and website for the UK jewellery industry, regularly features jewellery workshops for rent in their classified adverts section. Look out for other local options, here in Scotland Creative Scotland is a great resource.

Do you rent a studio or work from home? How did you decide what would be best for you? Please do share your thoughts by making a comment on this post


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