Guest post by Ally Hensley, Co-founder of BlckSalt Studio.
As creatives with a passion for start-ups, Sapna Odlin and Ally Hensley joined forces to create BlckSalt Studio, a creative agency specialising in web development, photography and word magic. Meeting during the UK lockdown for a socially distanced branding shoot, the creative duo clicked immediately. However, their first few months of creating a bespoke studio was not without its challenges with 10,000 miles between them.
As the global pandemic hit, Ally packed her Bondi bags to return to the UK to be closer to family. From her childhood home, Ally was in the middle of rebranding an Australian charity for young women, an organisation she created in 2013. In her search for a photoshoot, Ally’s scrolling led her to Sapna, an experienced photographer with an eye for slick design. With a country in national lockdown, living rooms and kitchen benches were fast becoming the UK’s go-to offices. People were tapping into new technology as ‘Zoom-ing’ became the new normal and shelved passion projects were back on the drawing table. In order to survive and thrive in a virtual world out of control, people were needing to think smarter and harder for their digital slice of success.
With a surge in website enquiries, Sapna commissioned Ally to create copy for clients wanting to bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life. With a client base ranging from personal trainers to medical pioneers, Sapna and Ally have designed a suite of packages to inspire their clients to take their next big step towards success!
The perfect pull to hire Reading’s newest digital hub was the benefit of receiving an end-to-end experience. With Ally returning to Australia to wrap up her corporate role, much to their surprise launching a studio in two different time zones was easier than you think! After four months exchanging voice notes between Bondi Beach and ‘The Three B’s’, the creators of BlckSalt Studio are yet to reunite in person. Ally swapped Bondi for Berkshire to take BclkSalt Studio to the next level. Eager to become a studio that does it all, a lockdown may have been the creative liberation these two were hoping for.
Inspired to document the UK lockdown in a portfolio of ‘Doortraits’, from the curbs of Berkshire, Sapna created a project capturing the lives of those living through a global pandemic. After sharing an image of her neighbour Christine, a nurse sitting on her front doorstep before her shift at a local hospital, Sapna received the royal stamp of approval with the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, responding directly to Instagram as part of the ‘Hold Still Campaign’.
Sapna has over twenty years in digital development and visual storytelling with an eye for flawless work. As a writer and speaker, Ally has written for leading publications such as TEDxSydney and Mamamia and has become a regular interviewee on mainstream media. As a consultant within the Social Enterprise sector, Ally regularly advises charities and social impact organisations on how to ‘pack a punch’ when it comes to social conscience.
This formidable pair are now joining forces in their new start-up for start-ups. Understanding the uncertainty that comes with launching a new venture, Sapna and Ally have the compassion, insight and insider tips to support their clients from conception to go-live.
BlckSalt Studio is an elegant, edgy and innovative agency inspired to create affordable, distinctive content, branding photography and web development. Housed under one ‘digital roof’, this sassy and salty studio will bring your start-up brand to the forefront, with authenticity and humanness. Whether you are looking for words, social media management, brand design or your online share of valuable marketspace, BlckSalt Studio have you covered!
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