Andrew and Sarah Whittle are founders of Penzance-based Whittle Design Studio. They moved down from the North West to Cornwall nearly three years ago and have continued to grow and expand their client base nationally and internationally. We interviewed them for our Celebrating Success series for Cornwall Business Week.
We wanted to live a more creative lifestyle, where our work and life merged into one. We do have set hours but as creatives we never turn off. We also wanted our children to grow up and experience everything that Cornwall has to offer. – Andrew Whittle, Founder
We spoke to them about their relocation, how they have successfully retained their clients from the North West and how they established themselves in Cornwall with a beautiful high-profile campaign for a local estate agent.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what motivated you to start your business?
Both Sarah and I each have over 20 years in the design industry and our diverse skills complement each other, so we decided to start the business and relocate to Cornwall. We wanted to live a more creative lifestyle, where our work and life merged into one. We do have set hours but as creatives we never turn off. We also wanted our children to grow up and experience everything that Cornwall has to offer.
You have had an incredible journey so far; can you talk us through these past few years and share any tips or lessons learnt that you think have helped you? Have you got any tips for anyone considering relocating to Cornwall?
Before we relocated, we visited Cornwall numerous times. We explored every corner, so that we knew where we wanted to live and work and what suited our lifestyle as a family and as creatives. Our biggest hurdle was finding somewhere to live. Because we lived in West Yorkshire it was endless road trips viewing houses, so for anyone wanting to relocate, we suggest finding somewhere to live for six months and when you are down in Cornwall you can look for the right property. There are plenty of resources online that will help with relocation and one of the biggest fears we had was being accepted by the Cornish people. Truth is we have been welcomed with open arms and everyone we speak to are so friendly. What is also so noticeable when you move down is just how many people have also relocated to Cornwall.
Who would be your dream client?
Our dream client would be someone who values design and understands how great design can transform a business. We love to work on projects where we get to flex our wide range of skills from illustration, branding, graphic design, digital and strategy. A perfect example of our ideal client is Stacey Mann Estates based in Penzance. They originally contacted us to design their new website, but it quickly became clear that they needed a complete brand identity system along with marketing material to help them launch their new business in what is a competitive market. Following a discovery stage, where we identified their brand objectives, Sarah started work on a range of illustrations that would form the basis for their overall branding. We then developed the brand and delivered a range of marketing material ready to launch their business. Since launching in December 2018, Stacey Mann Estates have entered their market with impact and their unique boutique style branding is helping them stand out from their competitors.
What is great about running a business in Cornwall?
Since relocating, we have learnt to embrace the Cornish lifestyle and it’s impossible not to be inspired by our idyllic location. We are based near Land’s End and are blessed to be surrounded by gorgeous beaches and wildlife. As a lot of our work is done online we can literally work anywhere and, because we have super-fast broadband, we can compete with design studios across the UK. We have clients throughout the UK and Europe and the connectivity allows us to deliver work fast, which is very important when we work to deadlines every day.