Happy Birthday, McKean Studio! We're 2!
Happy birthday, McKean Studio! Technically, we're now 2 and one month... but this whole year has been so jam-packed that I'm pretty much just happy to get something up at all to mark the milestone. We're 2! We made it! And it has been a big one!
I shared a big blog post last year on our 1st business birthday (you can read it here) and detailed some of the important moments that happened through our first year of officially operating McKean Studio - we moved into our first studio space, took on some fun collaborations and expanded our range. This year since has been much of the same, getting bigger and better as we've gone along!
We celebrated a year of our little studio space, easily the most instrumental part of slowly getting better at work-life balance. I don't think that working for yourself means there ever is a true balance, but I figure that as long as the projects are coming in, and we're enjoying them, then that's pretty great in itself (and a darn lucky position to be in!).
This year we've been able to work a little more with our friends at Expedia, working on some fun articles while we've been travelling. We visited Canberra, then Stockholm in October last year where we hunted down some of the best design stores, and travelled to Hobart on a cheeky birthday trip in May and scoped out some of the hottest things to do in Tasmania when it's chilly! We've got more travel on the calendar in this coming year, so look out for more guides!
We also launched a sub-sect of McKean Studio, 'McKean Studio Vacation', and while we're still really passionate about getting that running more smoothly, we just need so much more time to dedicate to it. In the coming months we're hoping to flesh it out as easy to follow guides for some of our favourite cities. If there's anything specific you would find helpful to read or would like to see, let us know!
Collaborations have had a bit more a focus this year, working with some brands who specialise in things different to us, with better manufacturing capabilities. US brand Land of Nod has been our favourite partner, and I've had the opportunity to create a couple of wall decal designs (Up in the Sky and Racing Car) as well as a re-jigged licensing of our popular Ice Cream Mirror. It's been so much fun to see our work in a new way, and on new scales.
We had a lovely feature on Broadsheet as part of their 'Creative Couples' series, the first time we'd had our studio photographed. The full article is here. Joshua was later selected as a finalist in the Broadsheet x Mercedes-Benz Design Award, the top 3! A wonderful recognition of his talents and clever design skills.
The studio got a big makeover with custom cabinets built by Joshua, ready to pack up into a van for when we do markets and events. It's multiplied our storage, given us a slick display, and made us look very put together even when we're far from it. Ha! One of our more expensive projects (setting aside $500 for a bit of DIY was nowhere near what it actually cost...) but an investment we'll have forever. We've also given the website an overhaul to make things easier to navigate and more simple to find what you're looking for.
This year we've continued to expand our product ranges, adding new designs to the City Bangles and new ranges to the Mini Cities. We introduced the City Cubes, new art prints, and some cute pin designs - so there's always something fun to see on our site! I've also worked for most of 2016 on an exciting project, and I can't wait to be able to share it with you - hopefully in the next week or so I can spill the beans properly! You can check out the hashtag #HelloSydneyByMeganMcKean on Instagram for a few hints in the meantime. It's been tough to make the time for everything in this past year, but such a delight to work on, and something I count myself as being extraordinarily lucky to have had the opportunity to do so.
Aaaand, that's about it! 2 big years of working on our little business, and trying to soak up all of the good bits that have come along with. Who knows what year 3 will bring! (I've got a hunch it's going to be pretty bloody good though!) Thanks for following along with us and supporting what we do at McKean Studio. It makes a world of difference to have such a wonderful army of friends, family, customers and Internet-pals cheering us on. We certainly couldn't do it without you!