In this episode, two women with a natural flair for creativity discuss running their own creative studio, forging the perfect partnership and conceptualising campaigns for small businesses. Learn more about the creatives behind Rust Studio in our Resident journal.
This week, we welcome Resident #2, Lareese & Lauren from Rust Studio
Tell us about Rust Studio and where the idea came from?
We are a creative studio offering branding, content creation, art direction and social media strategy. We work with a variety of clients to build and develop their brand identity, whether that’s their visual story, tone of voice or social media presence. From beautifully styled mood photography and compelling copy, to considered design & brand strategy, we help businesses make meaningful connections with their customers and audiences.
The idea was born from my living room one evening over a bottle of rosé. I remember shutting my laptop after finishing off some freelance work for a marketing company, when it dawned on me that instead of working for someone else’s clients, I could be doing this for myself with clients whose brands and businesses inspire me. I spoke to Lauren to sound out starting up our own partnership together and I just knew with her experience in branding and design, we could transform this living room reverie into a real creative studio offering. Lauren and I decided to pool our skills in the Summer of last year and Rust Studio was born. We’re only kicking ourselves we didn’t do it sooner!
Who makes the better coffee?
Lauren isn’t a big coffee drinker, so Lareese...but only by default, ha!
Working together, do you have your separate strengths and how does the partnership work?
Creatively, we’re like two peas in a pod - we share the same taste and artistic vision which makes working together professionally an effortless job; it also serves and protects our friendship which is integral to making a partnership like this work. It’s symbiotic by nature.
Photography by Rust Studio / Brand: Find
We work on branding, strategy and art direction collectively and then within that genre of work, we have our individual skillsets but we’re always co-operating with one another across every project. Lauren has a background in fashion design, so she has the eye for building a brand’s identity from concept to completion, while I have the background in copy writing, content creation and social media.
Photography by Rust Studio / Brand: Sunshine Living
Together, our skills complement the other and it made complete sense to team up to offer all these services under one studio roof and start collaborating with the businesses we’ve always admired.
Do you have a genre of product, or brand you prefer to work with?
We have a diverse portfolio of clients from sustainable and organic fashion brands to floral designers, wedding stylists, candle makers and start-ups. That said, we’re certainly attracted to businesses and brands whose story and identity connects effortlessly with our own; those are the kinds of partnerships we seek out. Authenticity is at the forefront of what we do; we have to be the right fit for one another.
Photography by Rust Studio / Brand: Better Cup
Photography by Rust Studio / Brand: Sunshine Living
Where do you both draw inspiration from?
We both feel happiest when we’re at our most productive but there is such a thing as being too close to your own work, distance is healthy and fundamental for growth – it keeps our ideas fresh and allows our creativity to breathe and flourish. So much of what we do requires a huge amount of creative energy, whether it’s poring over how words sound together for a strapline or a brand name, or developing a logo design, we live and breathe what we do and often one of the biggest compromises of having your own business is accepting that the work life boundary ceases to exist; at times like that you can’t beat living by the sea. We’re both ocean babies, it’s the best form of escapism.
Moodboard session by Rust Studio
We find inspiration absolutely everywhere, from the typography on a menu or vintage shop signage, to poetry verses, song lyrics and the way shadows dance on the walls in golden hour – we’re like sponges, we absorb our surroundings and observe everything because you never know if something you’ve seen or heard could influence your next big idea.
Tell us about your AWP selects and how you have chosen to style them?
All of the AWP SS20 nail polishes speak to my soul. I think if you were to cut me open, I would bleed a combination of rust and beige. I have an affinity with earthy colours, they have a way of anchoring me with their stillness; it’s a real meditative experience.
Lareese wears Sandstone Nail Polish
I’ve styled my pieces with a simple beige ribbed singlet and some worn white jeans. The Sandstone polish is a beautifully wearable tone, perfect for elevating a minimal wardrobe with a muted colour, and when paired with the Gold Flat Circle Ring Set and Alma Earrings, it makes the simplest of outfits look a little more considered and pulled together. I love the ritual of putting on my jewellery in the morning - it’s therapeutic.
Lareese wears Gold Circle Ring Set
Lareese wears Alma Earrings
First thing’s first, I’m totally and utterly obsessed with every piece in the SS20 collection. I live for basics - a pair of joggers and a cute crop are my go-tos (in all the various tones of beige of course).
Lauren wears Betsy Studs
I gravitate towards subtle yet statement jewellery with an artisan feel and the Betsy Studs are just that, making them the perfect choice of earring to zhuzh up my casual style. I’ve paired them with the gold Eden Necklace to complete the look.
Lauren wears Eden Necklace
Lauren wears Oat Nail Polish
The beauty of all the AWP designs is that there’s nothing superfluous about them. Each product is functional and considered, with a minimalist aesthetic. The collection is an uncomplicated, artisanal edit of staple pieces, designed to fit seamlessly with your own style, so whether you want to elevate your work from home uniform with some every day essentials, or accessorise your vintage denim and plain white tee with stacked rings and statement earrings – the design-led pieces are easy to wear whatever the occasion.
My top style tip would be don’t be afraid to juxtapose dresses and feminine silhouettes with utilitarian jewellery design and experiment with mixing metals. This is 2020 after all! If you’re an outfit repeater like me, changing up your jewellery game can totally re-energise an old outfit.
Each piece in the SS20 collection speaks for itself. If you’re like me and rarely take your jewellery off, then the AWP pieces are the perfect additions to your jewellery box.
The minimalist aesthetic makes it easy to style each piece with any outfit, whether that be workwear or loungewear the AWP collection will have you looking effortlessly put together for any occasion.
Podium is all your's…
We'd like to finish by saying, If you can find a way to fall in love with every quiet corner of your life, it will always be fulfilling. There is infinite beauty and inspiration to be found in the ordinariness of it all; in the smooth rhythm of a Sunday playlist, the conversations sandwiched between toast and marmalade, crinkled linen bed sheets or the babbling of the kettle. Be mindful of how you choose to spend your energy, it’s precious currency.
Photography: Lauren & Lareese
Words: Lauren & Lareese
Follow Rust Studio here
See Lareese on Instagram here
See Lauren on Instagram here
Next week on Resident: We Catch up with Aida (@basicstouch) to discuss dealing with quarantine on the outskirts of Paris and learning how to style your wardrobe this Summer.