We launched! The story.

Thursday evening, 8pm, hidden location in Shoreditch.

– Thursday, 8pm, hidden in Shoreditch
– about 60 people cross industries
– #LeStudio52 is a physical space made to empower its community
– #LeStudio52 is a community of doers, passionate people, eager to share and learn
– the community will be drafting its own future
– the community is open, anyone can get in touch to join and it’s free
– quality is essential for the community. It will design a transparent way to accept morre members.
– launch was a clear success

The studio is ready. The drinks are in the fridge and the nibbles in bowls.
Champagne at right temperature.
Guests are arriving slowly. Groups forms and conversation starts.
Usual questions, interesting answers.
Some are surprised to meet people from complete different industry, being so used to the meetup format.

The traditional “worry” comes up: “Do you have beer or wine?”
My answer surprises, even chocks: “yes we do, but because we have champagne to celebrate the opening of the studio, we’d like to start with that first. Grab a glass of water in the meantime, won’t hurt you”
The idea behind the concept is that we’re not here for drinking, we’re here to discuss and discover.
Socializing is definitely important and drinks will come at the right time.
And drinking water is something that people don’t do enough anyway.

As the Studio is the secret destination of a Foursquare event, the guys join us after playing golf.
We’re almost ready to start.
Heather, in charge of Social Media at GiffGaff, just gets here. She brings us sim cards and her passion for community engagement.
The place is quite packed. About 60 individuals from different background, nationalities, interests, age and professions. Definitely a good mix of people.

Let’s go!

We don’t have enough seats as we just started furnishing the place.
We’ve got a sofa, a bean bag, a dozen of stools/chairs and couple of tables, one of them offered by Loic, an entrepreneur who started Frog Valley, blog to support French entrepreneurship in London.

There won’t be any Powerpoint, video projector will remain switched off.

We didn’t want to present. We want to discuss.
I sit in the middle, amongst others, on the floor.
Place is not fully lit. Some candles here and there.
Atmosphere is soothing, relaxing, breaking away from the busy city life.
I start with thanking people for coming, give a heads up to the people I know and a quick intro of who I am for the others.
I am looking forward getting to know them.
I share a couple of stories, break the ice, get some laughs and smiles.
I show a video Benny shot while at the studio.
He’s on a trip, can’t join.
Doesn’t mean that he can’t be here.
I go on.
The concept is simple:
– there is too much noise on the London scene
– there are too many events that are the same
– ultimately, what matters is people

Some ask questions, we discuss a couple of points.
Our main answer is that we don’t have all the answer.
We are providing a blank canvas with tools.
We’ve invited people who have commonalities while still being unique.
We want to empower these people and offer them a unique experience and opportunity.

The space itself is unique.
The mix of what’s in there too:
– Video Projector
– DJ decks/mixer
– hi-fi equipment
– lights & controller
– Video editing Workstation
And more.
I’ve been gathering stuff since I moved out of my parents place.
Most of it is unused. Wasted opportunity. Could be used by people to learn.
We all have different interests, but all want to learn and grow.
Why not coming together and helping each other moving forward?
People are nodding. It makes sense.
David, my business partner, introduces our company, Popup52.
He explains how it started:
The sessions at my flat, helping him formulate a proper vision around his product.
The incorporation, based on an innovative strategy.

How are we planning to make that happen?
For that, I have a plan.
Genuinely, some individuals had been supporting and helped me building what has become #LeStudio52.
No need to quote their names.
They know who they are. Some nod.
They offered their time and sweat without expecting anything in return.
How could have they anyway?
The concept had been maturing in my heads for more than a year, and I hadn’t been speaking much about it to anyone.
The founders will be the ones building the concept, and I will be one of them.
The movement has started, up to the community to turn it into perpetual motion or not.

I’ve been speaking for too long.
Time for Champagne!
We pop the cork, Champagne spills on the floor.
#LeStudio52 is born and baptised!
We share the two bottles amongst us.
When everyone is served, we toast.
Time for celebration!

Groups form, people discuss, engage, debate and share about all the opportunities #LeStudio52 could offer them.
I can feel the energy, the passion.
I can almost touch it.
It’s warm, smooth and powerful.
Or maybe it’s the Champagne on an empty stomach, on top of the lack of sleep..

The evening goes one.
Slowly the crowd fades, leaving only some of the founders sitting on the couch and bean bag.
We’re sipping Tequila generously offered by Splendid Comms.
We’re all radiating, happy, excited.
More celebration is needed.
I pull a couple of cigars from a cupboard.
Had bough these ones in a hurry on the night of my 30th birthday celebration.
[no Cristiano, it wasn’t so long ago, just few months!]
We grab the bean bag, take it out on the “terrace”.
More jokes, more discussions and more tequila.
We also try a national drink from Latvia that a friend, Stazy, brought to thank me for staying at the studio over night for couple days.
Some AvenueQ tracks and lots of laugh later, it is time for the rest of the bunch to get home.
Only 3 of us are left.
We head for some bagels.
Brick lane is amazing for that.
More discussions, more fun.
Stazy and I get back to the Studio.
Time to get some sleep.

#LeStudio52 is a reality.
The place is an anchor.
The people and their potential as a group, a precious treasure.

Thank you for being who you are!


About Julien Fourgeaud

Social and Tech-savy. Been traveling the world, sharing with other cultures and energizing people. Favourite quote: “I love it when a plan comes together”. Proactive + Social + Innovator + Connected = Catalyst.
This entry was posted in #LeStudio52, Community, Experience, Inspiration. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s