Brand-building agency Boldspace welcome us for an exclusive tour
When you first walk into Boldspace’s abode on Margaret Street, perfectly placed in-between Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Soho, you might find yourself double-checking the sign outside… Have we come to the right place?
The reception feels more like a Mediterranean hotel than a London office - hotelification, if we’re being specific - with its huge chandelier, Moroccan floor tiling and green & terracotta hues.
Having worked with Kontor previously, when the time came for the brand-building and comms agency - with a portfolio of big-name clients including TGI Fridays and the Post Office - to inevitably size-up, an off-market opportunity secured by Kontor’s Tasha Giddings felt like the perfect match.
📍 Margaret Street
Nick, Mike (both Co-CEOs), Danielle (Ops Manager), thanks for having us this morning.
👉 A brief overview
Can you tell us how you first heard about Kontor?
Mike: It was originally word of mouth.
We were having a coffee with a contact based in Paddington and whilst there we got onto offices, and they recommended yourselves.
The rest was history.
What made you want to work with us?
Mike: Definitely the recommendation; you never know what you’re going to get until someone tells you “Actually it was really nice and seamless” but at the same time we deliberately chose not to speak to lots of brokers.
We knew Kontor would be able to make it work, the process was smooth and it all took as little time as possible, too.
Nick: I think Kontor’s brand played a part - it’s a recognisable name in the industry, and the site’s interface was easy to use.
It doesn’t feel soulless as a brand, it feels soulful in fact.
Mike: It felt more tech-led too - using the online portal - as opposed to emailing back and forth.
👉 Size it up
Simple consumer journeys are a must, so thank you.
Why did you want to move offices from where you were previously?
Mike: It was mainly size and quality.
The office we were in before was nice enough, functional and in a good location, but it felt like we’d outgrown it in several ways towards the end.
Nick: It’s more grown-up here, maturing as a business means we needed our office to match; a professional space which was better-suited for the team.
Danielle: The facilities needed an upgrade too - Everything was a bit old. We needed somewhere fresher!
👉 Area codes
Where did you want to be?
Nick: Either in Soho, or as close as possible (our Chairman was adamant about this, too).
Mike: We were clear about wanting to be within this radius and that’s another thing we appreciated - compared to others you sent a couple of options within Holborn and Victoria for the sake of a price-check if we wanted to widen the parameters, but not too many.
What was the goal with the office?
Mike: The quality point rings true here. We’re working with bigger clients now, so our professionalism needs to be reflected with the office we’re in.
Getting the team back to the office was also a big goal, we knew securing a high quality office with great amenities would create an environment they actually want to be a part of.
Nick: We wanted the team to feel proud when they’re coming to work every day, but we also considered the benefits of a space like this within the hiring process and when pitching for new business.
First impressions count and your office is no exception. In fact, it’s pretty crucial.
Margaret Street felt like a great find as it was brand new; it hadn’t opened yet when we were looking, but Tasha took us to see one of Creo’s similar spaces to get an idea of the look and feel.
Mike: It’s also the practical difference - everyone who comes in for an interview is really impressed with the office and always has plenty of complimentary things to say.
Danielle: Meeting rooms were such a big thing too - we’ve got loads of space, our own phone booths and also the communal area downstairs.
👉 Perfect match
Did you get buy-in from anyone else internally?
Mike: As we were the ones making the end decision not necessarily, but we did bring the team along to see it and understand why it was the right move for us. They were pretty attached to the previous office but once they walked in everyone was excited.
How have you approached hybrid working?
Nick: There’s no strict policy, we’re flexible but everyone knows when they need to be in and see each other.
We don’t force it, some of the team are in the office 3-4 days a week, some 1-2, but as we said before as the space is so inviting they want to be here.
Any pain points throughout the process?
Mike: Overall it was really smooth.
Creo was super flexible as a provider - I reckon some of the bigger ones may have pushed back on things we asked for, but that’s what made the difference for us.
Danielle: They were flexible with the move date which was a real bonus. They even granted early access for the removal and IT teams, to ensure we were all set-up for the big day.
👉 Grand designs
How did you want the office to reflect the brand?
Nick: I’d say an office move is like a microcosm of moving into a house, it takes time to settle.
The layout is perfect and I’m sure a year down the line it’ll feel more lived-in, so it’s going back to that balance we mentioned before.
Some of our clients are quite corporate, some are really creative, so we needed to strike the ultimate balance between looking smart and professional, which we’ve achieved.
Danielle: It’s great being in a self-contained space as we have our own kitchen - Oh funny story about that, the island had to be delivered separately and we ended up having to lug it all the way up the stairs - These two have never worked so hard!
Nick: That was so heavy - it took 4 of us to get it up the stairs, I don’t know how the delivery guys even got it to the door with just 2 of them. We’ll have to leave it here when we move on.
Our arms hurt just thinking about it (gah!).
Moving swiftly on, what were 3 must-haves Boldspace wanted…
Danielle: Desk space, meeting rooms, space to grow.
Mike: We’ve moved a lot and didn’t have to move again for a while, so we needed somewhere to stay for at least 2 years.
Nick: Having a self-contained space. Being on the 5th floor and having the roof terrace directly above us is a big sell, the entrance is right opposite our door so it feels like it’s ours.
The design of this whole office is excellent - the rooftop actually feels like you’re at Soho House.
And 3 things you didn’t want?
And a cramped, narrow office - we needed it to be open plan.
Nick: I wanted wooden floors but hey, sometimes you have to compromise.
Others we saw were big but didn’t have much light - Even if the space has the best fit-out in the best location, if there’s no natural light it’s a big no-no from me. Here we have endless windows.
Danielle: We’ve run out of space to put things on walls - there’s so many windows! It’s not a bad thing, though.
👉 End game
The more natural light, the better.
If you had to sum up the highlights of working with Kontor, what would you say?
Nick: Can we say Tash?
We built a great relationship through trusting one another, which is so important.
Mike: Yes, give her a bonus!
On a serious note, there was no pushiness and the process was easy - we only ended up seeing 3-4 before knowing this was the one.
We wanted to think long-term with both the office itself and who we worked with, so when the time comes to move on we know we’ll speak to Kontor first.
And finally, what piece of advice would you give to any other companies in your position who are looking for a new office?
Danielle: Stick to your guns, stick to what’s in your head, something will come up.
We were lucky as nothing else really matched this.
Mike: Don’t compromise but be realistic on budget - we did have a realistic budget but we inevitably went over, so it’s that balance we spoke about before.