The wonderful world of sisterhood: Meet An and Katrien, the founders of STUDIO STORIES
Sisters and recently partners, Katrien en An De Jonghe are the women behind Studio Stories.
Located in the heart of Ghent, the studio could easily be described as an heaven of peace and creativity where people’s intuitions and talents are brought together in order to tell beautiful stories through their artistic know-how. From photo-shoots, music videos to TV productions and commercials, Studio Stories has the purpose to awaken the senses by shaping beautiful visual set-ups.
With their synergy and complimentary backgrounds, An and Katrien always felt like launching their own business together was ‘meant to be’. Coming from a self-made family, they’ve been living around people running their own company, determined to live out from their passion. Therefore, by acquiring the experiences from the masters, the girls decide to take the plunge and fully live their experience.
Today, Studio Stories has succeeded to get a reputation among the big creative institutions and won’t stop renewing itself. So, this is now the new sharing and inspiring place where everybody wants to hang out.
What do you like about entrepreneurship?
It is fun! We got this chance to have created a studio that has become a renowned creative space that brings talented people together. And, we love to translate everything we like into this studio, whether it is a new energy, set up, mood, things that inspire us.
What is your motto as an entrepreneur?
Never stand still. Not that we don’t like to relax, but it’s more as we never run out of ideas. We, and so the studio, are constantly evolving. We still have a lot of projects in mind that we would like to develop.
If you had to give one advice to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Find the perfect partner to work with.
We really value being a complementary duo because it’s very helpful to rely on someone to make important decisions at all levels. The responsibilities are shared and so is the fun. As a team, it’s easier to be proud of the things you’ve accomplished together than if you were alone.
Younger, what did you dream to become?
A: a dolphin trainer. Absolutely absurd because I would be so scared today.
K: to run a horse range or become a doctor.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
K: I worked for a music management agency during 8 years. It is also an interesting world with a lot of engagement and hard work. But there was always some kind of urge to become an independent, like both our parents. They provided and taught us the entrepreneurship values, and I felt like I wanted to be part of that.
A: I always work as a freelancer. First for some television projects, then I started working for a set dresser/food stylist that I’ve been following on instagram for years. I loved her style so much, that I asked her if I could assist her on some of her projects. Luckily for me, we had an amazing connection and she taught me everything. Later, I started to do some jobs on my own, even thought we still love to work together.
When did you start your studio? And why?
We are a group of 5 friends (and family) who were looking for a location in Ghent to accommodate our businesses. We bumped into an old school building before it came on the market. We jumped at the opportunity and after a long period of rebuilding the place, we could move in and start our studio.
We transformed the old gym room into a photo and film studio thanks to our amazing architect friends. The other classrooms have become an audio and recording studios, a music promo office, a fashion production company and a photographer shared space. We’ve now been running the complex for 1,5 years and we’re really enjoying this.
The idea of a photo studio was just an easy next move. We really missed a chill inspiring space that stimulates creativity at its best. And so we just combined our skills, Katrien, as a manager and An, as an art director. We succeed to create a work environment that is a combination of hard work, photo decors, weird furniture finds, and healthy food. And, luckily for us, a lot of people seem to appreciate it as well.
If you would describe your job in one word?
A: An open house…
K: where you feel like home. We provide all kind of services (fully dressed set, beautiful table with healthy food…) so people that hang out in our studio feel like home.
In another life, my sister would reincarnate in …
A: Katrien would be the mother of the pack of wolves.
K: An would be a dolphin or a funny puppy.
You do not know but my sister ...
A: Katrien is often in doubt, always puzzling about every decision. But if she makes a decision you can be sure it’s going to be the best one. It’s always hard to get advice from her, because you just can’t ignore that it’s (probably) the best thing to do.
K: An is always late, but always good in covering it up.
Her cute sin?
A: Katrien is very caring with people she feel close too.
K: An is never not working. She is always looking for inspiration, taking pictures everywhere, always redecorating her home or studio.
The character trait that differentiates you?
K: An is more impulsive, creative, she has always 1000 ideas in mind.
A: Katrien is more rational, down to earth.
The character traits that brings you together?
K: We balance each other out. The things that I am really good at, are things An is not so passionate about and other way around.
K: We are always enthusiastic about the same things and have the same vision about the future.
What would you steal from her?
K: I would like to steal her time and freedom to travel. I have a family, which makes me more homebound.
A: And the other way around, I would like to be more at home.
If you would define your sister in one word?
K: an inspiration
A: a home
If you would like to know more about Studio Stories, we invite you to visit the website and follow the instagram account: studio.stories
Photos by Laura Willems