Female tech entrepreneur launches virtual interior design package to improve homeworking

With almost a decade of experience working in the Interior Design sector, Middlesbrough-based, female tech entrepreneur Lauren Ridley set out to create a local, trusted interior practice to make a positive difference to both businesses and people’s homes.

Having a deep understanding of how interior design plays a prominent role in shaping the way that we live, work, and socialise, Lauren was determined to utilise her wealth of knowledge and expertise at a time where it was arguably needed most, and from that made the bold decision to launch Studio Alma amidst the Covid-19 chaos.

Operating digitally from the get-go using software such as AutoCAD and Sketchup to design, detail and make ideas a reality for clients, the plan was to focus and grow Studio Alma’s online offering. However, it was the pandemic and rapid shift to homeworking that influenced the initial service menu.

Witnessing how very few people have functional space within their homes to work and live, the Creative Director came up with the idea of a virtual design package ‘At Home with Studio Alma’ that provides those wanting to transform a single room in their home with accessible and affordable interior design.

However, with low availability of materials, stock issues and a lack of funds preventing the idea from getting off the ground, the SME looked to the DigitalCity initiative for support.  

Joining the Accelerator Programme during lockdown 2.0, Lauren was able to take a step back from the day-to-day operating of the Studio Alma and gain valuable feedback on her business growth ideas.

Lauren said: “I see things in a different way now and understand that I cannot do everything but what I can I am good at. The programme completely changed my way of thinking and has given me a huge confidence boost, not only in the potential of the business but as a businesswoman.”

The programme has also helped towards the funding of a new website, which is set to launch imminently. This will be a huge turning point in the business along with the launch of the At Home with Studio Alma design service.

For anyone that’s considering starting a digital business, Lauren shared some valuable advice “Be brave, be genuine and be yourself! It is so easy to look to what others are doing or compare yourself to their successes, but you must create a business around what you are passionate about and be true to that. Collaboration over competition will always win!”

Keep updated on Studio Alma’s business journey at: https://www.studioalma.co.uk/