Local residents Remi Landaz and Tori Bravery had been running an events company, screen printing studio and attempting to run an eCommerce business for years in the warehouse where they lived in Hackney Wick.
In 2012 they unexpectedly lost an events space in Shoreditch where Remi and another business partner, Bruno Cabral, ran a popular Sunday daytime event called Half Baked. Around this time, Tori and Remi had learned about an organisation in Canada called the Centre For Social Innovation. A space that focused on curating a community of like-minded business owners, charities and not-for-profits with the aim of promoting collaborative working styles and peer support in order for everyone to progress in their endeavours.
In 2012 they took over a 14000 square foot derelict factory near their home in Hackney Wick, East London with the intention of creating an event space (which ended up as event spaces plus bar/restaurant), music studios, small creative offices and coworking space.
The building was in a terrible state of disrepair and with little money for the refurbishments, the task at hand seemed impossible. They managed to negotiate with the landlord a deal that resulted in fixing the leaking roof but funds were still tight.
They had to get resourceful in order to complete this project and turned to skip diving, freebies from Gumtree and upcycling anything found on the street into something that could be functional; in a workspace. Any deliveries lorries visiting nearby factories and had loads of empty pallets were flagged down and begged to donate the wood.
They also made use of the Forest Recycling project for paint.
To make all of this a reality, Tori and Remi worked 15-16 hour days doing the refurbishment and to make ends meet Tori worked another job in the evenings and Remi kept putting on events. They threw raves in the warehouse to raise money to keep the building work going and when the building’s plumbing and heating had been sorted out, Tori and Remi moved into the building in order to save money on rent
The pair really understand the struggles it takes to start and grow a business because they have lived it multiple times over and believe that in the right environment, every business has the ability to scale.
It is hard to run a business, let alone grow one profitably. That’s why the team at Mainyard Studios wake up every morning to help business owners become better entrepreneurs. They help them save money, focus their time and connect daily with other business owners in order to grow their companies.
The journey of entrepreneurship can be lonely and isolating and combatting this is one of the main drivers of the Mainyard team and something that cofounders Remi and Tori make sure is addressed consistently so that the residents of all the Mainyard spaces have a place to focus when they want it and can get support when they need it.
As well as providing distraction-free, professional spaces that are of great value (and covid compliant), there are a number of activities to help promote bonding amongst the communities of the spaces and provide opportunities for authentic and meaningful interactions and networking on a personal and professional level.