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Meet Startup: The Studio @ Wild Dog Rise by Marta Wakeling

Clarity, a plan, and new connections were part of what the developer of this artists’ retreat and the studio was looking for.

Without Startup Shakeup, it would have taken much longer to get to where we are now, and I don’t think the ideas and vision would have been well developed.

– Marta

Tell us about your idea or startup.
Our new venture is The Studio @ Wild Dog Rise. It’s an art studio in an inspired setting, designed to inspire creativity. The Studio, is a large (6m x 9m) light-filled studio, gallery, and events space, set on 25 acres with stunning rural, forest, mountain, and farmland views. People can rent The Studio space for their personal artistic, musical, or creative pursuits. The second option is for people to book The Studio and the 16 guests on-site accommodation at Wild Dog Rise for their art-inspired residential workshops. The third option, that I am particularly excited about, is where we work with local artists to run workshops and Arts Weekends. Guests at the Arts Weekends will enjoy hands-on art experiences, stay in accommodation on-site, indulge in local foods, wines, and brews, and enjoy a wonderful relaxing and rejuvenating creative experience.

Please describe what Startup Shakeup did for you?
The most valuable thing about Startup Shakeup for me was to guide my thinking; helping develop and refine my thinking about The Studio and setting a timeframe for what I want to achieve. I hadn’t managed to allocate a large enough chunk of time to work through it on my own I really value the new local connections and the network of amazing local women I met. The ongoing resources and a Facebook group keeps us connected and continually learning.

What has changed in your business and/or life as a result of Startup Shakeup?
I have a lot more clarity. Having my ideas about The Studio documented makes it easier to share my thinking with my husband. Before it was more, bits of conversation here and there, now it’s a tangible plan and we can work through it together. I’ve achieved things much faster by doing the Sister School course than I would have on my own – it would have taken much longer to get to where we are now, and I don’t think the ideas and vision would have been as well developed.

Where to next for you?
Next, we’ll be working with local artists to schedule, promote and run workshops, courses or events during the Spring Arts Festival in Mansfield. It’s already a well-known festival, Mansfield Shire Council and Tourism North East promote it and the Arts Trail, so people can visit artists’ open studios during the festival.

What would you like to do next with Startup Shakeup and how will you continue to be involved?
I’d love to be invited to Startup Shakeup pitch nights and events to maintain contact with people and keep learning and keep the fire of new enterprise going.

What is your advice to other people in startup mode/other entrepreneurs?
It’s okay not to know everything before you start; don’t procrastinate, don’t look for perfection, just start! One of the most powerful activities, one that helped me the most, during the workshop was a hands-on group task. It allowed me to reflect on the fact that doing things simply, without complication, can be okay, is even preferable! And that having too many assumptions about what needs to be done can be wrong – so working with others for a different perspective is invaluable. Sister School graduates came and spoke with us and a recurring theme was; their business evolved over time, it wasn’t all set in concrete when they started, they developed as they learned and grew