In the Spotlight: Social Entrepreneurs
1 October 2018 - Impact Hub Basel
If we want to be a part of positive change in the world, one thing we can all do is support socially and environmentally conscious businesses. How do you know where to find them? Well, look no further—just read on, my friends! In an effort to introduce the community to such businesses, we proudly feature articles highlighting these super-heroes in the Basel area. After all, their success leads to more positive change.

Which leads to more…

And more…

Studio Colony: One Year Later

About one year ago, Impact Hub hosted the event, “Let’s Help a Local Social Entrepreneur.” The idea was to hold a ‘hold up,’ which is a creative method to solve a problem of an entrepreneur. Joining us that evening was Studio Colony, experts in industrial design using innovative and sustainable materials. 

This summer, I sat down with the super awesome owners of SC, Stéphanie Estoppey & Ozan Alaca, to follow up on their progress. Let’s see what went down…

THE RECAP…

After being in business a few years, and enjoying it’s success, Stéphanie and Ozan had an interesting realization. They realized that a unique and integral part of their business—sustainability—was not being communicated to potential clients. But the thing was, choosing local materials and designing parts that can be taken apart easily for reusing/recycling was such a “no brainer” in their approach to design, that it had not occurred to them to mention it or use it to leverage their unique brand. In fact, they realized that many designers do not think this way. And so it became clear that they needed to figure out a way to communicate this aspect of their business model. But how? 

Well, as luck would have it, Stéphanie met IH Basel’s Connie and Hanna in July, who were looking for a business to present at the next month’s event as someone had just dropped out. And voilà! One month later, Ozan presented to the attendees of “Let’s Help a Social Entrepreneur.” He explained what Studio Colony was, what their values were, and that their sustainable methods weren’t being communicated. So he asked: What are some ways we can communicate this to potential clients?

So, what did Studio Colony get from the group’s input?

“For us the most important part of the event was that we got to see our company from a bird`s-eye view. Enabling us to tackle challenges long due in an inspired way.

We implemented the input specifically by re-designing our website, simplifying it in the process, and introducing a new claim: “We are your external design department.“ At first glance the claim has little to say about sustainability. But it stresses an important fact for us: sustainability is not only materials and manufacturing processes but also a sustainable business-relationship with our partners. This relationship gives us the handle to implement more easily new sustainable processes, allowing for a greater impact in resource consumption and energy efficiency in manufacturing and use of a new or re-designed product.

Also we introduced a give-away for existing and future clients. It’s a simple notebook encouraging people to sketch their ideas – made more approachable by providing a Visual Alphabet in the notebook. The little notebook is made of 100% recycled paper, functional in size and humble in appearance and invites our clients to be part of the design process. Thus being a promotional article representing our design philosophy.

In the end we didn’t use „sustainability“ in a blatant way, but subtly by displaying our design philosophy. This approach seems to be working out fine and new and exciting collaborations are on their way.

We have a good feeling for the future of our design firm and are thankful to ImpactHub for helping us sharpen our profile!”

And thank YOU, Studio Colony, for being a part of our journey and sharing your story.

Got a story you’d like to share? Contact me at carrie.aikman@impacthub.net.

Carrie Aikman