The instant impact Manchester-based Jolie Studio has had on the interior design marketplace was further underlined last year when it won a prestigious Mixology North 2019 Award. Victorious within the Commercial Interiors Project of the Year (sub 5,000 sq ft) category, the success came about following its work on an office development for Matillion.
“The Mixology Awards are something we have always attended, from the time when we were working for our previous company,” explains Franky Rousell, CEO, who created Jolie with Chloe Cotard, CCO, in 2017. “Jolie had only been in business for six months when we attended the awards in 2017 and I remember saying to Chloe how amazing it would be if were to win an award ourselves one day. To have gone on to do just that two years later really is the stuff of fairy tales!
“We didn’t even think we would even be nominated in the first place so it was a massive shock to us at the time. We’ve always believed in what we are doing but as two young start up business owners we’ve had to fight really hard to get our voices heard. To have gone on to be presented with the award on a stage surrounded by the people who have followed our journey since the beginning was an extremely empowering experience. To say we were very happy indeed would be something of an understatement!”
This fast track success can be attributed in part to the wealth of experience that Franky and Chloe both bring to the table. Originally from Oxfordshire, Franky took up the role of Head of Design for large commercial property developer Bruntwood at the age of just 23, where she met Chloe, who had also been attracted to Manchester’s burgeoning marketplace from her native France.
Another key factor behind the award success is the faith placed in Jolie by the client, despite it being such a relatively new entrant to the marketplace. “The project was an office design project for Matillion, which are a rapidly growing tech business,” outlines Franky. “They are based in Altrincham but have tremendous backing from Silicon Valley. Matthew Scullion, their CEO, took a huge gamble on us given that we were such a new company. However, he was particularly keen to create a unique office environment that would both help retain staff and attract new recruits into the business. With this objective in mind, when we began showing him the design concept, which we’d developed around the creation of emotional sensory zones with the use of different materials, lighting, colour and sound; you could see that he instantly recognised what we were trying to achieve.
“Following completion of what was an eight-month project, we’ve since had some amazing feedback from Matillion, particularly from a recruitment perspective. They have not only managed to retain all of their staff but have also attracted 88 new employees. They interviewed thousands of potential candidates and every single one mentioned the work space as an attraction. To have played such an integral part in Matillion’s development as a business is hugely gratifying.”
While Jolie can be rightly proud of the Matillion project and the Mixology North Award that followed on the back of it, the company is certainly in no mood to rest on its laurels as it looks to use the success as the springboard to further growth.
“The Matillion project was a real showcase of what we can do as a business,” says Franky. “This is reflected in the fact that they have now extended into the US and have taken us on that journey with them as their office designers. It is awesome to know that Matillion love our work so much that they’re committed to building their relationship with us further.
“The market is such an exciting place for us because our concepts spread across every single sector. While we have always enjoyed working in the office-based marketplace, we are also picking up projects in hospitality, leisure, healthcare and even private residential. We have never focused purely on one particular area or country. In addition to our forthcoming US-based work, we have also designed a food laboratory for Nestle in Switzerland. We see that international expansion continuing, but closer to home the UK is also a particularly exciting time for the industry and there is an abundance of interesting projects coming through in a wide range of sectors. This is why we’re determined to remain versatile and raise awareness of what we can offer across the board. To support this aim we have been careful to recruit carefully, having recently added two incredible designers to the team to strengthen our proposition.”
Another of Jolie’s current projects, Deansgate Square in Manchester for Renaker, is creating quite a stir ahead of its completion in March and is already being talked about as a possible Mixology North Award contender. As its reputation continues to build and build, it is clear that Jolie is definitely a company to watch in 2020 and beyond.
(Images of Matillion development)