This International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022, when we are celebrating all of the brilliant women in our lives and in leadership roles, it seems like the right time to give you a proper introduction to Interior architect, Ruth Galloway and Creative Director, Michelle Ridley - our amazing female founders of Studio So.
This year, IWD is all about breaking the bias, a topic close to our hearts - both in the way that we work and also as women within the design industry which has been typically male-led, particularly in our specialist areas of interior architecture and branding.
Learn more about Ruth and Michelle’s journey to founding Studio So - the moments that have developed their signature designs and the principles that underpin our agency, in this blog…
The journey to opening our studio doors.
We worked together as a team for four years before deciding to start Studio SO. With mutual respect for each other’s discipline, over time the lines between interior architecture and identity design became blurred and the design process became more fluid between us. Our skill sets complemented one another and the results were on the unexpected side of creative, which led to a seamless and integrated approach that was benefitting our clients and their customers.
As designers, it was exciting to think about what we could achieve together. One day we simply thought – this just makes sense and Studio SO was born. As they say, when you know you know!
Have a look at the projects we have completed at Studio SO here.
Where our design inspiration comes from.
While Michelle comes from a brand and advertising background and Ruth from architectural and interiors – our design approaches are very different. However, our upbringings and values are very similar. We’re both open-minded, independent and tenacious! It’s not unusual for Michelle to design an interior detail or for Ruth to drive a brand strategy. It’s that mindset that brought us together and delivers something truly unique.
We have both been fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend many years travelling around the world and experiencing both life and work in each destination. Travel exposes you to new cultures, people, and experiences – this allows us to draw from a variety of influential factors; from art, culture, nature and traditions and to really consider the purpose of a space in terms of those who will use it.
We believe that building and fostering a network of supportive and creative people from all backgrounds and disciplines has greatly influenced our work. It’s amazing where and when a creative spark can be formed!
If you want to chat with us, you can fill out our contact form here and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.
The Studio SO experience. SO stands for Significant Others and the name was born directly from our realisation of how important our working relationships are in delivering high-quality projects. From illustrators, packaging designers, signage fabricators, product designers to building contractors, we value and need them all equally. This led to our brand values; we are Open-minded, Collaborative, and Tenacious.
Unlike other studios, we’re passionate about working together to stand apart. We don’t have different departments; every project requires different skillsets, but we’re unique in how those skills come together. We encourage inclusive working for an impactful result. Each time we begin a project, it is different to ensure each result is unique.This ties to our vision for Studio So, which is to change silo thinking and create an inclusive culture where ideas are core and disciplines merge.
Our studio is in Leith in Edinburgh; this is an incredible city that we have both felt extremely lucky to return to after working all over the UK and overseas. Edinburgh embodies that essence of international appeal with a community feel. It offers a great work-life balance and we’re amazed by the talent of the network of people that we’ve built and work closely with.
Looking to the future. We’re incredibly lucky to have had a really busy couple of years in the studio, despite the global pandemic and we are super proud of that! It’s been a crazy journey and we are learning all the time. Prior to Studio So, we were great at delivering amazing spaces and now as business owners, we have had to learn about every other aspect of business, and as other founders will know - there is a lot to learn!
Running a female-led studio and seeing our amazing clients launch and thrive, then receiving their great feedback and recommendations means a lot to us. Every day we are evolving to meet the needs of the business and we are proud to look at the huge progress we’ve made so far.
If you are curious about working with us on your interior architecture and branding - or if you simply want to pop into our studio for a quick hello, do get in touch - we love to hear from you!