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Larry Hardcastle

Studio44

“We’re a team of nine and working fantastically now, the last couple of years have been a challenge to business generally, everyone has been working from home and we’re still not actually back in the office. We’ve found that everyone has been working effectively at home, they can work to their own schedule and that impact on the business has been massive. We really don’t want to change that because everyone has been working so hard. If we can get people together for socials and connect with one another now and then it seems to be working well – It’s been an interesting time.

When COVID came, we sat down as a team and started to prepare for a dry spell, planning work on our own website and projects but it just didn’t happen, we had clients that had found time in their diaries to get in touch and plan and we found it easier to get hold of people, it’s been strangely productive in so many ways and we still haven’t found the time to work on our own projects.

There’s been more reliance on web, people haven’t been able to be out and about, so they’ve spent more time online, it’s made that web presence even more important.

Some of our most exciting projects now are more system lead, especially where a business has already got a system working behind the scenes and we can tie the two together, with a website, making everything work in harmony, that just doesn’t work with the ‘off the shelf package websites’ so if we can do something that matches their existing systems, save them money and time then that’s really exciting! And, when I see those end results, that’s what gives me a lot of pride in what we do.”

Larry Hardcastle – October 2021

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“I first got into web design at the age of 14, when my grandfather mentioned that it’d be an interesting experiment to see if a certain line of classical records that he’d produced and converted to CD form may do well online.

This was back in the days of dial-up internet, paid for by the minute…! We assembled a simple but appealing site, and waited to see what happened. Surprisingly quickly, we started getting orders in from across the UK and then from across the world, with correspondence and orders received from as far as the USA and Australia. This was massively exciting, and demonstrated very clearly that there was a future in “the Internet”! I started developing sites for friends and family, and through word-of-mouth, the business grew from there. I ran it alongside my school, and subsequently university commitments, graduating from King’s College London with a degree in Business Management.

At that point, I wondered if it was time to get a “proper job”. However, having run the business for so many years to that point, I thought I’d be best off giving it a go. So, I took an office in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, and took the leap to working full-time! The team grew slowly but surely, with the first person to join me being James – the two of us having been friends since the age of 13. Doug joined not long after. Fast-forward a few years, and the Studio44 team now numbers 12 people, and we’re able to offer the full digital-marketing spectrum of services, all based on in-house talent. We look after over 600 websites, and the thing I love to this day is the sheer variety and range of clients that we work with. We love solving problems and delivering results for clients, meaning that no two days are ever the same!”

About the business

We are a Digital Agency based in Crowborough, just outside Tunbridge Wells, Kent, specialising in web design, development and digital marketing.

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