#CRLCreators - Anthony Dickens, Studio Make Believe - Central Research Laboratory Skip to main content

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We’re incredibly proud of the diverse coworking community we have here at CRL: some have joined us via the CRL Accelerator, others rent office or desk space here, all contribute equally to creating the exciting, innovative, creative community that exists here. Each month we’re going to be featuring a member of our community (or CRL Creator!); this week we’ve interviewed Anthony Dickens, Partner at Studio Make Believe, whose company rent an office space here at CRL.

Studio Make Believe create objects that solve problems whilst finding the perfect blend of aesthetic form and functional purpose. They work with some of the biggest brands in the world – including Red Bull, Ben & Jerry’s, Jose Cuervo, Joseph Joseph amongst many others – to create objects that solve a brand, trade or consumer problem and in doing so make a better, more memorable experience for everyone. They’re a group of true visionaries, and Anthony’s interview offers sage advice for prospective entrepreneurs, read below:

 

Could you tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey so far:

I started working for myself about 6 months after graduating from college in the summer of 1997. Initially I was designing and producing a range of lights to sell trade and retail outlets, but I soon found myself being commission by an agency who were pioneers in using design to create brand experiences. I realised brands had a need that could be answered by my developing product design skills of weaving a narrative through an object with functional purpose that solved a problem. In 2003 I won a competitive pitch to design a solution for Red Bull that would increase visibility, speed of serve and ease of collection. The product increased rate of sale by an average of 200% and went on to be used globally for ten years. It was off the back of that success that I was able to launch Studio Make Believe and take our problem-solving approach to many more brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Jose Cuervo and Budweiser.

My love of lighting however has never died and in April this year Tekio, a light we designed and developed, was launched by Santa & Cole during Euroluce at Milan’s Furniture fair and will be available around the world from January 2018.

 

“It’s rare to have all these skills and abilities in one room. I think CRL will soon be one of the most creative and productive environments any designer could wish to work in”

 

What project/product are you working on at the moment?:

I’m not really able to talk too openly about our projects until they’re in market. We are currently developing designs and solutions commissioned by Budweiser, Stella Artois, Jose Cuervo, Ben and Jerry’s and Finlandia. At the same time, we are investing in our own ideas for new lighting concepts, products that enhance sleep, an idea to make saving money more rewarding and several innovative kitchenware ideas.

 

“Get out there, put yourself out on a limb, knock on the doors of people who you’re in awe of, share and verbalise your ideas and pick up the phone to connect with people, don’t hide behind emaiL”

 

What’s your advice to prospective entrepreneurs considering launching a business/product: 

Don’t get too precious about your ideas. It can be hard early on when you feel you might only have one really good idea and it’s your big chance. Invariably it’s not and like everything your ideas get better with practice, experience and a growing sense of self-belief to push yourself further and deeper. Get out there, put yourself out on a limb, knock on the doors of people who you’re in awe of, share and verbalise your ideas and pick up the phone to connect with people, don’t hide behind email. People buy one of three things – you, what you do or why you do it. Try and make sure people get to see and understand all three.

What do you value most about the CRL coworking community:

It’s rare to have all these skills and abilities in one room. I think CRL will soon be one of the most creative and productive environments any designer could wish to work in. The knowledge and skills in the room are genuinely awe inspiring. As a community we could literally design, engineer and build anything!

Describe CRL in 3 words:

Making anything possible

 

www.studiomakebelieve.com / @AnthonyDickens