The Design Studio Crushing It During COVID
Khula Design Studio: A BC Business Success Story
Vancouver, BC: 9 April, 2021
Despite a string of company closures across the Lower Mainland during the pandemic, K continued success is a feelgood BC business story — one that could help other small businesses and solopreneurs accelerate their growth as COVID restrictions are lifted.
When entrepreneur Jamie Windell first arrived in Vancouver back in 2019 — from his hometown Johannesburg, South Africa — an initial sense of adventure quickly turned into a desire to set down roots. BC’s forward-thinking, growth-friendly culture — not to mention the province’s outstanding natural beauty and high standard of living — saw him move here full-time.
It wasn’t long before he began working as an account strategist and digital producer at a downtown digital agency, which allowed him to build on his management, strategy, and creative skills.
However, as the pandemic took grip last year, downsizing measures saw Jamie, like many others, forced to seek employment elsewhere.
But ever the optimist and embracing his entrepreneurial spirit, Jamie decided to flip the switch on misfortune. After starting numerous other businesses in the past, he decided to start a new venture… and Khula Design Studio was born.
“It was definitely the catalyst I needed to realize my dream of building my own business,” says Jamie, 32, who splits his time between North Van and Chilliwack. “I’ve made some great contacts both here in BC and back in South Africa, so I saw an opportunity to bring all of this expertise together — with myself leading the way.”
Growth For All
Taking its name from the Zulu word for ‘growth’, Khula’s not only committed its own success, but to helping other businesses level up too.
“Since the very start, Khula’s been focused on helping solopreneurs and small outfits make a big impact,” Jamie explains.
“My clients include everyone from a condo development to a truck repair shop — as well as a podcast studio and copywriting agency. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re all great businesses that need to have that reflected in the way they look online.”
“Khula helps them — and others businesses — define themselves in terms of design. We create standout visual identities that’ll get them noticed by the kinds of customers they deserve — working closely with their founders to forge an authentic brand they can be proud of.”
While there’s some way to go before comparisons to fellow ‘Saffie’, Elon Musk, can be made (!), Jamie’s vision for scalable success continues to drive his ambition for Khula forward.
2021’s already shaping up to be a big year for both Jamie and Khula. Over the last few months, he’s taken on 2 staff, started working with dozens of creative contractors, delivered projects for 25+ companies (both in BC and beyond), and is broadening out Khula’s core digital design services to include content marketing and SEO. Last month, Khuka became an Official Webflow Partner as well as a Thinkific Partner too. Jamie also recently married Diane, a BC-based artist.
The Khula team remains remote by design. While other design studios and agencies continue to adjust to working in this way — something that’ll no doubt continue post-pandemic — this structure and set up has been a key part of Khula’s success.
“Working across timezones, countries, and continents means we can service pretty much anyone anywhere”, Jamie explains.
“We’re already working with businesses as far afield as Germany, the UK, the Caribbean, and South Africa.”
“Being remote also means we don’t have the same overheads as traditional design studios or agencies — real estate being a massive cost we can avoid here in Vancouver. As a result, we can pass more value back to our clients — and focus on providing the services they need to further their success; not inflating our costs just to pay the bills.”
As more and more businesses look ahead to setting themselves up for success, a brand overhaul is a great place to start. Jamie and the Khula team are passionate about transforming solopreneurs’ and small businesses’ brand image and online presence, and are ready to support BC businesses looking for a creative boost to kickstart their growth ambitions.
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