We speak to Alex Mills, founder of burningred, a blue self storage customer since April 2020. Burningred is a digital marketing agency that specialises in bringing businesses to life with a combination of branding, video, content, websites and marketing.
They’re one of many local businesses that had to adapt over lockdowns and beyond, plus throw in the complications of relocating to a new office in 2021 and adding a house fire into the mix – storage definitely became critical!
Hi Alex! Tell us about burningred.
Well, we’ve been going for about 18 years – but it only feels like yesterday that we started off!
We’ve expanded over this time to a core team of 7. At the crux of it, we bring businesses to life through a combination of strategy, branding, websites, and digital content (essentially a posh way of saying that we make video and visual content that tells your business’s story and drives engagement and growth).
Ultimately we love working with businesses who are passionate about what they do and our wealth of knowledge between the team means that we’ve seen and helped with a whole host of digital problems facing businesses.
It’s been a tough time for businesses – how has burningred adapted during/after lockdown?
For us, it was quite a tricky one.
Part of what we do is create brand content for clients – whether it’s for websites or for social media and our old office and studio space was frankly staying unused. Lockdown had meant that we’d all been remote working – which wasn’t a major issue for us but it meant we simply weren’t using the huge space we had.
Our old studio/office used to have a kitchen, meeting room and photo studio, office space, storage room and lots of nooks and crannies for me to bury away vintage ‘finds’ (ok, I’m a bit of a vintage junkie in disguise).
We also noticed as we came out of lockdown that the way we wanted to make content and work with clients was changing – this meant we were going out ‘on site’ to company locations a lot more and hybrid working was here to stay. Our old office also became a bit of a health and safety concern too – as, in a building with no other people around, it wouldn’t technically be too safe for individuals to work from there on their own. And this fuelled our desire for a bit of a change! Cue the massive clean-up, recycling and relocation challenge! We moved to our new location at Space2B in 2021 which allowed us flexibility and also provided some great extra benefits for staff – a 24/7 gym and onsite cafe being some of those.
Why do you use blue self storage?
I’ve used previous Cardiff storage locations before for several years but when I needed a storage unit this time around, I definitely thought of blue self storage first.
The main reasons that personally resonate are:
Not just 24/7 access but also easily physically accessible – not having to unload in an unloading bay and ferry your stuff on small carts – I could literally pull up right outside the unit and unload in a matter of moments! This made the process soooo much easier and faster.
Their pricing is super competitive (and their boxes and packaging supplies are too!). Plus they’re unusual in that they actually show all their prices online which is great for a business like us to make quick purchasing decisions.
I really like that the friendly team is there if you need them but also equally I really like that you have a sense of ‘calm and privacy’ when you’re at your unit. You’re not being watched or pressured by people bustling past as was my experience at other Cardiff storage locations.
How does using self storage help your business grow?
Having the storage unit was critical for getting ‘over the line’ with our move and making our next steps post-lockdown.
Upping sticks after 15 years in one location took a lot of doing, needless to mention the many many bags of recycling, weeks of sorting and boxing, multiple bags of secure waste and actually getting out in time.
Using blue self storage gave us the chance to do this and move on to newer pastures – especially as at the time of downsizing and changing our ‘business hub’ – we didn’t (and still are unsure to a degree) of our next steps – but BSS gave and still gives us the opportunity to do this without having to make business-changing decisions, especially in this volatile market.
Secondly, on a personal level a month or so back with a fire in the building I was living in Cardiff. The fire was really quite damaging and my residence was no longer secure and I wasn’t able to return there again – my first thought was to ‘get our family’s valuables and belongings out of there’ – and without hesitation, I got in touch with BSS who were able to sort a larger storage unit within a matter of minutes.
Literally later that day I managed to start moving all our stuff out of the damaged house whilst we were housed in temporary accommodation, knowing that our belongings were safe, secure and insured at blue self storage.
This was a particularly stressful time (especially with a little one on the way) and just having that ease of ‘rolling up right outside your unit at any time’ was invaluable.
I just want to thank the team again for their amazing help during that time and they made what could have been even bigger stress, much easier.
What projects are you currently working on?
Ooooh, well, fortunately – we’re nicely busy. We’re currently working on a couple of large branding and web/digital projects plus we’re busy creating content for some of our regular clients and providing digital marketing support too.
What’s next in the pipeline for your business?
Our plan for this year is to fine-tune our service and continue planning a new sister brand for burningred which we’re really looking forward to releasing later this year. In addition, we’re on the lookout for a large multi-functional space as we’ve got some *top secret* plans on creating something completely different too… Watch this space!
We’d like to say thanks Alex and good luck with your next steps!