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Inspiring Conversations with Meg Sharp of Sharp Studios

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meg Sharp.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am a third-generation family business owner at Sharp & Associates, founded over 60 years ago by my grandfather, Dennis Sharp. I’ve been working there for about 10 years now alongside my grandfather, my mom and our amazing team of employees that have been with us longer than I can remember.

We deal in Commercial Leasing, General Contracting, Self-storage and vacation rentals, which are all seemingly different industries, but at the root of it, we basically specialize in Rental Space. We build it, we own it, and we rent it out.

Keeping that in mind, this past year I was looking to add a little more creativity to my life and shake up the day-to-day rental business. I really wanted to find something that would cater to my passion for creating, party planning and designing. That’s when a good friend of mine, Skylar Rae Olson, owner of Photography by Skylar Rae, turned me onto the idea of photography studios. After thinking it over I realized the creative possibilities in a photography studio would be endless, and it’s right up my alley with my background in rental space. So, I got to work!

My team and I, along with our trusty studio dog Mic, spent last summer renovating a vacant warehouse in Ramsey into a modern industrial, natural light rental studio for photography and events. We officially opened the doors to Sharp Studios in October of 2021 and it’s been so amazing to watch this business grow in such a short amount of time, and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
When we first sat down and talked about opening a photography studio in one of our commercial properties it was a pretty quick and easy conversation. With our general contracting division, we do commercial build outs frequently and we can get projects like this done in no time – “We’ll use this space, add a wall here, improve the lighting here and boom, it’s done”.

The only real obstacle we ran into during the building process was the material shortage that was going on around this time last year. It made us push the grand opening by a few months, but other than that we were still able to get the studio up and running in a timely manner.

Since opening, we’ve run into a few obstacles making sure the space really caters to photographers, which has been a learning experience in itself being we’re not actually photographers, and we didn’t know a lot about their specific wants and needs going into this. Because of this, we’ve relied heavily on feedback from our clients to make sure we’re giving them a space that has ample lighting, the right aesthetic, things of that nature.

After the first 5 months in business, we had a ton of positive feedback on the space, but we knew there were a few things we could improve to really ‘wow’ our clients and keep them coming back. So, we ended up doing a total makeover, adding white floors, a bright and airy seating area, updating our glamour station and more, and from what we’ve heard, it really took our studio to the next level.

As you know, we’re big fans of Sharp Studios. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Sharp Studios is a natural light photography studio located in Ramsey, MN offering 1500 square feet of commercial warehouse space that’s been reimagined into a modern, bright and airy photography studio. We’re available to rent any day of the week for quick 2-hour sessions, half day sessions or full day sessions depending on what your needs are, and we also entertain small events if you are looking for a space to host bridal showers, networking events, etc.

We’re known for the incredible natural light that flows in from our floor-to-ceiling windows, and our newly designed bright + white studio space that creates trendy, yet timeless, backdrops for our client’s special moments. We also offer a variety of movable wall backdrops, props and furniture so clients can really customize their photoshoots and create a look that fits any session whether it’s newborns, families, branding or even pets! We love a good pet session, and you can catch our studio dog, Mic, all over our social media pages helping us with test shoots and more!

Another thing that we think really sets us apart from other photography studios in Minnesota is our location. We like to call ourselves the ‘premier suburban studio’ because, unlike most photography studios, we’re not located in the heart of a busy city. We are conveniently located near the suburbs of Ramsey, right off Highway 10, which makes it almost effortless for clients to get in and out without having to deal with the limited parking and heavy traffic issues that come with booking spaces in the cities.

Not to mention the network of creatives just north of the city is absolutely incredible! We have so many amazing clients that come from just a few miles away and absolutely love the idea of not having to go far to get quality studio photos.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
We believe that the key to our success in this industry is listening to our clients. We’re pretty new to the studio game, but we are so motivated to keep building and keep expanding on the wants and need of our clients because we really want to create something desirable.

We are quickly learning that trends in this industry are constantly changing, and keeping up with them is going to be extremely important if we want to succeed and have a space that everyone knows and loves. But we are ready for the challenge and we are always looking forward to hearing from clients on what we can do better, things they want to see and things we can build on to keep our space successful and relevant in Minnesota’s creative world.

Contact Info:

  • Email: Yourfriends@sharp-studiosmn.com
  • Website: Sharp-studiosmn.com
  • Instagram: Sharpstudiosmn
  • Facebook: Sharpstudiosmn


Image Credits

Skylar Rae

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