Studio b. is coming back and it will be bigger and better than ever, said owner Colleen Duffley.
"We'll have a cafe, a full-time culinary school and full-time staff," she said excitedly over the phone. "It's going to be a new b."
As a freelance photographer and creative director, Duffley has been lending her artistic talents to national brands doing everything from photo and commercial shoots, branding and logos. She's traveled extensively around the world for her job, but when work brought her to 30A, she knew she wanted to create a home-base in the area.
"I shot Seaside for 'Southern Living' and fell in love with it," Duffley said. "I had a studio in Dallas and thought 30A would be a great escape."
Wanting to bring the "big city art" Duffley is exposed to regularly while working, she founded Studio b., "an artist's colony" in 2005.
"We brought artists to this area that had never even been to the U.S., we were once called 'The Sundance of the South,' " Duffley said referring to annual independent film festival. "It raised the bar for creative people in the area."
While the Studio b. name has lived on through events and traveling art shows, the brick and mortar location closed in 2011.
"Just as we were hitting our stride, the oil spill hit. We started the most amazing idea in the worst economy," Duffley explained. "We decided to close the location to rebuild and relocate a bigger, better b. I still get emails daily saying 'I miss Studio B.'"
The wait is almost over as Duffley is currently working the location and design of the new Studio B.
The actual building will be a work of art, with a nod to modern architecture and sustainable living, the new space will be made of old storage containers. Duffley even came up with a new motto to match, "Creativity Contained." On the rooftop, she plans to have a garden.
"I acquired most of the containers fairly locally," she said. "I had to search and search for the ones I wanted. Repurposing is such a great way to highlight one of the philosophies of Studio b., which is to be aware and be mindful of environment."
The construction and planning of the new Studio b. will be well documented as Duffley and crew will be filming the entire process.
"It's really amazing," she said. " By mid-2014 I hope to be up and running."
For those unfamiliar with the old b., the studio will offer art and culinary classes as well as a few children's classes.
"Our mission has always been whether you've never done it before or you do it for a living, we have classes for you," Duffley said.
The space will also serve as a gallery and overall creative meeting space for all levels of skill. The accomplishments Studio B. has already achieved — and the prospect of new beginnings — makes Duffley proud, she said.
"It's like the adult's version of recess," she said. "It's a playground for your imagination. Studio b. has proven to a lot of people that they have creativity in them. It also connects people and lets them do things they don't normally get to do."