In a world saturated by billboards and screen pop-ups, creating content that matters enough to capture our attention is no easy feat. Great advertising today takes outside-the-box thinking, raw talent, and a willingness to enchant. Meet the Almonds: two dynamic women unafraid to shake things up.
We spoke with Emily Almond Barr who runs Almond Tree Productions with her wife and co-visionary, Hannah. Their all-queer, all-female film production company has worked with the likes of Saatchi Art, Bounce, Rosa’s Thai Cafe, and UBS. They’re hell-bent on changing an industry dominated by – in Emily’s words – “the same rich guys making the same mediocre films where women are sideline characters.”
We made a trip to the place where the Almond magic happens: Shed. Right across from Haggerston station, you’ll find one of Shoreditch’s trendiest coworking spaces fronted by a friendly on-site cafe. It fuels the community of artists, creators, and entrepreneurs. Emily showed us around the creative hub (which features two studios, a modern kitchen, breakout spaces and an actual shed that serves as a meeting room). She shared her advice for running a business and finding the perfect workspace.
On staying inspired
Emily: Sincere advertising inspires me. And insincere, mediocre advertising motivates me to work harder too. Even when it’s a struggle, I love what I do.
On getting past creative blocks
Emily: If it’s in the moment, then eating an apple. For a major creative block, I’ll go away to the coast for a few days with my wife. I think it’s important to take yourself away from your usual environment with the person that inspires you.
On choosing a workspace
Emily: Shed met all my must-haves. My priority was location: it really feels like I’m heading towards the city, into the thick of it all. Light is also very important: the moods it can convey is what most interests me in advertising, so finding a space with lots of light was essential. Plus there are dogs everywhere and the space is very social, there’s usually a social happening every fortnight.
Summarise your workspace in 3 words
Emily: Balanced, bright, dog-friendly.
Golden advice for a creative team looking for their next workspace
Emily: Think about what’s important to you. Work out your priorities and find a place where you feel comfortable.
And finally, some life advice you live by
Emily: Surround yourself with people that you think are doing better than you and hire people that you think are doing better than you too.