BY BRENDA WEBB
Web designer Bryce Easton was ‘blown away’ by the calibre and quality of work being produced by Nelson branding agency HotHouse when he arrived in the city in 2015.
The Canterbury lad, who did a Bachelor of Design at Christchurch’s School of Arts, spent several years working for himself as well as for high-profile agencies in Australia and North America. His former clients included Mazda, Toyota, Foxtel and Brown Brothers.
He moved to Nelson in October 2015 in what was ‘definitely a lifestyle choice’, and admits there were challenges in leaving a city like Sydney, population four million, for Nelson, population 50,000, especially when it came to finding a stimulating job.
“I had no work expectations but got chatting to people, started looking around and stumbled across HotHouse,” he says. “I wasn’t expecting to find something like this in a small provincial city … they are a fantastic team of people doing amazing work.”
The HotHouse team is made up of creative professionals curious about technology and the way it can be leveraged to create memorable, meaningful brand experiences. As a web designer Easton is passionate about the online space and loves creating functioning, high-converting and successful websites.
He is also enthusiastic about the outdoors, and says Nelson’s accessibility to the mountains and sea made moving here a straightforward choice. “There is so much to do and enjoy. I love fishing, kayaking and being outside and I feel if you have a happy lifestyle then you are happy at work – they bounce off each other.”
HotHouse offers full graphic design, web design and branding services for companies of all shapes and sizes. Creative director Allan Innes-Walker, who has been with the company for 20 years, says HotHouse aims to be all things to all people and promote long-term relationships.
“The challenge is delivering a website or brand and then getting into that privileged position where you really get to know your client and become a trusted partner in helping to grow their business,” he says. “It’s a fascinating place to be.”
Innes-Walker believes in surrounding himself with ‘awesome’ people who become part of a close-knit, talented and skilled team. Attracting them to Nelson is not difficult, he says.
“These are people who have big-city and big-agency skills but they want to be in a small town with access to the outdoors and the fantastic lifestyle that offers. We’ve ended up with a collection of highly educated people who are applying their skills here in Nelson for Nelson businesses.”
Today’s technology means HotHouse can deliver to companies outside of Nelson. Some of their biggest clients are based in Wellington, Auckland and even overseas.
Easton describes living in Nelson as seamless. “Everything here is so accessible,” he says. “I have a five-minute commute to work and can be in Wellington in an hour. How amazing is that to be in another city while people driving to work in Auckland can take much longer.”