Posted 24 Jun 2024

Charlotte's Relocation Story

Charlotte grew up in Manchester and studied in Cardiff, but when COVID brought her to Shrewsbury, she decided this was the place for her. Read her story.
Team photo 2880x

What could be more Shrewsbury than a high-tech creative studio with a large, felted octopus to welcome guests, and signage featuring Bigfoot being abducted by aliens?

Highly Flammable Studios is a hugely original, wonderfully wacky creative space in the heart of Shrewsbury. Run by a team of three -- Aaron, Alana and Charlotte -- this is a vibrant hub for all things creative – a one-stop-shop for creative marketing services, studio for hire, workshop space, podcast creation station, event and community space.

Behind the Bigfoot signage and other colourful designs that give Highly Flammable its distinctive character is Charlotte, a transplant from Manchester to Shrewsbury (via Cardiff). Despite growing up in the big city, it's working in Shrewsbury that's enabled Charlotte to work on her biggest ideas.

Read about Charlotte's day-to-day in Shrewsbury.

Charlotte HF7

What my work day looks like

My day usually starts with breakfast and a coffee once I get to work at the studio!

Then, I'll fire up my laptop and hear about what strangely fun project Aaron (the HFS Big Boss) has in mind for the day.

Some days I've got my head down and I'm designing something cool all day.

Other days I'm helping out with any filming or set dressing that's going on in the studio.

Every day is different!

I love my hometown, but I quickly fell in love with the town of Shrewsbury and the nature that surrounds it.

How I came to Shrewsbury

Well, it was kind of a happy accident. My partner and I were studying at University in Cardiff, but when the pandemic hit we were actually visiting my partner's family in Shrewsbury and ended up isolating with them throughout the first lockdowns of COVID!

When lockdown was over, we knew we wouldn't want to be anywhere else, so we packed up our things in Cardiff and moved into a little flat in Shrewsbury!

My family lives in Manchester, so it was nice to only be an hour's train ride away from them.

My first impression of the town

I love my hometown, but I quickly fell in love with the town of Shrewsbury and the nature that surrounds it.

My first impression was of how historic the town seemed, and I admit I was initially a little apprehensive of what I might be missing out on from not living in a city anymore – but I've found that Shrewsbury is the perfect place to live!

Charlotte HF

Finding community in Shrewsbury

I was a little bit nervous about how I was going to meet people and create new friendships when moving to Shrewsbury, but with the clubs at the studio and discovering local coffee and social spots, I've been able to meet so many amazing people.

One of the clubs we run at HFS is Camp Vampire, which is an LGBTQ+-led creative social group which has created a great space to meet other LGBTQ+ friends and even led us to an opportunity to get involved at Shrewsbury's first Pride event in 2023!

Comparing Shrewsbury to Manchester

Manchester is very fast-paced and chaotic. Shrewsbury is so much more leisurely and calm, which is definitely more suited to my lifestyle. And everywhere is walkable!

If I'm lacking in imagination, I can step out, go for a walk with my dog (Mika!) and take in the surroundings to recharge.
Charlotte HF4

My favourite thing about working in Shrewsbury

There are tons of independent businesses on our doorstep! Shrewsbury is growing rapidly with the amount of new creatives moving in, which is so exciting to see. Of course, working at HFS, I'm lucky enough to get some insight on what many people are working on.

Secondly, from a designer's perspective – Shrewsbury is just a beautiful place to live and work, which is really helpful when your job requires creativity!

If I'm lacking in imagination, I can step out, go for a walk with my dog (Mika!) and take in the surroundings to recharge.

Hopefully made

We asked: What's your favourite business in Shrewsbury?

That's really hard to choose! For the best coffee it would have to be Hopefully Made (pictured). For food – Okra. Their food is addictive, and I'm not even vegan!

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