Husband and wife owners Alicia and Joshua Southern know creativity abounds, but sometimes getting started is the hardest part. They truly believe that “you don’t have to be awesome to start, but you have to start to be awesome” and hope to provide a starting point with their latest business venture.
Risky Studioslocated at 301 MAC Avenue, Suite 106, celebrated their grand opening on Saturday, February 26. The Black-owned creative and cooperative media production studio offers 775 square feet of equipment rental for all types of dreamers, doers, and thinkers, including podcasting, music production, photography, and videography.
The couple are originally from Saginaw, but have lived in the greater Lansing area for about four years now. Alicia owns Southern family customs in Lansing, and she says that Risky Studios is an extension of Risky Music Groupthe Christian Hip Hop label that her husband Joshua started.
“We got to the point where we were outgrowing our space for our two home-based businesses, and Josh was starting to do more collaborations, getting a little more foot traffic and opportunities,” Alicia said. “We wanted to get it out of the house and into a studio, and so Risky Studios took it from there.”
When choosing locations, Joshua says East Lansing makes a great community for Risky Studios.
“I feel like downtown takes care of its merchants,” Josh explained. “I feel like everyone is investing in downtown, you see restaurants, apartment buildings, and we felt like it was a prime location to build businesses and get develop from there.”
Eventually, he hopes the business can move to a space at street level, as they are currently located in the basement. For now, however, the company is happy to act as a home base for dreams of all shapes and sizes.
“We really want to have space and equipment and availability for young creatives, old creatives, anyone who wants to be creative, come out and express themselves,” Joshua told ELi.
“We have space for photographers to come and use it in a traditional photography studio, and we have the basic equipment for those setups like lights and backgrounds,” Alicia explains. “We have more of a podcast equipment setup, a traditional radio-style podcast with the microphones and the tables, and we have places where you can record interviews like the couches, the chairs, and we have a space of work.”
The studio aims to offer affordable prices and encourages students to reserve space for study or discussion groups and collaboration. The space also includes televisions that can be used to review projects or digital signage advertising for local businesses.
“We want to serve as an incubator space for other people’s passions and the creative things they hope to do,” says Alicia. “We hope to do more collaborations with other companies, with individual creators around the town of East Lansing and wherever that takes us.”