What we didn't expect from our time in Manchester

When deciding on a place to set up our first Dooka office, Manchester seemed like an obvious option. A creative hub with the vibe of a capital city - without the attached overheads. However, these plans were guided by the world we knew; we've had to adapt to the current climate.

September 10, 2021

There’s a lot of things that drew me personally to Manchester; A thriving music scene, amazing art galleries and an incredible nightlife seemed to position it as the proclaimed Capital of the North. I always loved the idea of living in a city that was active all hours, an event every weekend and every weekend an event. However, having arrived here on the 28th of December 2020, our experience has been quite different to the busy and bustling life I was promised.

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No networking, no nepotism, no next project - well at least, not in Manchester. Luckily for us, Dooka and our unique strategic process has been built through lockdown. This means that the digital delivery of our services aren’t limited geographically to where we are - although I must admit, I do badly miss meeting people face-to-face. But if the past year has taught businesses anything (small and large enterprises alike) it’s that a decentralised company can still function effectively away from the major cities and the corresponding costs. But a city is more than an office.

Our theory for abstract creative thinking is removing yourself from the same old comfortable situations to avoid the same old comfortable ideas. Your brain can make connections you never made before when you see things you’ve never seen before. This is why it’s important to (particularly in the creative industry) retain that work-life balance that allows the exploration of unhindered thought. That’s why somewhere like Manchester, where there is always something going on, is the perfect hub for creative agencies, and it’s reflected in the amount that are popping up in the area.

What has really surprised me about Manchester, and definitely an element that has inspired a more permanent residence, is the access to the more natural elements away from city life. Living on Salford Quays in the shadow of Old Trafford wouldn’t be the first place you’d think to film a David Attenborough documentary. But it has given us an uninterrupted insight into blossoming life, particularly bird culture (maybe I have spent too long away from society). However, with the Pennines close by and a plethora of parks in cycling distance, our forced Manchester hand has shown me a different side to the city I perhaps would never have expected.

But, before we get too comfortable, we thought it wise to try something new. To be closer to an upcoming client (not mentioning any names 👀) and shake up our creative juices, we are setting up another Dooka hub in Valencia! Rich in culture, but far enough from Barcelona to give us room to breath, hopefully Valencia is much of a Spanish Manchester.

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Not to worry inspired, potential clients who are undoubtedly reading this article! Our operations won’t change at all and our Manchester studio will still be very much open for business. Only difference is some of the Dooka team may build up a bit of tan and I’m predicting a little extra weight if my addiction to tapas is anything to go by.



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