Wellington is home to some of the most creative and inspiring workplaces in the country. For creative agency Double Denim, designing a light, welcoming space where people could “bring their whole selves” to work was the ultimate goal.
When you arrive at Double Denim’s long, spacious office on Cuba St, it may take you a few seconds to realise that there’s a literal embodiment of the name right in front of you.
Giant, floor to ceiling curtains made of the famous material provide an easy way to split the space. Naturally, there’s also a hot pink set (nabbed from popular nearby nightspot Mighty Mighty before it was shuttered).
These mammoth curtains serve a purpose, allowing the office to be set up as an open space for events and talks for the Ace Lady Network - something that was crucial for founders Anna Dean and Angela Meyer when searching for a space.
In fact, that requirement, alongside the need for “lots and lots of light” was so crucial that it took eight months to secure a suitable space.
They found it in the former Swing Dancing Studio, upstairs on Cuba St next to Left Bank. But once discovered, it took another three months to set it up as their perfect office.
First up was engaging the services of Ange Gordon from the Service Depot, a “wizard” on designing great spaces.
Then the pair started raiding Anna’s own art and plant collection, sprinkling pieces around the studio. They then turned to local artists including Erica van Zon and Elisabeth Pointon, while one of Anna’s wedding presents, a huge, universe-themed piece complete with holes for curious hands to reach through and hand out hugs, also made its way into the office.
Various messages of all shapes and sizes dot the space, ranging from the statement ‘you are special.’ to the more suggestive ‘let go…’ and ‘say yes’.
“We had someone come in and comment that they loved all the ‘positive propaganda’ on the walls,” says Anna.
“We liked that.”
Double Denim’s ethos is focused around unlocking the power of the female economy. Angela and Anna host Friday afternoon workshops on empowering women, with the business’ focus even seeping into the office’s…aroma?
“People always say it smells quite good, it’s a very female space,” says Anna.
With a fluctuating staff level averaging five or six, Anna says it was important when starting the company that everyone who worked for them felt comfortable and that they could be themselves.
“There’s a big movement about bringing our whole selves to work, we’ve embraced that – in more ways than one.”