Brit & Steve’s Huge Loft with Natural Light & Brick Walls
Brit & Steve transformed a former Hostess factory (yes, like the Twinkies) into a stunning sun-filled loft. Filled with mid-century furniture pieces and flea market finds, the space has been used for productions, pop-up dinners, fitness classes, bridal showers, audition space, and more. Brit and Steve both say they enjoy being around fellow creatives in their space and love when they’re invited to participate in the events- like joining for dinner or collaborating on set.
SPLACER: Tell us a little about yourselves, what brought you to LA?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: Natural Studios is owned by myself and boyfriend Steven Vasquez Jr. I grew up in North Carolina, graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Business with a Marketing concentration. After college I moved to Atlanta to explore, I’m from a super small town (population 100,000) where no one leaves or really does anything except for gossip. In Atlanta, I worked at two marketing agencies and I wasn’t happy with the company culture. All of the leadership roles were held by older people, like over 45. I wasn’t moving up at a pace that seemed fair. I was doing the work of an Account Executive but being paid the salary of an Account Coordinator. I knew that I wanted more responsibility, more money, more respect, more power to make the decisions that shaped the company. So I decided to pay LA a visit.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: I grew up in LA where I went to Loyola High School School but needed to get away. I headed east to Howard University where I got a degree in International Business and Finance. Graduating in the worst financial crisis since the crash of ’29 forced me to look outside of the US for my first job. I started teaching English in South Korea. While there I had a lot of time to think and came to realize that I wanted to inspire people through film. After 2 years in Seoul, I hopped a flight back to LA where I began producing early YouTube videos. After a few years of that, I graduated to music videos, branded content, and documentaries. This year I completed my first feature length documentary entitled “Lost In America.” This 3-year passion project aims to shed light on the 1.2 – 2.8 million homeless youth living on the streets of America today.
SPLACER: Tell us a little bit about your studio, how did you find it, and what attracted you to it?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: Steve actually discovered the studio, he should tell it …
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: After a couple of years of making music videos, I realized we were spending a FORTUNE on locations and those locations didn’t have everything we wanted. I mentioned this to Britt a few times and would say, “It would be great if we had our own studio space, one designed for artists like us. A place that is, affordable, convenient, and beautiful.” Britt said, “Why don’t we get one?” So one Saturday, I was at brunch with a few friends and we decided to head out and find studio space. We settled on a building in South LA that was a blank canvas with TONS of natural light, gated parking, a loading dock, freight elevator, and completely open floor plans with no construction limitations. 4 months later, after many pushed back construction deadlines, Natural Studios was open for business.
SPLACER: What was it like before you entered the space? Any fun or history facts about the space?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: So Steve, correct me if I’m wrong but the building was a Hostess Factory, you know the snack cakes.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: Yes, the space was a part of a Hostess complex. I like to imagine our building is the one where they filled the Twinkies.
SPLACER: What inspired the overall look of the space?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: Free stuff (laughs). I’m the Director of Community Management at a tech start-up in LA. My boss worked at MTV for several years, and has had many homes on the east coast and west coast. She recently went through a divorce and had loads of furniture just sitting in storage. She gave us most of the Mid-Century pieces we have, they complement the open space perfectly. It was meant to be. After that I started getting into flea markets and started collecting old cool stuff like telephones, radios, voice recorders other nicknacks that art directors drool over and use on their sets.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: Britt is totally responsible for the interior design of the space. She takes that part very seriously. In terms of the architecture, we worked with a local architect on the the layout of the space. I’m the one who picks out the lights and other gear we are starting to add to our collection.
SPLACER: How can this space be used and what for? What are the advantages of this space for the different activities it allows?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: The studio can be used for anything. Obviously productions, photo and video, pop-up dinners, fitness/art/dance classes, baby/bridal showers, audition space, workshops. My favorite attribute of the space is the beautiful natural light that shines in. It makes me smile every time I walk in the studio. Our guests also love the convenience of the location and building. The building has two loading docks, a freight elevator, and tons of street parking. They also rave about the clean lines of the Mid-Century furniture.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: I agree with Britt – the space can be used for pretty much anything. We’ve had music videos, commercials, feature films, dinners, small parties, interviews, and pretty much anything you can think of. As Britt said, our space is bathed in natural light – especially the “bird’s nest” which is what we call the 3rd floor loft with a 180 degree view of the city.
SPLACER: Any tips for space owners?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: I would say, take awesome photos of your space to reel them in.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: Definitely take high quality, thoughtful photos of the space. Also, take time to think about the experience people will have from the moment they step foot in your space to the moment they leave. We take great pride in making our guests feel comfortable, meeting their needs, and making sure they have a successful shoot or event.
SPLACER: Tell me about the events or shoots you’ve hosted, do you have any pictures of the studio being used?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: You can check out our instagram: natural_studiola for pics of the studio in use.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: Yeah, we’ve got great photos of the types of things that have been hosted at our space.
SPLACER: What has been your best experience hosting so far? What’s your favorite thing about being a space owner?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: We’ve hosted literally every type of event, my favorites are the pop-up dinners because we usually are invited, nothing beats good food.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: The dinners are definitely a plus! I also enjoy working with productions. Being a filmmaker myself, I love being on set. Having this space allows me, when time allows, to network with other filmmakers, collaborate, and also give input when it’s asked for. Having the space lets us be around creatives every day!
SPLACER: Why did you seek services such as Splacer and what about Splacer do you like?
BRITT MCCLERKIN: In my opinion Splacer is cool for space owners because our destinies are tied together. If I succeed, they succeed. So I KNOW that they will do everything they can to provide a positive user experience for potential renters, provide tons of support (FAQ’s, Customer Service Support) and make a huge effort to grow their user base.
STEVE VASQUEZ JR.: I think Britt said it best, Splacer shares our same goal and we succeed together!