Don’t miss an episode of our podcast and subscribe here!
Dylan: I’m Dylan.
Danielle: And I’m Danielle.
Dylan: And this is Behind the Studio.
Danielle: It’s a podcast for creative professionals about the business we run, the tools we use to create, and the experiences we learn from. And it’s hosted by us, Danielle and Dylan Wilkinson.
Dylan: We are co-owners of Three Twenty Studio, a team that offers wedding, lifestyle, and commercial services.
Danielle: Each episode, we’ll be covering a new topic, interviewing a new guest, or providing insight into what we do here at Three Twenty Studio.
Dylan: We’re so excited to be back at it, and we hope you stick around to learn with us along the way. So we started this podcast a long time ago, but we’re going to start and tell you guys a little bit about who we are as Three Twenty Studio, just in case you don’t know. We started Three Twenty Studio as a side hustle, when, Danielle?
Danielle: In 2017.
Dylan: So a long time ago. It feels like forever ago.
Danielle: It just started really as, like, a portfolio site for us to, like, show off work that we did outside of the agency that we were currently working at. And we had to kind of quickly pivot to strictly wedding related services.
Dylan: Or really services that the agency didn’t offer because at that time there were – we wanted to make sure that we, you know, weren’t competing. And we weren’t necessarily trying to compete, but they didn’t want it to look like we might be.
Danielle: Right, so we could do stationery design, which is what we were already doing because the agency we worked at didn’t bother with that.
Dylan: And Danielle had an Etsy store before we even got married or were together. Like, she had a pretty solid Etsy store and was making quite a bit.
Danielle: Yeah I was. I forgot about that.
Dylan: But like you know, 50 bucks a month at least –
Dylan (cont’d): on stuff that she does, you know, for lack of a better word, threw together because she’s super great at designing. So, we basically evolved from that to taking pictures. I was the head photographer and videographer at the agency we worked at, and it’s like, man, this is a pretty cool way to make some side money. And we did a couple photos and our first kind of official wedding – but not – was a reception that I did in 2017.
Dylan: So that same year that we started Three Twenty Studio, and it was cool, and I liked it. But, also we were kind of hesitant to get into the wedding space, but we decided to like hardcore pivot in 2018, and that’s when we shot our first legit official wedding, and it was pretty great, and we haven’t looked back since.
Danielle: Yeah, I feel like it’s probably pretty cliché, but we got engaged in 2017 and got married in 2018, so we were all up in the wedding space and all heart eyes for anything wedding related, so I’m sure that helped push us toward that. But, in 2019 we actually both left the agency we were working at, and Dylan started this full time, and I got a job at North Oaks Hospital here in Hammond and worked there for a year. And then in October of 2020 – so after COVID had happened and all – we realized we both wanted to take this full time.
Dylan: And that was a really scary moment too because, like, we kind of had been wanting to go full time for a good little while, but it was hard to – it was scary to both leave the agency at one time. And one of us didn’t want to leave to leave the other one there, and so that was a weird predicament that we found ourselves in. But, since Danielle got the job at the hospital as a designer, it gave me the opportunity to do this full time and to make sure that we could make ends meet. We pretty much only lived off of my salary from the studio for like a year. That way we knew when Danielle left we would be okay. And we also used that time to kind of build up a savings account and make sure that if, you know, crap hit the fan, it would be OK. And then she left in 2020 because she was furloughed, actually, from the hospital due to COVID.
Danielle: Yeah, from March until the beginning of June. And that’s when we, we kind of realized like “Hey, I think, I think we can do this. I think we can make this move.” So, I just waited basically for my coworker to come back from maternity leave before I put in my two weeks, which perfectly coincided with our biggest, probably, month of weddings.
Danielle: We had nine weddings in October of 2020.
Dylan: Which is crazy to think about because that’s when COVID was pretty fierce.
Dylan: But, that’s also kind of how I mentioned earlier, when we started this podcast during COVID was when Danielle was furloughed and when we had a little bit more time. We did it and had fun and really enjoyed it, but then we got super busy and it was hard to keep doing it at a rate and at a quality that we wanted to do it. And quite frankly, if you go back and listen to our other episodes quality-wise, they’re pretty butt.
Danielle: Yeah, we literally just basically laid in bed and recorded podcasts.
Dylan: On like our iPad and yeah, just slept them together. Just because we wanted to have something to do because we had moved around a few weddings because of COVID and we were like, “Man, this would be fun to do,” so that’s what we did. And then so now, here, we’re trying to bring it back now in 2022. But realistically we wanted to bring it back last year in 2021, but right around the time when we felt that we were able to, we were kind of prepping for a big hurricane season –
Danielle: That’s right, because we were talking last May, we were talking to Evan about doing it and I started this. Oh, who’s Evan? Evan is asking “Who’s Evan?” Evan is our podcast producer and editor and he is, I don’t know, pick this up, Dylan.
Dylan: I mean he’s sitting right here on the couch next to us. But really, he is truly helping us make this happen. He’s helping us work on outlines, helping us, you know, record, edit, make sure everything flows. So when you guys do hear this shout out to him because he made it actually happen. But we talked to him a year ago in 2021 saying, “Hey, we want to bring this podcast back, we would love for you to help us, to be a part of it,” and then…
Dylan: Hurricane Ida hit us. And I don’t know if you guys listening are familiar with Hurricane Ida, but basically it wrecked our lives. We were prepping for a hurricane season, and we pretty much never prep. We have we haven’t really experienced a super bad hurricane since Hurricane Katrina, and I was a kid back then, so my parents did all the prepping and all that bullcrap.
Danielle: We had to adult for this one.
Dylan: Yeah. So we even, you know, again – I didn’t want to do this, but Danielle is like, “We should get a generator, we should get gas. And I’m like “Oh my God, Danielle. You’re being a little bit dramatic, but let’s do that.”
Danielle: I was like “Tractor Supply has them. We’ve got to go get one.”
Dylan: So we got a generator, we got gas. We felt super prepped, like we even staked down the trampoline. Like we thought of it all, right?
Danielle: Yeah. We put our cars where we thought they would be safest. We split up our gear, some in the studio, some in the house.
Dylan: Which I was like, “That might be a bit much, because what are the chances of our house and our studio getting destroyed. But if it makes you feel better, Danielle, we’ll do it.” And boy, oh, boy. Let me just tell you guys, the hurricane destroyed our house, and our studio, and our car. So, in hindsight, I am beyond thankful that we split up gear. That we, you know, did what we needed to do to prep, even though, you know, we definitely took on the worst of the worst. It was just worth it, and we will obviously begin to prep every year pretty aggressively and just hope that, hey, it’s a little windstorm, but if it’s not, we are prepared. We also, to jump ahead a touch. To prep for all future hurricanes, we got rid of every tree on our property.
Danielle: Yeah, we did. So August 29th was the hurricane last year, and we stayed. We didn’t evacuate for a few reasons. Number one, we felt very prepared. Like we said, we prepped in all areas that we felt we could prep in.And also we have six animals, three dogs and three cats and evacuating with them just did not sound like a fun time.
Dylan: And our house is a sturdy house, like we live in, you know, a solid house that’s not going to get blown away.
Danielle: We’re not in a mobile home and we’re not in a flood zone. So we felt like we could stay and that’ll be fine. And we were good and fine until, I think around 9 p.m..
Dylan: Until we weren’t.
Danielle: Yeah, we were good and fine until we were not. So, it’s around 9 p.m. We were in bed. We were like, maybe we’ll just sleep through it.
Dylan: Because it was supposed to get bad later, like around midnight, I think.So we were like, “Okay, if we sleep from nine to ten, nine to 11, then we’ll be up and not tired and miserable whenever things are potentially bad.
Danielle: Yeah, but yes. And then we were in the bedroom and we heard like a thump on the roof and we were like, “Hmm, wonder what that was.” And so then we like walk into like the living room and like into the kitchen and the first thing Dylan says, he’s like, I think he probably says like, “Oh my God,” he’s like, “get your boots.” And I’m like, “Boots? What the, what do you mean get my boots? And like, I hear the rushing water and there’s like a hole in the roof of our kitchen.
Dylan: Tree on our refrigerator.
Danielle: Yeah. The tree came on like it fell, like, on our back deck, our back porch, like, overhang, and then, like, through the kitchen. So, yeah, there was a tree in our kitchen.
Dylan: And at that point, the reason I said “Hey, get your boots,” is I don’t know if we got glass everywhere, because there’s a window right where it fell down. Thankfully, it didn’t bust. But at that time, I was like, “I don’t know, we might have glass all over the place.”
Danielle: Or nails, like…
Dylan: Yeah, I had no clue. I’m like, the last thing I need is for you to cut your leg off and be trapped. And then you died simply because you bled to death.
Danielle: Meanwhile, our animals are trampling through it all.
Dylan: Freaking the heck out.
Danielle: Yeah. So after that happened, we were like, “Man, we have no idea what to expect.” So we got our dining room table and put it in our hallway, put like a mattress on top of that, put our animals, like, kind of blockaded them in our room. We could not keep the cats contained.They just did whatever they wanted. But the dogs we, like, put a baby gate up and put them in our room, which connects to our hallway, which is where our dining room table was. And we just slept under there the whole night and –
Dylan: And we didn’t have power like. You know, we were super prepped and got a generator and got gas, but I just thought it was, “Hey, smart idea: let’s put it on the back deck where when we have to crank it, I’ll be under a carport area where, you know –
Danielle: You won’t get rained on.
Dylan: And all this kind of stuff. Well, our gas and our generator, everything was trapped under the tree. So here we are with no power, with no nothing.
Danielle: Which I’m not sure if we should have even powered up our house with a hole in it and water coming in anyway. I don’t know how that works. However, it was very depressing. We were like, “Man, we prepared and everything is cut and trapped right now.” So, love that.
Dylan: And then I don’t know, like 30 minutes later, we heard another massive crash.
Danielle: And felt that one.
Dylan: And felt it. Pictures came off the wall in our bedroom. And that’s pretty much when we realized that that’s when Danielle’s car was crushed.
Danielle: Yeah, because our carport, like, is on the side of the house, and that’s where we put my car.
Dylan: Because I thought it was a good idea.
Danielle: Yeah, we were like, “Oh, you know, shielded from flying debris.”
Danielle: The tree literally came straight down the center of my car, like longways. So, like, straight down the center of the carport and my car. My car was basically, like, not in half, but, like –
Dylan: If it had kept going, it had been cut in half.
Danielle: Yeah, pretty much. And let us just also offer up this knowledge. Like these trees that fell are massive. Like, they’re very, very thick. It’s not just like a –
Dylan: It’s like a thick oak tree.
Danielle: It’s not even like a pine tree because pines are like tall and skinny, like, but they’re still big. But, like, these are big oak trees that are coming down. But anyway, so yeah, at that point we couldn’t see outside because it was dark, but I just looked out what I could look out of the front door window and all I saw was like leaves and like branches. And I was just like, “Dang, man. That’s my car. Car is done for. And then the rest of the night was just pretty traumatic. Like, we just kept hearing what we thought were gusts of wind. But when we woke up the next morning, we realized that those were trees falling. And then our ears kept popping because the pressure kept shifting. And then we woke up the next morning, how we woke up was one of our dogs just basically diarrhea-ing in our face. So for about like three days before the hurricane, Harley, our black lab mix dog, she would not eat. She would drink water. We consulted a vet –
Dylan: And she was like, if she’s fine and she’s drinking water –
Danielle: Yeah, but she wouldn’t eat anything. She couldn’t keep anything down. She was throwing up, but she was still drinking anyway. In hindsight, we’re like, that might have been nerves. She might have been, you know, just anxious about the upcoming storm. And I’m sure she fed off of our anxieties and whatnot. Well, anyway, so she had a very upset stomach and literally –
Dylan: Like, inches from my face is just dog crap.
Danielle: Yeah, and I just hear –
Dylan: Like squirting. Man, not how you want to start.
Danielle: It was on his pillow, on the wall, all over the carpet –
Dylan: On my phone charger, it was freaking tragic.
Danielle: I think there’s still stains, like, on the baby gate, like on the wood part of the baby gate. Anyway, we had no electricity or water or anything to clean it up, so I just put a towel over it and called it a day.
Dylan: That reminds me of Big Daddy, the Adam Sandler movie where the kid pees in the bed and he just puts a newspaper over it and is like, “That’ll do.”
Danielle: I haven’t seen that
Dylan: Man, it’s funny, But that’s what it reminded me of
Danielle: Yeah, that was just a lovely wakeup call there.
Dylan: And then we walk outside to see, you know, like she said, assess the damage and stuff. And then that’s when we realized that a tree also went through the studio and took out a quarter of the building.
Danielle: I would say even more than that, like a third. But anyway, it took out a third of the building, but basically everything in there was ruined.
Dylan: It was wide open at that point, like the building.
Danielle: The water was in there.
Dylan: The whole front of the studio was destroyed.
Dylan: Like we’ll link to pictures in the show notes of, like, what we have as like an update on what we did after the hurricane. To tell people where we were, inform them that like we were safe, But the studio and pretty much everything else, you know, didn’t make it. After that, you know, then we have to decide where we’re going to live, because not only do we not have power, all this normal stuff that everybody in our area is experiencing, but our home is unlivable. It has a hole through the roof, and, I mean, appliances that are destroyed and ruined, and so we literally can’t live here. So for the first three weeks after the hurricane, we stayed with my sister and brother in law and their kids. And during that time is basically when we tried to assess everything. You know, we’re working on navigating insurance. We’re working on navigating our business, figuring out what to do with employees and just everything else because, you know, since everything was destroyed and our studio was taken out, we now immediately have to shift to a remote company. And that’s something we’ve never experienced, because like, when we have employees, like they previously, you know, before Ida, worked at our studio, worked on our computers, worked with our gear and literally, you know, like a normal job. You show up, everything’s there for you, and you go home at the end of the day. And like, unfortunately, that instantly had to shift.
Danielle: Yeah. And I mean, we still had to somewhat keep working. I mean, it was August, so it was a slow time. We didn’t have like any weddings scheduled within the next couple of weeks. We did have a few shoots, though, that needed to be addressed/rescheduled, etc. But and then we had no Internet, so we had to travel to like Columbia, Mississippi, or I think we even – no, we went to Hattiesburg to work at the Starbucks there.
Dylan: Yeah, because, too, we also needed gas, and around here there was no such thing as gas. So we had to go all the way to Hattiesburg to get gas. And then we were like, might as well make a whole day of it, work here in the Starbucks.
Dylan: Get some things done. And then not only did we have to work at Starbucks and, you know, coffee shops, but so did our team and our team had to instantly adapt with us.
Danielle: Everyone trying to go to PJ’s and work off of PJ’s poo Wi-Fi.
Dylan: And we made it work. And we then eventually got Wi-Fi and things like that to where we’re able to kind of, not get back to normal by any stretch of the imagination, but we bought a camper to put on our property while our home was repaired. And so that’s where we lived and worked for like a solid six months. And eventually, like I said, we were able to get Internet out there and our team still had to work remote, and that was difficult to navigate because, you know, I’ve never done that. And so we had to figure all of that stuff out. And then, you know, we’re down a house, we’re down a studio and a car. And so our first step was trying to figure out, like, we need another car. We’ve got to get that situated. And that was still extremely hard.
Danielle: And that was pretty ridiculous. Dealing with insurance – I don’t know if you guys listening have had to do this. I hope you haven’t, honestly, because it is a nightmare. Like, our car insurance company. They’re like, “Please describe the damage from the hood to the trunk,” and I’m like, “Dude, there is a tree on my car. Like I cannot describe the damage. It’s done for. I don’t know specifics, but I 100% know this is totaled. You might as well just total it out right now.” And we had already sent them pictures, and they were like, “Describe the damage.” I’m like, “What do you mean, describe the damage?” I was like, “This is ridiculous,” and so it took probably like two months for us to get that money, and it was a nightmare. We eventually did get more than we honestly expected.
Dylan: Yeah. All of our insurance companies in the end paid out what they needed to pay and did what they should have done. But like –
Danielle: But, we were playing chicken, they were trying to see if we would give up before they would give us the money, because –
Dylan: And I’m a very organized person. So when they hit me with things that like, “Oh, you need to prove this, this and this, you need to prove you have this much gear. Like, I was able, like, I flooded them with paperwork to prove that we had what we said we had, and they eventually did good on their word. And then our homeowner’s insurance bankrupt. So, that’s another thing that we had to figure out. And then we had to rebuild our house. Basically, we had to gut the entire kitchen, throw away all of our appliances, all of our cabinets, all of our furniture. We had to replace all of the flooring throughout the house. We had a leak in our bathroom, because when the tree fell, it shook the whole house and so it busted a water pipe. It was just a lot of things that we had to do. And it was hard.
Danielle: Yeah, but, first thing, we did replace my car, and that was a fairly easy process. And we did get the money because we went back to where I got my car just two short years before, and they were like, “What are you looking for?” I’m like, “I just want what I had, I want exactly what I had.” And you know what? They just got a car in that was almost exactly what I had, just a little bit upgraded. Even down to the color, it was fairly close. We got that one like that day we went looked at it was like, “Yeah.”
Dylan: Looked at it, bought it, and left with it.
Danielle: So, that was a relief to have that fixed. And then yeah, Dylan just listed all the things that needed to be done in our house. So in the meantime, we had to live in the camper, which – like looking back now, and we’ve only been out of the camper for almost three months, and every time I walk back in there, I’m like, “I cannot believe we lived in here for six months. It is so tiny.” Like, I guess we just did what we had to do. So anyway, so I said, we’ve been in our house for about three months now. We finally were able to get in our house March 7, I think was our official –
Dylan: Our official move-in day. The first night we slept in here. And our goal was to get in by our fourth anniversary, which was March 10. So yeah, we definitely met our goal.
Danielle: Yeah, goal met.
Dylan: And so our house is mostly complete. We’ve got a few things we need to do to it. And then our studio is in-process. We do have the building, and it’s going to be significantly larger. We used to have a 360 square foot studio. It’s going to be 425 square foot bigger. So it’s, I mean, it’s significantly larger. It’s going to have a dedicated studio space. It’s going to have a refrigerator, it’s going to have a bathroom, it’s going to have a little kitchenette, all of our desks, and all the things like that. So it’s going to be a massive upgrade from what we had, and it’s going to be super awesome, but it’s not ready yet. And so our goal with that is to be in by the anniversary of the hurricane, which is in August.
Danielle: August 29, yep.
Dylan: But, you know, everybody’s still trying to rebuild and they’re constantly building houses. So we have difficulty finding contractors. And, you know, we waited for a plumber for a month and all we have is two little fixtures in there that they literally did it in a day, but we had to wait a month for them to fix it. And then hopefully, I mean, you know, we’ve still got to replace everything that was in there. So we’re going to have to buy new desks. Corey and Evan are going to need new computers. Like there’s just a lot of things that still need to take place. But we are definitely on track. And, you know, down the road eventually we would love to expand and add on to it and do all the things. But our biggest goal right now is to not be working in our home because it feels like we’ve taken steps backwards. Because whenever we first started in 2019, I worked full time in the corner of our bedroom and boy, oh boy, that was tragic. It sucked. And now we’ve moved. Instead of working in the corner of the bedroom, we work at our breakfast bar and then our team will usually come in once a week and work with us at the house and stuff, which is super cool and fun. But man, having a dedicated studio space is needed for us. And so we are making progress for that and hopefully it will be up as soon as August, maybe sooner. You never know. But that is kind of like our little update.
Danielle: Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Dylan: Yeah, life really legit got stupid.
Danielle: Yeah, it way got in the way.
Dylan: So we had to adapt and hopefully we’re getting back into the swing of things and making stuff happen. And so our future podcasts are going to be, you know, kind of we’re aiming for a bi-weekly kind of thing where we have like a regular episode and then maybe some mini-episodes later. Danielle, tell us a little bit about what our main episodes are going to kind of hopefully be like.
Danielle: All right. All right. Well, if you were an original listener of the podcast, which I’m sure you were not, you might notice a few changes to the show. So we’ll give you a little breakdown of how they’re going to be structured. So, each episode will follow a particular structure, and that’ll help us get as much information to you as possible as efficiently as we can. And we’ll start off with story time. And if you guys have any better ideas for names for this little segment, that would be grand. We’re going to stick with story time for now. And in this section, we’ll share like a personal story or personal account of something we have experienced like on the job or just in life and what we learned from that, what you guys can take from that. Like just maybe just little snippets of like – I don’t know, something that comes to my head first is like, when we get to a venue for weddings, we think, oh, let’s park like up close. So we don’t have to bring our gear very far like to go in. But when you think about it –
Dylan: When you’re trying to leave, that sucks.
Danielle: When you’re trying to leave, everyone is coming out the front and like getting in the way. So don’t park in front of the venue.
Dylan: Stop. Get your crap out.
Dylan: And go a mile away.
Danielle: Right, like park far away. So anyway, just, you know, stuff like that. So we’ll have that and then we’re going to have our main topics. And this is where we’ll talk about like our big topic for that episode. Whether it’s an interview with a professional or maybe a bit of knowledge we’d like to share. Some days we might have one mean big topic, others we might have two. It all just kind of depends on what where we’re talking about that episode and how much info we can give you on that topic. And our main goal, like with these main topics, is to provide you with valuable information that you know, you will learn from our mistakes, and then maybe we’ll make you laugh. You know, I like to think that we’re funny. Maybe we’re just funny to ourselves. I don’t know. We’ll see. You guys can let us know.
Dylan: But, maybe don’t, because it might make me sad.
Danielle: Well, I don’t know, if they’re like, “Please stop trying to be funny. Just give us the information,” then you know, we might consider that information. Maybe not. We’ll see. But, and then I guess I’ll also tell you about our mini episodes, because neither Dylan nor Evan really understand where I’m trying to go with these mini-episodes. But I listen to a lot of podcasts, and sometimes they just have like cute little, like seven minute episodes where like the people that host the podcast will take like little quizzes, like where would we be sorted in Hogwarts or talk about like our enneagram numbers or whatever. I don’t know. I haven’t actually taken that one because those quizzes are really long. But, you know, just fun stuff like that’ll help you kind of like know us a little bit more but kind of have very little to do with what we actually do for a living. So that is kind of a little bit of a breakdown of what these episodes are going to be like.
Dylan: And then those many episodes are going to be like, she said, separate. And so our goal and our plan is to have a main episode and then a mini-episode alternating to where we can get two podcasts out per month is kind of our goal, not a hard and fast thing. So, you know.
Danielle: Who knows, if we get really good at this, you might get a podcast a week from us.
Dylan: Right. Or if we just explode and people love us with everything, Apple might call us and say, “You know what, I’m going to sponsor you to just do this forever. Quit your job, and I’ll pay to do podcasting because you’re incredible.”
Danielle: Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
Dylan: You never know. Dreams do come true.
Danielle: Well, guys, that’s it for episode zero of Behind the Studio.
Dylan: And if you like what you heard or are interested in what we have to come, definitely stick around. We’ve got a lot planned and our first official episode is going to launch in June. So keep an eye and an ear out for that.
Danielle: And of course, if you have any topics you want to hear about or if you have any questions for us, you can shoot an email to our producer, Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us up on socials at @threetwentystudio on Instagram and Facebook, and that info will be in our show notes as well. But yeah, thank you guys so much for listening and we’ll see you next time.