Brightside Studios – More than a Co-Working Space for Creatives

by RaeAnne Marsh

Brightside Studios opened its doors to “the creatives of Arizona” on February 22, 2022, offering a large creative space for traditional artists of all types along with live music, an art store and delicious coffee for the public. 

“At Brightside, artists of all types and skill levels can enjoy our open-concept studio, catered to most artistic needs. It’s a bustling atmosphere of color and charm — filled with inspirational music and the fresh smell of coffee,” says Brad Kuenn, co-owner with his wife, Vanessa. He likens the concept to a massive “art gym” where membership allows access to the entire studio and free use of equipment and supplies. “The large, naturally-lit studio is developed to be a fun, safe and productive workspace for the many creative hearts in Phoenix.”

Brightside Studios’ weekly classes offer a creative outlet for something more structured or a unique night out with friends, while the café is designed to be a place to recharge, study, network or meet with a client. And local musicians rock the house with free shows each weekend.

The Kuenns vividly remember what inspired them, back in 2016, to found Brightside Studios, when Vanessa was pregnant with their first child, Noah, and Brad painted a mural for the nursery. Says Brad, “We gave painting a try and the rest is history!”

Challenges have ranged from big — like COVID-19 and Brad’s Multiple Myeloma cancer diagnosis — to small — like the Phoenix summer and paint spills. Addressing them, Brad says, “Our philosophy has always been to ‘fail fast’; to try new things and, if it doesn’t work, adjust quickly and keep moving forward.”

The couple also credits success to advice from Brad’s father, Arnie Kuenn, himself a successful entrepreneur, who told them, “You’ll be amazed at just how far genuine respect and kindness will take you.” Putting that into practice, the Kuenns believe, “Treating your team with respect, and being kind to those around you (especially in the service industry) can directly impact your success in a leadership role.”

Did You Know: Passionate about giving back to the community in many different ways, the Kuenns will have Brightside Studios host a large fundraiser every year. The International Myeloma Foundation will be the beneficiary of the business’s inaugural fundraiser, which will be held at Brightside Studios on October 8th.

Photos courtesy of Brightside Studios

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