There’s a new business in town and it’s Studio OneSeven! “What kind of business is it and where did its name come from?” was a question heard often around Rushford as work progressed on the building formerly owned by Horihan Insurance last February.
Keela and Tyler Hoskins are more than willing to explain the name and their new business. Keela has a business called Keelajo Photo. After shooting her first wedding in 2014, she started booking weddings more consistently in 2018. She has since gone on to do newborn photography as well.
Originally, Keela either went to clients’ homes to do newborn photo shoots, sometimes offered up her own home, and sometimes used her parents’ basement where her dad, Dale Brand, had set up backdrops using eye hooks in the ceiling. Keela would have to pack up and transport lighting and backdrops for her photo shoots.
Having a studio of her own just seemed to make more sense, so when the building came up for sale, Keela and Tyler decided to purchase and renovate the old building. The Hoskins had more in mind for their business though. They wanted to create a multipurpose venue that could be rented by others. Not wanting to name the location simply Keelajo Photo since it would be used by other people for events, Keela came up with Studio OneSeven. Seventeen happens to be Keela’s favorite number; she and her mom have matching tattoos with the number. What makes 17 special to Keela? For one thing, it’s her birthday!
When Tyler and Keela first started looking for property, they looked at the Grace Place building next door, but found the space to be too big and the investment to be too much. Disappointed, Keela had said, “Let’s go home.” When the realtor suggested looking at the next door building, the Hoskins didn’t realize they could just buy one of the two connected spaces. The space they ended up purchasing was perfect for what they had in mind. The brick walls and plentiful natural light provide the perfect setting for photography. Their old building has served as several butcher shops as well as the popular Pizza Place.
Paperwork for the sale of the building came just when Keela delivered the couple’s third child, Creed, a very busy time for any family. As Keela said, “We like to make things hard!”
Tyler added, “We don’t like to tread water!”
The Hoskins were able to rent the building February 1; in the next two weeks, they measured, planned, and lined up contractors. On February 15, after their closing, they had a pizza party and started demolition.
They ran into a few surprises in the project — a skylight needed to be removed and part of the roof leaked and needed replacing.
Tyler, who had been wanting to get into rental properties, saw the chance to carve out a one bedroom apartment in the back of the building. Creating that apartment led to needing to build a two-hour firewall between the studio and the apartment. The income from the apartment will help make the mortgage payments, however. After advertising the apartment on FaceBook for only a day, they found a tenant.
The Hoskins were appreciative of the work Jim Atkinson did in the construction. Tyler’s dad Steve did all the electrical and lighting. They declared that Kathy Zacher, Rushford city clerk, was great to work with; they were able to take advantage of a Rushford EDA loan.
Tyler laid the new wood floor, painted, and did finishing work on the studio. The week before their open house found both Tyler and Keela’s mom, Joell Brand, working late hours on the flooring and painting.
The result of all the work was a clean, airy space large enough to seat up to 50 people. Curtains can cover the floor to ceiling windows to provide privacy for parties as needed.
The recent open house was a success; the Hoskins estimated about 75 people visited the studio that day. They were able to enjoy a huge charcuterie table created by Tyler’s stepmom Michelle.
Two parties have already been booked at Studio OneSeven. People have been realizing the possibilities of the space. Joell is considering holding a knitting class there; Keela suggested paint and sip or charcuterie classes. She is also offering the space to other photographers.
The Hoskins are thinking of setting up a Christmas tree there for family Christmas photo shoots; in addition, they will offer the space to businesses for holiday parties. Tyler thinks the space will be great for a Super Bowl party; he has plans of adding a TV that could be used then and for presentations at business meetings and classes.
Tyler and Keela want to enjoy the space themselves now that it’s finished. Keela is looking forward to using it all winter for photo shoots. Her motto is “Work smarter, not harder.” Having the studio will allow her to serve her clients better and have time to enjoy her young family.
Keela and Tyler, ever ambitious, have a 10-year goal to create a wedding venue and purchase more rental properties. Keela will continue to shoot weddings; her schedule is already quite full for this year and half full for 2024.
People interested in connecting with Keela can reach her by email at email@example.com and can find Studio OneSeven on Instagram and FaceBook.