Meet + Greet

Brick, Electrical Tape and Stucco: Inside Gastown’s Most Popular Studio

May 25, 2016

At first glance, entrepreneur and thisopenspace host Zoe Tisshaws’s light-filled studio feels like the epitome of the trendy, minimal Vancouver aesthetic. But peek closer: it’s the fresh style with rich exposed brick, industrial-inspired polished grey floors, exposed pipe ceilings, and personal touches that make this place personal and unique. If there’s a theme in this Vancouver artist loft it’s bright light: a space with windows on three of the four walls, that Zoe has transformed into a popular choice for photo shoots, film projects, and private events.

Tell us about A Gastown Studio…

We’ve had the Gastown studio since January 2016, when we found it badly in need of floor renovations and a paint job, but with so much potential. Our proudest feature is the white brick wall that we created on a shoe-string budget using electrical tape and stucco. It has an authentic brick feel and adds texture to the plain white walls. Of course, with three walls of windows and a beautiful view in each direction, the open concept studio is pretty magnificent on it’s own (especially on a sunny day)!

Why do you list your space on thisopenspace?

Taking on rent of the 800 sq. ft. space was pretty daunting (and substantial). Our hopes were for rental income from thisopenspace to help subsidize some of that rent and help pay off renovations. We’ve had quite a bit of success in doing so.

What type of events/productions have you hosted?

We’ve hosted many photo shoots – small portrait photography sessions as well as whole lookbook shoots. We’ve also had pop-up second-hand clothing sales, small birthday gatherings, and even a baby shower! I have no favourite event, but it’s been wonderful meeting all the different people that have rented the space. The network you can build from getting to know your renters is a significant secondary benefit to being a thisopenspace host!

What do you do with the money you make from renting out your space?

Put in right back into the space.

What advice would you give to other hosts looking to replicate your success?

That’s a hard question! We’ve found that specializing as a photography space is easier for set up, rather than trying to flip our space around for different types of events that don’t suit our space quite as well. Different tenants require different furnishings, and it’s hard to please them all! It might be a good idea to find a niche in the thisopenspace market of hosts and have your set up suit that type of use perfectly.


Within the first few months of hosting on thisopenspace, A Gastown Studio has made over $3,000 by renting out their space. It’s a great way to connect with people while earning some extra cash on the side. Plus, it’s absolutely free to list your space and the price you charge for your listing is completely up to you.

If you have questions about hosting, our team is always here to help. Shoot us a note at [email protected] and we’ll reach out to find a time to chat.

Got space? List it today!