We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Daughtridge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
So a little backstory as to how I got to that point. I had been working at a studio here in town for about 8 years. I absolutely loved it. I started out as an intern and worked my way up and eventually got hired on full time. The studio became a second home to me and the people there became like family. I had multiple roles there from managing daily operations, to IT, to being a house engineer running sessions. I love that I got to be involved in all those different roles because it gave me insight to all of the workings of a professional studio. Unfortunately the studio got to a point where it was no longer going to continue to operate. Fortunately for me, I was in the right place at the right time. I was presented with the opportunity to take over the lease on the building and attempt to run my own business out of the studio. In all honesty, I was initially scared about taking that on. I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it work. I’d lose a salary, guaranteed income. I always had a job, knew that if I went to my job I’d be guaranteed X amount of income. When you first start your own business, nothing is guaranteed. When the studio closed I had other potential job opportunities. At that point I had to make a decision whether I wanted to work for someone else and make a salary or try to do what I always wanted to do which is own and operate my own studio. Fortunately, I’ve had some amazing mentors along the way that maybe without them I may not have pulled the trigger on taking that step. So I made the decision to take over the lease on the building and operate my studio, Watership Studios, in the space that I came up in. I’m coming up on six years now of taking over the studio and I can tell you that it was the best decision I’ve made in my entire life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Watership Studios caters to all things audio, from audio post-production and podcasts to music recording, mixing and production. Our clients include ESPN, CBS, Turner Broadcasting, The New York Times, and The Arthritis Foundation, to name a few. My work has given me the opportunity and honor of meeting and working with icons like John Lewis, Stacy Abrams, Killer Mike, T.I., and others. I also love working with amazing local bands and artists like Kaya’s Embrace and LJND. A couple years ago I launched Atlanta Podcast Recording, which is a full service podcast recording, editing/mixing, and production branch of Watership Studios. It’s been amazing to see the explosion of podcasts and interest in podcasts over the recent years and it’s exciting to be a part of. It’s been so cool to see the growth and what the studio has become in the six years since starting it. It’s definitely had it’s ups and downs and points where I didn’t know if it was going to work but the more I learn and grow so does the business. The studio is strong now and I’m excited to see it continue to grow. One thing I’ve learned is that, as a business providing a service for your clients, your clients and their happiness in the most important thing. You need to go above and beyond their expectations. If you blow them away with your service then they will trust you with their projects and continue to work with you. There’s plenty of places that our clients can go and get the bare minimum but that’s not what we’re about. What we strive for is an intimate connection with our clients. Our clients are part of our family and we want them to know that we will do anything and everything possible to make them happy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Atlanta so much and there’s so many cool neighborhoods and things to do in town. If I wanted to show someone some of my favorite spots in town I’d have to start with The Local for the best wings and one of my favorite bars in the city. Northside Tavern is definitely on the list for the best live blues and dive bar vibes in town. I’ve had nothing but great times at Dark Horse Tavern’s Metalsome live band karaoke, really fun and energetic atmosphere. I’m a huge Braves fan so if it’s baseball season, one of my favorite things to do is to head up to The Battery for the day and catch a Braves game. Strolling through Little Five Points eating, digging through record crates, and shopping is always a great time. Little Five has so many great shops and amazing food like The Porter and Elmyr. East Atlanta Village is also a great place to walk around and eat awesome food, have drinks, and see some amazing live music. If I was showing a friend around EAV I’d suggest Gaja Korean Bar, The Earl, Argosy, The Elder Tree, and 529. Piedmont Park is a must visit for out of town guests. You could spend a whole day lounging and walking around the park, especially if they have events going on that day. Another thing I love and would take guests to is some of our amazing art galleries. High Museum of Art, Atlanta Contemporary, and Whitespace Gallery are all incredible and I’d recommend not only our out of town guests but also in-town residents to check out if they have not. And last but not least, of course stopping by Watership Studios. I love showing guests the studio and giving them an insight to what we do.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, my parent’s support is the number one reason for my success. They’re always behind me in decisions I make and their love, support, and guidance is number one. Secondly, I would not be where I am without my mentors/friends Raoul Klokow, Josh Houghkirk, Jonathan Wolfman, and Darin Prindle. They all had major influences in my career and I’m grateful for everything they taught me.
Website: watershipstudios.com, atlantapodcastrecording.com
Instagram: instagram.com/watershipstudios, instagram.com/atlanta.podcast.recording
Facebook: facebook.com/watershipstudios, facebook.com/atlantapodcastrecording
Stephanie Dowda DeMer, Dean Gibson, Leslie Lynn