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Sarasota company adapts to era of remote working with new office

S-One Holdings recently moved from downtown Sarasota to a former CrossFit gym, reducing the amount of desk space available and instead expanding its video production.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. June 27, 2023
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With a no closed doors policy, the new space off of Tamiami Trail offers an open floor plan that promotes collaboration.
With a no closed doors policy, the new space off of Tamiami Trail offers an open floor plan that promotes collaboration.
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S-One Holdings Corp., a nearly $200 million graphics and media company and one of the more prominent employers in the Sarasota-Manatee region, is saying it's “ready for my close-up,” after officially moving into a new space — where a key component is a studio that features a 36 foot by 24 foot green screen. 

The new space also represents a call to action of sorts for other companies struggling with the work from home or work from the office conundrum. For S-One and its most well-know subsidiary, LexJet, while not forgoing WFH, the idea is to make working in the office as appealing as possible. 

That's apparent as soon you walk into the building, next to the West Marine boat retail store on U.S. 41 in Sarasota, outside the Landings. You are greeted by S-One employees typing away at their desks. 

Next thing you see is the open floor plan: the company's strict ‘no-closed doors’ policy promotes collaboration. And it seems to be working, too, as a quick scan around the room during a recent tour shows a number of employees standing, chatting at other workstations. 

The new space, which S-One found last spring before securing it in July, is in a former Real Fitness crossfit gym.

S-One has had a large presence in downtown Sarasota for years, most recently in the Wells Fargo Advisors building, also known as the Ellis Building, on Main Street and Orange Avenue. The company has retained a presence in downtown Sarasota, having kept hold of the third floor at the Main Street location, which it turned it into an experience center where customers can view the printers in action and employees can test media materials.

The reason for the move was simple. 

“As more and more people went remote when COVID-19 hit, we didn’t need the same size of an office space,” Perla Johnson, senior content marketing manager, says. “We didn’t need as many desks for folks.” 

While desks are still present, as the company promotes remote, hybrid and in-person work, Johnson says there are less compared to the downtown space. As a company that was already headed toward remote offerings prior to the pandemic, the move to reduced office space made sense. 

“This is a much more versatile space,” Johnson adds. 

Versatility has been an important driver for the company ever since entrepreneurs Ron Simkins and Art Lambert founded it, under the name LexJet, in 1994. Back then it had five employees. With a motto to "have fun and make money, and don’t get in the way of anyone else having fun and making money," the company has since grown to multiple offices and has 199 employees. The company posted $190.35 million in revenue in 2022, up 7.7% from $176.8 million in 2021.

In addition to LexJet, S-One oversees ABAQA Corp, Avatrex Corp., Brand Management Group, Utopia Digital Technologies, Avatrex, Craft Attitude and Sunset. S-One’s brands and subsidiaries extend across the graphics and media industries worldwide, making the company’s new studio all the more useful. 

And, notably, there's less office space in the former gym, the new location, at 10,285 square feet, compared to the company's former Main Street office, which was 26,911 square feet. S-One didn't get rid of the entire Main Street location, keeping 5,675 square feet of space on the building's third floor. Instead of investing in office space, the focus was turned to expanding video production. 

The studio is set to receive new 8K and 12K cameras to up the quality of photo stills the production team can produce.
Courtesy photo

With the large green screen, S-One is capable of setting a virtual environment for clients. 

“We can create whatever scene the client needs,” Pete Wright, video producer, says. “This is our version of creating a Marvel movie. But we play the superheroes.” 

In the studio, clients can flip through the company’s virtual rooms to set the scene. Then if a furniture store is promoting a couch, for example, the couch will be photographed with the green screen behind it, projecting the couch into whichever virtual scenario the client chooses. 

Adding to the versatility of the space, the studio also features a recording room (where a door is allowed) complete with some sound proofing that prevents noise from bouncing. S-One is able to record someone’s voice in the room and then use AI to replicate the sound of their voice to voiceover a script. 

To further step up their technology game, Wright adds  the company had 8K and 12K cameras coming in that will increase the quality of the photo and video shoots. “You have to travel to Tampa or Orlando to get this level of technology,” Wright says.


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