Small Business Saturday: Risky Studios | Greater Lansing Area Moms

Joshua and Alicia Southern

GLAMoms went back to East Lansing for this week’s Small Business Saturday.  We are happy to introduce Risky Studios.  Risky Studios a co-working multimedia production studio and micro-event space

Risky Studio is not a new business – it is new to the Downtown East Lansing scene – and is located at 301 M.A.C.  They just celebrated their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony last month.  

Risky Studio offers a place to connect the community and facilitate relationships between people who may not otherwise be introduced.  

We recently met with Alicia Southern, CEO and co-owner of Risky Studios and she shares about this East Lansing space that is a hub for all things creative!

Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms!

Tell us about Risky Studios! 
Risky Studios is an extension of
Risky Music Group (RMG), a Christian Hip-Hop record label owned & operated by my husband Joshua Southern (Big Josh). He outgrew our home studio space this past year and we stumbled upon this location and decided it would be a perfect home for RMG. We also realized that we had space and opportunity to expand and create something new that others could access and benefit from as well. 

We put together a plan, and with the help of Moore & Moore Painting etc., we remodeled the empty suite to house not only Risky Music Group but a full co-working, multimedia production studio and micro-event space. 

We are a creative co-working multimedia production studio located at 301 M.A.C. Ave, Suite 106 East Lansing, MI. We provide space and equipment for business owners, content creators and artists to create podcasts, take photos, film videos, record and produce music and other audio projects. Since we are located in the heart of downtown East Lansing, we are also available to the student population for study groups, and small events. We offer digital signage promotion for our clients, artists and other businesses as well as other networking opportunities. 

We had our official grand opening/ ribbon cutting celebration Feb. 26, 2022 and are accepting booking for single sessions and offer monthly memberships. 

We want to be a safe space and an incubator for quality projects, art, business ideas. We want to connect to the community not just in East Lansing but all of the surrounding areas and connect people who may not otherwise cross paths.

Is Downtown East Lansing your only location? 
Our M.A.C. Ave location for Risky Studios is our only physical location, for now.  I do run several other home based businesses that we plan to get a physical location for as well as expand Risky Studios in the future. 

What’s your background? What made you go into what you’re doing now?
I am originally from Saginaw, MI. I have a BA in Psychology from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA, which was one of few all female institutions. (It has since been acquired by Boston College which is my husband’s Alma mater). Aside from psychology, I became very interested in photography, and minored in visual arts. I loved taking black and white photos with my grandfather’s old Pentax camera and working in the dark room. I have always had a love for music  and grew up listening to a very eclectic mix of things. My husband also loves and produces music –  so a bit of our passions/hobbies mixed and we were able to come up with the creative hub that we have now. 

I have worked in roles mainly with and on behalf of under served, at risk and or homeless youth, families and adults. Most recently I was assistant director at Little Dreamers Daycare Center where my children attend. After starting the process of getting Risky Studios up and running, my husband and I decided it was best for me to transition to full time entrepreneurship. So currently I serve as part owner and CEO of Risky Studios and have since become involved in the community in a different capacity by serving on the East Lansing Downtown Management Board. 

What do you love about having a business in Downtown East Lansing? 
I love and very much appreciate the support and genuine well wishes that we have gotten from all over Lansing and East Lansing. The city of East Lansing is very supportive and loves its Downtown businesses. We were honored to have East Lansing’s first black Mayor cut the ribbon at our grand opening and to have his continued support throughout our journey. 

The desire and willingness by city officials and other business owners to engage is just awesome. I also love being so accessible to MSU student creatives who may not be able to get to other parts of the city or Lansing. 

What has been the most challenging part of running your business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?  Did it delay your opening?   
Risky Studios is an extension of Risky Music Group, my husband’s record label. Since RMG was based in our home, and I was pregnant during Covid in 2020, all collaborations and recording stopped for many of his projects. This is what sparked the initial idea of eventually looking for a physical location outside of our home. Covid was mentally and emotionally tough for our family but we made it through with prayer, Zoom calls with our family and friends and a few new business plans and a new baby to focus on. Now that we are in 2022 and we no longer have the same restrictions from 2020, I would say the grand opening was perfect timing and went on with no hiccups. 

Any exciting plans for your new business in 2022?
Participating in and hosting events. 

What’s a favorite business Downtown East Lansing?
Georgio’s Pizza

Is there any sort of promotion you would like to offer GLAMom’s followers?  
Coupon code GLAMOMS will get you $25 off consultations or any session/memberships booked via email or our website

Instagram Riskystudioslansing

Facebook: Risky Studios Lansing



Thank you to our generous Small Business Saturday sponsor, Downtown East Lansing

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