The chronicle of the ISTA office
By Jo Parish
ISTA started renting an office in Helston, Cornwall, back in 2006. Sal and I were both living in Helston at the time, and the children were at the same primary school. We were both working at home for ISTA before this, since June 2001, and met regularly at each other’s houses for catch ups which worked well, but as ISTA was growing, we felt that the time was right to be in an office together. The technology wasn’t so good back then e.g. we didn’t have Skype, Zoom, Google docs, an online accounts package etc, so at the time, having face to face contact was beneficial for us. ISTA continued to grow, taking on a 3rd member of staff.
Cornwall is a lovely place to live. It’s quite remote, we have the best beaches in England (well, my opinion), the climate is milder than the rest of the United Kingdom (we can grow palm trees!) and apart from the school summer holidays when it’s full of tourists, it’s relatively quiet. In 2008 we moved offices – still in Helston, but on a different street. We found a couple of rooms to rent, above the local estate agents (now changed to a bridal shop), with a storage room for all the accounts records. We kept growing and taking on more staff, so although we started off with two rooms, we increased to three quite quickly, and then to four.
Helston is quite a sleepy town, situated in west Cornwall. To get to the office you need to go through some old wrought iron gates, walk down an old cobbled alleyway, up a flight of stairs, down another little alleyway and it’s tucked away at the end. In 2015 we had a bit of a restructure. Sally had moved back to Perth, western Australia, by then and we made the decision to move to a ‘virtual’ office with staff working remotely. We went back to the original two rooms as we didn’t need such a big space, but decided to keep the office due to having so many accounts records to store and still feeling it was important to have a base.