The founder of 1508 Concierge shares the story behind the brand’s growing success

1508 Concierge provide VIP experience events for the biggest stars of the UK entertainment industry, while maintaining a mental health centred approach to all of their many business ventures

Want to know who can bring out all the top faces in the UK entertainment industry? 1508 Concierge. 1508 Concierge, the UK’s no. 1 concierge, provides exclusive and highly anticipated experiences for all the stars of the UK entertainment and creative industry. After speaking to their founder Kayla, it’s clear that 1508 are doing a bit of everything – and they’re doing it well. They have produced top-performing marketing campaigns with brands such as Hennessy, Sovereign Brands and Foot Locker, whilst maintaining a mental health-based focus to their branding and events.

When asked what 1508 represents, founder Kayla takes us back to the very beginning of the story, and a personal event in her own life. On the fifteenth of August 2015, she was the victim of a shooting, this being where the brand name comes from. She recalls that when she was in her hospital bed following the shooting, she began to think of what she could do for her community and young people who had also experienced traumatic events.

Credit: 1508 Concierge

Kayla shares that she has never really told this story, with the press or with the artists that she has been working with over the past few years. People would ask her “Why 1508? Why that number?” and now, with the success of the company, and the amazing things which they continue to do, she feels as if she is at the point where she is ready to share that.

The United Against Knife Crime event which Kayla organised four years ago, alongside Hackney Wick Football and SBTV, affirmed for her what she could do for and alongside other young people. “Although this has no direct relevance to what I’m doing today, it was a big success. Just doing that and seeing how much the community came together, I realised that that was what I wanted to do”. The event was attended by Kojo Funds, and other young talents, and over the years Kayla has continued to grow her connections with people in the industry through club promotions for artists such as Katy Perry and Rihanna. “So I kind of wanted to find a way of merging, entertainment and doing great stuff for the community together.”, she concludes.

The entertainment industry has often been criticised for its lack of attention to artists’ mental health and personal wellbeing. Over the past few years especially, artists have spoken up about the pressures of being in the public eye – especially with the increased use of social media. Kayla recognised how useful doing fun, physical activities was for her during her healing journey, following the shooting, and the positive impact that this had on her own mental health. From this, the VIP Experience days ran by 1508 Concierge began. During these events, artists come together to do sporting and fun activities to provide a release from their day-to-day in the entertainment industry, as well as allowing them to create interpersonal relationships with others in their industry.

1508 have had had a great response to this by young talent – which many reaching out to find out when the next events will take place. She looks forward to what these events will undeniably grow to be, with pandemic number restrictions lifting and activities opening up to larger groups, expanding their reach within the community. They aim to run events every quarter, allowing them to manage other branches of the company, such as marketing and social outreach, in between these events.

For the past 3 years, 1508 has continued to run hospitality events for celebrities, many of these major US artists, meeting all their hospitality needs during their time in London. Their Youtube “24 hours with…” series follows international artists like Saweetie, as they enjoy the finest things that London has to offer.

“Everyone used to always say like, why didn’t you do your own YouTube series? And I was like because we’re never going to get that many views, but just try, you never know”. The Saweetie video was now reached 400,00 views, amassing over half of these views only 2 and a half weeks after being published.

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Growing their online presence, 1508 also coordinated an online series, Self Made, sharing the stories and entrepreneurial secrets of iconic names within the entertainment industry. “It was important for me at the time because I realised in the UK that there were a lot of people that we felt were self-made and doing great things, but they didn’t really have a platform to share it on. So I was working at SBTV at the time, and Jamal actually introduced me to a lady from Belaire and she told me that was looking to create a spinoff to their American series”. The Self Made series ran in 2021, hosted by Belaire founder Brett Berish, featured over 30 UK talents.1508 hand-picked the talent, including Ashley Walters and Big Narstie – all people that the brand understood to be inspirational, and most importantly, self-made.

At the heart of everything 1508 do is the empowerment of young creatives. Kayla shares that she works with a team of young creatives who have gone through similar events in their life as her, and 1508 provides them with a helping hand in the industry. She shares, “we tend to employ people that have had a hard background and kind of give them a way into the industry. A lot of the videographers and designers that we find are young people that have been struggling when growing up.” Kayla highlights Eddie Forneza, a member of the 1508 team, for his relentless hard work and dedication to the company since the beginning of its journey.

Telling her own story was a pivotal part of Kayla moving forward with her brand. “So I feel like, if I would want to tell my story, and not just my story, but mental health in the Black community, I want to do it properly. Instead of someone else coming on board that isn’t from our background and trying to tell our story.” Behind 1508 is an emphasis on community, which can be felt through all of their ventures. Kayla opening up about her own story only adds to the incredible, wider story that 1508 Concierge has built over these past few years.

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