Our Team


Rutger Bruining

Founder and CEO rutger@

Rutger graduated with a degree in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam and in 2004 started working as a strategy consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Three years later he moved to New York for an MBA at Columbia University, after which he became Investment Director at Arle Capital (formerly Candover) in London. In 2013 he quit his job in private equity to focus on his love for history and stories: he founded Story Terrace. Rutger likes sports and travelling; on the top of his wish list are Australia and Uganda.


Alice Nightingale

Managing Editor UK alice@

Alice joined Story Terrace in 2016 having recently returned from a travel trip backwards around the world. She was ready for a new challenge, having worked as an editor for ten years in commercial publishing for companies such as Penguin Random House, Orion and Titan, on a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Alice loves working with authors and customers and bringing people’s stories to life. One day Alice will write her magnum opus but until that point she is content wrangling with other people’s. Her other interests include: neon, cheese, garage and udon. She is currently reading a weird selection of Bukowski, Augusten Burroughs and Patricia Cornwell and her favourite book is The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon.

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Robert Desmond

Chief Technology Officer robert@

Using his 15 years of coding experience on a range of projects spanning front- and back-end, he is always looking for the next challenge to improve our customer experience. Robert has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. Following graduation he spent a couple of years at Softwire, a leading London-based software consultancy, before turning freelance. Robert enjoys cycling and travelling and is currently documenting his ride from London to Auschwitz in a Story Book.

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Theo Brainin

Marketing Director & Product Manager theo@

Theo’s primary responsibilities at Story Terrace include beard topiary and coffee bean adjudication. On the side, he lends a strategic and articulate perspective to Story Terrace’s product development, product marketing and design, contributing a journalistic nous gained working with broadcasters including BBC Newsnight, as well as print publications. Theo holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and a Masters degree in Political Theory, both from Oxford University; as well as a Graduate Diploma in Law.

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Davender Bassi

Managing Director, Europe davender@

Having grown up surrounded by three different cultures, German, British and Indian, Dave always had a passion for working in an international environment. After completing his degree in Business and Management in Germany, he moved to the UK to earn a Master’s in International Business at the University of Lincoln. Of course, he naturally got drawn to the multifaceted, international city of London, where he has now been living for three years. Dave worked in a variety of industries, focusing primarily on Digital Marketing and E-Commerce, before joining the team at Story Terrace. He is a sports enthusiast, loves travelling the world with his wife, and is very attached to his hometown of Hanover in Germany.


Louise Summerling

Project Editor louise@

After graduating in 2010 with a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, Louise spent a couple of years in New Zealand – where she lived in a van in someone’s garden – and Australia, returning home in 2013 via Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and southern China. This was followed by a stint working at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic, which is where her love of people and their stories was born. She then spent a year getting lost among the dreaming spires while working at Oxford University Press, before arriving in London to develop her skills as an editor at Macmillan. She joined Story Terrace in 2017, where she works closely with customers and writers to bring people’s stories to life.


Heather Hughes

Sales & Customer Relations Manager heather@

Heather was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. She studied Communications and Art History at the University of Calgary, but soon found a way to blend her passion for travel and love for the arts. She left Canada to pursue a career as an art auctioneer, and for five years she sailed around the world conducting live art auctions aboard luxury cruise liners. Eventually a life on solid land beckoned and she settled in her father’s birthplace of London. As our Sales Manager, she helps our clients realise their dream of capturing their life stories.

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