It's been a full two months since we signed the lease to our first commercial space. Sitting here in the studio typing this I look around, observing nearly everything in view is different than it was two months ago. That sure puts the progress in perspective! Funny how day to day that can be overlooked. I've had countless moments when I've questioned whether things are really moving forward. I'm a results driven person, and as with any long term goal, this entire process has been a huge challenge for me to recognize the small accomplishments along the way as we move toward the bigger end goal.
I talked about this briefly on instagram in a recent video, and asked you guys how you stay motivated during slow moving long-term goals. The feedback I got was fascinating! No surprise, it turns out long-term goals are a challenge for a lot of us! Many viewers recommended keeping track of the smaller accomplishments along the way, and using that list as evidence that progress is indeed happening. That's exactly why I decided to write this post.
So, what exactly have we accomplished for far? Let's approach this point by point:
We worked out a budget for all the things. This was mainly Kim, she's a spreadsheet genius. We then dealt with the shock of how quickly things added up, tried to cut our budget in half, and then landed on a staggered purchasing plan that would secure that all the most important things were purchased first and that we had a built-in contingency if/when things didn't go as planned.
We repainted all of the walls including a charming light pink accent wall that faces the front windows of our building, setting the vibe for the space before even opening the door. The other walls were all painted a fresh coat of white in an eggshell finish. Previously the walls were a brighter, flat white and they were severely marked up with dirty handprints and scuff marks. Opting for a finish with a subtle sheen will help prevent future markings and make cleaning easier than a flat finish paint would have provided. The slightly more muted white is less blinding with the overhead lighting and made a shinier wall finish appear soft and calming, not reflective.
We refinished the linoleum floors, first sanding, applied two coats of Zinsser 1-2-3 primer, and two coats of Behr Porch and Patio paint in a pale gray that'll nicely disguise our porcelain footprints and glaze splatters between moppings. I'll be posting a full tutorial of this process, probably in May. I'm trying to give the floors a chance to really get some traffic and use so I can best share how this holds up in a high use area. We're about 4-5 weeks into the finished floors and so far they're doing great.
Our kilns are here! They've been moved in, assembled, professionally wired, and they've passed city inspection. YAY! One of the kilns was brand new and part of our equipment budget, the other is from our previous home studio and is in the process of being converted from 240 volt 1 phase to 208 volt 3 phase. We've hit a few snags in this process, but things are continuing to move forward, so check.
We have a new glaze spray booth! We ordered this for our glazing only to find it's quite humungous... not a real complaint, but whoa. And we even ordered the smaller of two option. We had to unpack and disassemble to get the thing in the door. Considering I've been spraying all our glazes outside for the past year since introducing a spay gun to the studio, all I can say is being able to work in a heated and cooled space is going to be amazing even if the thing is gigantic. Maybe that's somehow better as we grow, anyways!
We installed our studio's sign! I announced on instagram I was looking for a graphic designer who could tackle a same day turn-around time and we were so fortunate that Desiree from @ohheyitsdez was available for the project! The signed turned out great! This is another topic that'll be its own future post. I'll tackle some of the options we explored, quotes we received, and ultimately why we selected the option we did.
The distinct "rooms" are coming together! The front space of our studio will be used for social media and blog work, and will function for any workshops or events we host in the future. As our needs for this space will likely change as we settle in, we've kept this area pretty minimal. We purchased a gorgeous wood table from World Market that can work for events, meetings, any styling and photography we do, and that I can use as a work table for all of the design and pattern work I'm doing. It's a large, substantial table and I finally have plenty of work to spread out.
We've stayed mostly on budget with minimal extras! The one questionably frivolous purchase we've made so far is our emerald green velvet sofa I caught on consignment last week. I was chronicling my vintage shopping trip, sharing my favorites along the way and this sofa made the cut. I captioned the video, "If only the studio needed a velvet, emerald green sofa..." and the messages flooded in making it clear that our studio did need it! By this point the store was closed for the weekend, so I eagerly waited until Monday morning, arrived right when they opened and it was thankfully still there! It's the perfect complement to our pale pink wall and has quickly become our favorite place to sit in the studio.
Yesterday was the very first time I made pottery over here in the studio and today I glazed our first test pieces for the kiln. After typing this all out and reading it, I guess you could say this recall approach works. We really have accomplished a lot our first two months here! I'm so excited to see how this space continues to evolve!
Is there anything else you'd like to hear about in this moving studios process? I'm happy to share any details you're curious about. Just ask below!