I just took this photo yesterday after the new lettering on the front door went up. You can see how excited I was! The sign makes it all seem so much more real. BUT before I share how we're fixing this old building up, I wanted to get some photos of the "before" blogged, so we can see the changes later!
So here's a little tour from the front door to the rear exit... the first time we saw the space and began imagining the potential as the first papercrafting studio in Watertown, WI.
Location, location, location! We are right off Main Street and right across from my favorite local coffee shop and bookstore called Literatus (we are going to be a dangerous combo on a Saturday morning, look out!)
The front half of the building was built in the 1870's, but my half is newer and has been remodeled a couple of times. Not super recently, as you can tell...
The entrances have a couple of steps, which is common in buildings this old and "grandfathered" in to modern accessibility codes. My front entrance walks right up to the bathroom--funny!
So I am going to have a super cute little powder room, since it is the first thing people will see. Right now it is basic, but functional. If it was gross, it was going to be a deal breaker!!!
To the left of the front entrance is an office we'll be using for shipping/receiving. Every month I had been cleaning off my entire stamp desk to have a space to pack the Suite Samplers and Color Club goodie boxes. It has been a total pain in the neck. I am SO looking forward to having space to spread out to both assemble the kits AND get them labeled, taped and postaged! I will be able to offer MORE fun options because it won't interrupt my ongoing projects so much.
The lobby has two closets and a great area for reception. I have been painting over the dark panelling (three coats of primer!!) and can't wait to cozy it up with some cushy armchairs, a coffee station, and racks of cards for sale. I am EXCITED to have a little place out of the main classroom to catch up with friends before and after events!
Let's walk through this door and into the class space! When you enter the main room, there is a few steps up to what used to be a sound booth back when the building housed a local radio station at some point. That's my private office. It has a big window overlooking the classroom, so I can keep an eye on y'all!
Here's where it gets funny! The most recent tenant was a pet groomer. So those stalls you see used to be washing and clipping stations. We will be tearing those down asap, and then there will be room for 20-24 stampers at eight foot tables. SO excited to be able to hold all my events here except the very largest ones!
PS... no, even though it was a pet service, it doesn't smell! Whew! Talk about a dealbreaker!
I have given myself a week-long allergy attack though, cleaning the hair out. It was everywhere, including stuck to the ceiling tiles, drifted in every vent, and in between the baseboard and the walls. We had to sweep down the walls before we washed them down!
The good news about the dog shower stalls is that there is plumbing to the main room. So one of my "wishes" but not "needs" was a sink in the stamp area to help with the ink... and here is plumbing and I found cabinets, counter and sink on FB Marketplace for about $75 total. God is so good to me. He really is showing Himself in the way doors have just been flung open left and right. Mike and I feel very confident about moving forward with this adventure and hopefully being a real blessing in the community.
So yeah--LOTS of work to be done. But it's clean in there now, and about half painted, and once we get the demolition work done it will be light, bright and spacious. I have soooo many plans for the decor! I just get the SQUEEs when I think about what a fun and colorful space it will be. Somewhere people can't wait to walk in and just relax and get the buzz of fulfilling their soul's need for creativity.
Thank you all for your contagious excitement about the new studio! It touches my heart to see how many are happy for us. Thanks for always supporting my dreams--here's to a lovely long tenure at Song of My Heart Studios in Watertown, Wisconsin!
Everything is coming together for an open house on October 2nd!!! If you're local, I'd love to see you.