October 17, 2014

The Studio

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I can officially be nominated for the worst blogger in the world! But for good reason….I found a workspace/shop that is NOT my home! If you read the blog, and I hope you do, then you know that I do all my work out of my basement and finished items get stored in the Foyer and several other places around the house as needed. The nickname Sanford came about for a reason! I need more inventory since I have been participating in The Neighborhood Fleas this past summer. Not a pretty sight for the rest of my family. It is making me a little bit crazier as well. I'm stressing out over the visual clutter all the time and it isn't good.

I have been wanting to open a shop but working 3 days a week in a "real" job does not allow me to have shop hours. You need time to find the junk and then time to fix it up and then take photos, yadda, yadda, yadda. BUT, the way I have been doing the Fleas once a month made me rethink how I could get my house back and sell my wares in a more organized fashion.

I need a space to store and work on my furniture pieces, build my crazy crap, and keep myself from begin featured on "Hoarders".  It would need to be big enough so I can display some things separate from the workspace but also be big enough that I could teach painting workshops and other workshops, like how to re-wire a lamp, making some of my wood shim trees, really anything that tickles my fancy to teach. And flexible enough that I could have sales "events" once a month or once every other month.

When I was grandly thinking of a shop with regular hours, I had spied an old printing business storefront. It was perfect. Lots of light from the old fashioned display windows, high ceilings, large spaces. But then I gave up on the shop idea and so it sat……waiting for me to make up my mind.

We were gong to wait and find a space after we sold one of our rentals so we would have a little cushion and there would not be as much pressure on me to come up the rent/utilities each month. But my nature is not always compatible with patience as my ankle biters will attest.

When I finally decided to rethink my strategy, I started looking at garages that I might rent for my purposes. Thinking this might take several months….. I found a really cool one fairly quickly but after a drive by realized though it had huge potential, no one would come since it is in what most people might call questionable area. I know it is safe but others wouldn't venture there so that nixed that idea. As I was driving home, I believe the Lord put that old printing shop in my mind again and I drove on over to peek through the windows.

Well, lo and behold, (isn't that what you say when something serendipitous happens to YOU!)  there were some fellas working on the ceiling and the door was open. They let me take a peek around.

Which was bad….because I immediately fell in love with BOTH spaces. Yes you read right. It looks like two separate storefronts from the outside, but in the back is a walkthrough between the two sides. There is no way to close it off but I thought it was perfect!

The left side is a completely open space with floor to ceiling shelving on the back wall (painting classes/workshops/events/parties? and maybe retail at some point) and  has the bathroom. The other side is divided into a front open office area (display/once a month shop area) and a back workspace with more glorious shelving and a huge washtub. It was like it was created for just what I needed.  Except no bathroom on this side. So either hold it until you get home or plan very well. Now I have had three kids……..the bladder decides when the bladder decides. Hmmmm, not sure how this is going to work out.

Sadness set in because I can't afford that amount of space right now. Was barely squeaking by on one space. But I called the realtor anyway hoping for a miracle and they told me it was $1000 for both spaces. Yikes! I asked if the owner would be willing to rent one half. He wasn't sure so he gave me the owners name and phone number.

I spoke with Dave, the owner, who could not have been nicer. I explained my business and my vision for the space,  what I was looking for and what I could afford and if he would be willing to rent the half with the  office space to me. We had a chuckle over the possible usage of the bathroom and if I could also rent the open space from him twice a month for the workshops. He needed to check the cost of utilities and then get back to me.

What had I done, we didn't even have the rental listed yet! The pressure I was putting on myself was immense. So I did what I should have down from the beginning….I prayed and prayed for several days about the "rightness" of this.

Dave called the next day and I about fell over when he told me he would give me both spaces for $500 with the idea that if and when I can afford to pay more rent, that I will be honest with him and pay the additional rent. He liked what I was doing, he liked the idea of helping someone get their business off the ground,  and some money was better than nothing. It had sat vacant for two years.

 If you think God does not have long term plans for you……

Not only that but I suggested we trial the $500 for 6 months and then revisit the rent and he said  "In my experience it takes sometimes longer that 6 months to turn a profit…..just pay me more when you start making more." Is this guy for real? I could have kissed him through the phone.

So I told him I needed to speak to my husband and get back to him. Andrew and I spoke and as he loves to say "well my lovely wife jumped the gun a bit but I think it is a good deal and you won't get a better deal." So I still needed confirmation from  above.

One morning while I lay in bed fretting over this, God told me to read Psalm 21. So up I got and down did trot to read my Bible.


"You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request from his lips".

 Now I know not everyone will think this is kosher and that is okay. But I have been through enough crap in my life that I know when God is speaking and I also know that all of the steps leading up to this could only be His doing.  I felt instant peace about the whole situation and the rest of the day I didn't fret one time.

But needless to say, I called Dave back and am going to pick up the keys…..today!

My stomach is still flipping and flopping but only when I let my mind go down that path. When I refocus on the plans that have come about that could not have come about any other way than through the Lord's hands, I relax and enjoy the rush.

Throughout all of this one thing that has been completely evident is my need to stay in complete relationship with the Lord because it is still going to be a rocky road for a while. We still need to sell our rental, I need to figure out how my schedule will work so I balance things and don't go crazy trying to do too much. There is a long list of things I need to trust Him for. But daily seeking after Him, laying my cares at His feet and listening to His voice when He speaks have shrunk my fears and anxiety. He has shown me so many things throughout this 3 month long process. He has grown my faith and my trust in Him so much that if all fails, I still get that reward. And what a reward it is.

"He isn't safe but He is good."

I look forward to the ride.

Always being renewed,

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  1. Congrats on your new store! You are such an inspiration :) Keep listening and He will guide.


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