31 Days of Thanks Day 24 out on our own renting space
Once Michael and I started doing pottery we quickly outgrew our space and when it was time to renew our lease on Middle Street we decided we needed to move into our own space.
It was a little scary for us, our rent increased by ten fold and we would have to hire employees, yikes!!
I remember running into my friend Bruce on the street and told him what we were doing, he said "what if it doesn't work out?" I said "there is no plan B" and kept walking.
As it turned out we didn't need a plan B.
We started carrying other peoples work as well as our own. Our thought was build a business that we can sell someday when its time to retire. If it was only our work and we were no longer in the picture there would be nothing to sell.
Most of the other shops like ours took things on consignment, we started purchasing fine crafts from other professional artists. Just like most retail businesses do. That way we could control the quality of the work we carried.
When we started looking for a new space we were thinking about buying. At the time real estate in our Downtown was not a good bet according to the banks we talked to. (boy things have changed!) They said the properties were over priced. I heard about a space becoming available on Pollock Street. So called Lonnie and said I wanted to see it.
He said someone else was coming from Swansboro to look at it that afternoon. But he would show it to me. Michael was somewhere, don't remember where, and this was before cell phones. When I saw it I said right away, "we'll take it". He said he would rather rent to us because we had a track record, than the unknown people in Swansboro.
So we rented it in August but did not move until after Christmas. It gave us time to get enough art to fill it, to revamp it, and transition.
I felt like we were stepping off a cliff but it was a good move! We evolved and grew.
I always felt like that was one of our strengths, keep evolving and tweeking, while keeping our core the same.
Who am I thanking here? All the people who supported us and followed us around the corner!
- Jan Francoeur