Last fall, soon after our second son Robben was born, we realized we had outgrown our current work space, our home. For five plus years, we had shipped and fulfilled orders from our house, answered emails, designed new product, etc from our very humble abodes--four to be exact (yes, we have moved four times in the last five years). And then we added another baby into the mix and BAM! Suddenly, working from home was not so easy anymore.
I guess we should have seen it coming, but it kind of took us by surprise. One day, surrounded by boxes and boxes, papers scattered everywhere, bags in every nook of our space, dishes piled up, laundry unfolded, me in my pajamas with hair disheveled and teeth probably not yet brushed, and a baby needing our constant attention unless he was napping, we came to terms with the fact that the way we were doing business was no longer working for us as a family. Go figure. It was time to take a risk and a leap of faith and separate work life from home life.
We knew pretty much right away that we wanted to look at spaces in Biddeford, ME for two reasons: 1) It’s only 15 minutes from our house, and 2) Biddeford is a really cool old mill town that dates back to the 1600’s. It has so much history, character, and potential. We looked at about 5 different spaces and settled on 1,000 square feet of space in a historic building right on one of the main streets, Alfred street. Seth Harkness, owner and head contractor, and his team of builders are currently remodeling the three story building. I am so impressed by the detail and the care that they are putting into restoring the building. The top two floors have been converted to apartments and the lower level will be our store and a provisions store next door.
The idea for the space is that it will be a multi-functional workspace/showroom/retail space. The goal is to be able to work, fulfill and ship orders, take photos, sell our product, and have fun while doing it. We will be selling our current collection (plus a lot of newness coming in the spring/summer!) and a small assortment of miscellaneous items that we feel are appropriate and complement our aesthetic. I know that sounds very vague and it is. The idea and concept are very much evolving at this point. Nothing is concrete yet. We are planning on being open to the public by spring 2018.
Probably the most exciting bit of all of this is that our super talented friend, Kacee Pyles, is helping us design the interior of the space. She is so passionate about what she does and so kind and genuine. Lucky for us, she just moved to Maine from San Francisco with her husband, Sam, and her one year old little boy, Hank. She has been a dream to work with and I can’t wait to share our vision for the space with you.
For now, here are some pics of the space before and during construction. I hope one day you are able to visit us at 17 Alfred in Biddeford.
17 Alfred before they changed the exterior paint color to a dark grey/black.
Me, Dave, Julien, Trip and Kristen (in the stroller) outside the store. (Liz took the pic. :)
Dave and Robben checking out the progress.
This beautiful brick wall was hidden below the metal tile (picture below). They had to carefully remove the tile piece by piece and then assemble it again on the other wall in the space.
Chris, the metalworker, restoring all the old metal tile that dates back to the 1890's.