I know that most of you don’t like change. I thrive on change. I grew up bouncing around from one state to the next, not because I grew up in a military family but because I grew up with parents of race horses. (Same travel, less honored profession) Instead of growing up hating the move from one place to the next, I actually LOVE to move. I like that it forces purging of unwanted and unused things. I like that if forces organization. I like putting everything into neat and tidy boxes. I also absolutely love the chance to start over. I loved having a new room to organize and set up as a kid; and as an adult, I love being able to redecorate all over again in a new space.
we (I keep typing “we” but there is just me, so I am going to stop doing that)…When I started this business in 2009, this storefront was just perfect for the shop. It had one classroom just off the show floor, separated by great french doors. The lounge boasted a cute vintage sofa and a window seat with lots of natural light. The checkout area had a chair to pull up and get knit and crochet help. I started out with no office, working from behind the counter, then moving to the classroom and then to the back room / hallway near the bathroom. We held one or two classes a night when the shop was closed at 7 and one on the weekends and late nights when the shop was open. Workshops with national designers were often off site due to space constraints in that classroom, or we smooshed everyone in!
In under four years, we are now expanded into the apartment above our original store space. We have yarn stuffed into closets in the kitchen and both bedrooms in that apartment. Recently, I removed Arthella’s desk from the office and replaced it with more shelves for yarn. Arthella is receiving and labeling new inventory in the back room / hallway to the bathroom, with boxes everywhere. Our tiny downstairs bathroom is barely sufficient for the number of folks that hang out in the lounge area. We have added two new sofas and a side chair and could use even more seating space. Our knit and crochet help desk is long gone, replaced by a second workstation to handle the line that often forms on weekends here during the winter season. I have a storage unit off site that holds even more inventory and our office files from past years. And we just kept adding more shelving to the show floor, making less and less floor space and display space for sample garments and patterns.
And so, about a year ago I began to consider moving our store entirely. I didn’t want to go more than a block from our current location. So many of you come from out of town to visit, and I didn’t want you to not be able to find us at our new spot. I also wanted to stay close to the metro and the small businesses around us that are a huge part of what we do here. (Potomac Bead, La Fromagerie, Olio, Nickells & Scheffler, etc). I needed more storage space, a receiving area to process orders, natural light, large classroom space that could accommodate workshops of up to 30 folks, a larger bathroom and an office somewhere near the store floor again. And in general, I just need more space!
I am super excited to announce that we have found our space! In early or mid-May, we will be moving just around the corner to King street (1219 King St to be exact). The parking situation will be almost exactly the same, so keep parking in those secret spots that you have found on N. Fayette and Cameron. We are just moving a few store fronts around the corner. The space has a huge bright window at the front that will look into our new and expanded lounge area (with fireplace!) The classroom area has neat brick walls and four sky lights to allow in natural light (and a wet bar). We can use this side for private events, trunk shows, large workshops and even hot new arrivals while keeping our regular sales floor neat and orderly. It even has a 400 sq ft basement that is dry, clean and kinda magical. I have no idea what we will do with an organized storage space where we can actually fit all of our inventory. The backroom is huge. Arthella and I can both have our office space there. She can receive and label yarn. We can even have an area for the new baby to play, perhaps? The new bathroom is HUGE! We have full handicap accessibility from the back of the space and just four steps out front. I plan to set up bike and stroller parking, for those that need and want it. (The city already has that address on their list for a new bike rack). And our knit & crochet help desk / bar will be back. We will have a library area and a kids play area! Also look for a new display and organization system for our ever expanding selection of needles. We are doubling our retail space, tripling our storage space and also getting a huge increase in classroom space (allowing us to host four classes in the evening when the shop is closed and 2-3 when it is open).
Ok I am kinda tired just thinking about this massive project. I hope to only be closed for 1-2 days in May for the move, since we have time to get into our space and do some renovations before we move over. I am excited and nervous all at once. I think it is going to be great, and I hope you all love your new home. I promise not to get rid of the beloved orange chair. He may even get a friend in that fab front room.