A Sneak Peek Behind Opening the Studio Shop
Happy Labour Day! It's been a hectic few weeks as we've finally passed our last inspection, and we reached the part where Jon and I and our team and the two babies get dusty and paint covered and march onward down the final stretch to opening our doors - tomorrow! It's thrilling (and a relief!) to see it finally all come together. The new studio shop is going to be open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11-6, and if you need to call with any questions, you can reach the studio shop at 416 513 9633. It's been a hustle for sure, taking care of all the last minute things - ethernet cords, jars for pencils, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, phone lines, computer systems, locks and alarms, painting. We dropped the ball on more than a few things, so we're going to have to make do over the next little while - we're definitely going to be a little rough around the edges for our opening. With 906 Dundas West, our Leslieville and Little Italy locations and now here, our final home in Cabbagetown, we've opened four shops, and the only thing that gets easier is now knowing first hand that our customers are willing to overlook a few bumpy details. We're not done with renovations yet - there are still some big pieces that need to be addressed over the next six months to few years - but we're opening up tomorrow, and we couldn't be more excited. Please come and say hello! We have a few new brands and lines that we're launching along with the new shop, although we'll be spotty on basically everything else. Over the next few weeks, we'll be managing inventory between the two shops, and bringing in more. In many ways, this feels a bit like opening 906 Dundas West - a much smaller space, not much inventory, starting from scratch without our ink wall or big pieces - and yet it's also a very different experience, with the two babies, with staff, with so much more experience and knowledge than we started out with. It's incredible to look back at how naive and optimistic and foolhardy we were five years ago - what a ride.
***So this is it! There were a few days where it didn't look like we were going to make it. I have a blister on my toe, my hair has gone unwashed for a number of days I'd rather not publicly disclose on the internet, the upstairs apartment has been raided of track lighting heads so we can have lights in the shop and so we're living in semi-darkness, and in a moment of sleep-deprived delirium, I convinced Jon that we should buy a water vacuum, in order to experience the deep satisfaction of cleaning our sofa. Ready or not. We're opening Tuesday, September 4th, also the first day of school for Caleb. He couldn't be more excited, and of course, as a mama and a teacher I'm thrilled he is eager to go to school, although everything is aflutter at the thought of my independent little boy off in the world. Caleb's preschool, as wonderful and nurturing as it was, was also admittedly a bit insular: Caleb heading off into an inner city school in Regent Park, with its harassed lunchroom supervisors and zero tolerance policies and busy classrooms of full of all sorts of students, will be a different sort of adventure adventure. There are, as with most things in life, pros and cons to all the vibrancy and challenges of being in a truly downtown, inner city school. Caleb has been a trooper, and for that matter, so has Naomi, while we've been getting this shop set up. Haphazard napping, assisting with the painting, cleaning, pitching things into the dumpster, moving boxes from here to there. Caleb is a pretty helpful kid, and he's spent a lot of time watching the contractors and fetching this or that. There's obviously a lot he can't do, and his perpetual question is "when I'm bigger I can... press the buttons? check out the customers? use the big knife?" Naomi has been spending her days getting dusty and entertaining herself with cardboard and pulling herself up to standing on ladders and stacks of boxes of stationery, and once again, I'm reminded of what an unconventional childhood these two kiddos are going through. There's nothing like the thrill and urgency of opening up a shop, especially on a timeline (and a budget), and yet, after this whirlwind final week, I'm looking forward to settling into our routines and finding our balance again. Maybe it's the idea of Caleb going back to school, and the fall weather closing in - books under the covers, hot chocolate warming up cold fingers in the park, warm animals curled up at my feet.