It's been a whirlwind of a week, as we've packed up and moved everything across the city, and the last of the renovations have finished up here at 52 Clinton Street. We're opening up tomorrow! Saturday, May 5th. I can hardly believe it. Here are the last round of photos, from finishing up the painting and setting up the shop. We still have a ways to go in the final touches, moving in the plants, hanging up all the small things that make a shop a home, but we are officially open for business. When we opened 906 Dundas West, and then when we moved to the Carlaw location, it was just me and Jon and Caleb, and so this time around has been a completely different experience - more furniture, running the online, a much larger renovation project - and yet so many more hands. The bulk of the renovations have been finished, although there are still a few last things we need to get tradespeople in for. We may still install some MWT Windows to replace the current ones to make everything look a bit newer! There are also a few shelves or adjustments that will be done along the way by handyman Jon, although he has this "let's save this for phase 2" phrase that I think really means "let's put that on the back burner for six months," so we'll see.
We've been coordinating the lights and the furniture and the displays, and it's been a lot of moving things here and there and then back again and then back again. Jon said the contractors kept asking where things were going to go so they could install outlets or customize things to our set-up, but even now, Friday night before we open on Saturday morning, I'm still imagining the shop in my mind and wondering if we should move this desk here or how we're going to squeeze in this display. While I would not necessarily describe myself as indecisive, I can admit that I sometimes need to think about things for a while: when I know where I want something, I know it, but when when I'm not sure, I have a hard time committing and spend a lot of time just looking around aimlessly, waiting for inspiration to come down and point me in the right direction. Our friendly and incredibly patient electrician had to move and re-install our three lights to fit a fourth after Jon okayed the three, and then I came and decided I wanted four. I know! I KNOW! I couldn't help it. It was just not the same with three. I put out some candy for anyone to help themselves to - contractors, staff, the odd customer that might stop by - but it's mostly been me manically chewing the Double Bubble in an effort to keep all the thoughts from flying away into the clouds.
Agenda, a cafe just around the corner on College. Plants! Coffee! An oasis of peace.
It's been an adjustment for the whole family as we've spent more time on the west end getting the shop ready. While there's always something exciting in a new project and checking things off a list, it's been a juggling act with the kids. Caleb's often asked to go home when at the new shop, I suppose because it's a new place and he doesn't have his bicycle and he doesn't have his hiding spots and familiar places. This past week, he's had to come after a long day at pre-school, and he's looking for his usual snacks and curling up on the couch with the dog and his trusty foot-powered vehicles. Some days I've left the new shop in the afternoon to pick up Caleb from preschool and just stayed at home with the two babies, to give them both a break from the car and the constant buzzing of the new shop, and it's been nice to be home and fry some asparagus for dinner and read some books, even while I can almost feel the seismic spinning of the to-do lists spiraling out of control on the west end. And yet today in the shop, Caleb took off his shoes and ran around in his socks until Jon made him stop, and then said he wanted to stay. So I suppose it might be home. Every once in a while a grandparent or a friend will offer to take Caleb for an afternoon or a day, and while it's nice for them to have him, I love that Caleb has both his own pre-school world, but is also part of our world here. (Naomi is stuck with me 24/7 for another two years, ha-ha, too bad.)
PS. Thanks for the egg tarts, Micah. Apparently everyone had a taste.

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May 04, 2018 — wonderpens


Steven Tomlinson

Steven Tomlinson said:

Thanks for sharing this adventure with us fans, Liz and Jon. We look forward to celebrating your new space on our next visit.

From Austin,


Anonymous said:

Looking forward to your visit! :)


Anonymous said:

Thank you! We certainly could use all the luck we can get. Greetings to you all the way in California :)


Anonymous said:

Thank you! It’s always an exciting thing, a new adventure :)


thyna said:

very excited to come visit soon, once i’m in town! also, i can’t help thinking how very fitting that there’s a nearby cafe called agenda, haha.


Nina said:

You’re incredibly resiliant Liz! Your new place is sparkling and radiant. . I’ve always searched out ink/pen stores in Europe because they’re invariably in interesting areas. I feel the same about your store: enjoyed returning to Little Portugal (where I went to public school) and I’ll enjoy visiting you in Little Italy where I grew up.
Thanks for your reminder to KEEP WRITING. I enjoy your thoughts so YOU keep writing too!!

See you soon.

Flora Henry

Flora Henry said:

Good luck to you and your wonderful family in your new store! ??✒️
From Playa Del Rey, CA


AndrewMB said:

Looks good. Someday I hope to visit. I’m from MB.


Veronica said:

Great pictures! So lovely to see the kids in the shop. Best wishes today!

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