A Wonder Pens Studio Shop
I know some of you may also be asking didn't you just move into this Leslieville place? And the answer to that is, well yes.
I know it seems, unfortunately, like we're bouncing around the city, but we're hoping this next set of changes will be the last ones for a while. It's partially the nature of real estate in Toronto, and also the nature of surviving as a small, independent business in this age of huge and huger mega-businesses and technology. We outgrew our tiny 906 Dundas West space after two years, and now our building is catching up with the growth of our transforming neighbourhood.And, to be honest, one of the driving forces behind this new place is watching Caleb grow up. While I know (or at least keep telling myself) that Caleb is learning lots and experiencing lots by living here in this industrial building, with a movie prop maker (with some pretty crazy and occasionally scary stuff in his studio) and a bicycle repair shop and a tattoo parlor and a metal workshop and a print studio, I also know I want Caleb to have roots. I know that there are some sacrifices to Caleb's, and now the new baby's childhoods that they will have to make because we are a small business family: Saturdays are our prime game time in the shop, not trips to the zoo; chores include sweeping the shop and taking out the recycling, in addition to clearing dinner tables and picking up socks; dinner time is sometimes late, and sometimes take-out, depending on what's going on in the shop (and, basically for all of December). But community is so important - the community and village we all share as stationery lovers, yes, but also the community that our children will grow up in, their schools and the local shops, our neighbours and the people we run into on the streets. As Jon and I learn more and more about Toronto real estate, and how turbulent commercial properties can be and are, I know that I don't want Caleb to be changing schools and our family uprooted every three years, something that Jon and I took to a bit more naturally when it was just the two of us, and when Caleb was just an infant. When this opportunity came up for a long-term place for us, we took the leap. I'm deeply looking forward to both our family and our business being able to put down roots in a community. To be on a first-name basis with our librarians and shawarma take-out place people. To have favourite tables at my local cafe. I want to be able to contribute to the economy and fabric of a neighbourhood for a good long while. So this studio shop that we're opening up is (hopefully) going to be our good long while. And best of all, we will have a backyard. (This doesn't look too backyardy right now, because the previous folks used it as a multi-car parking lot for their offices, but trust me, there's going to be some green in there.) There is definitely going to be more to come - announcements, photos, news, renovation updates, funny stories. I hope you'll continue to follow along with our journey - we continue to barrel along new paths I could hardly have imagined for us four years ago when we first opened the shop. This news is terrifying for us, but with our newest turkey (the baby) fresh from the oven, there's only so much terror to go around, so we're plunging ahead with our hearts in our hands. There's so much to be excited about and thankful for in this new adventure. Watching Caleb run around the rooms, already making himself at home, spilling his juice on the floor. I can't wait to see a few walls come down on the first floor to open up space for our shop, and to see some familiar faces come in through the door. A tiny stationery shop studio, in an old Victorian house, with some of my favourite people in the world wandering in and out. What a dream.