Homespun: Modern Handmade is a successful boutique devoted to contemporary handmade goods. The retail store is in a growing neighborhood with a premiere main street location.
The owners wanted to explore opening a community workshop and gallery space where Etsy artists could make their handmade goods, teach classes in their arts, and also use the space to professionally photograph their work for posting on their online stores. The owners had reservations about the success and profitability of such a venture, especially due to the high costs of leasing space in the up-and-coming area near their retail store. Their objective was to open this creative annex space near the store on a shoestring budget to test the waters, practice running such a business and determining if such an idea could be successful before investing in opening a large-scale version in a prime lease area.
Their program would require transforming a run-down space in to a creative and inspiring place to work, opening up the floor plan to gain square footage to accommodate classroom space, improve the quantity and quality of the lighting, the creation of a darkroom, a kitchen area to handle both light food prep and the cleaning of artist materials, an accessible unisex restroom, plus a children’s play area that would keep the children of entrepreneurial mothers entertained yet still visible and in close proximity while they worked.
A main challenges to this project were the budget and negotiating with the landlord about what changes we could make. In the end, we developed a floor plan which achieved every goal, and furnished the space with a combination of new inexpensive products as well as products the owner already owned, and many DIY projects that we created and the owners installed themselves.