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Studio Tour Part 1: the buildout

I thought I'd spend the next few days before I leave for the holidays chronicling the process of our studio & storefront buildout (I'll continue on Monday). 

We moved into this current space in February 2010 and it took until November to fully complete the project. The time lapse was mainly due to our crazy schedule but we also paced ourselves to budget the cost (we've run our business completely credit & debt free). 

The studio is located in the Hannibal Square district of Winter Park- a quaint shopping district with brick streets and cute shops & retaurants. It's one of the nicest parts of town and we were able to secure an amazing rental rate due to the economy. The space is 1500 square feet and we separated about 300 sq. ft. for the storefront. Before this we worked out of another space a few blocks away that was about 700 sq. ft. and before that we were working out of Nathan & I's one bedroom apartment. 


photos & sketches by Anna Bond

Throughout the process we worked with our friends Blair & Craig (of the woodcrafting company Hog Eat Hog- the same guys who help us produce our wooden recipe boxes) to complete the buildout. You can see my initial layout sketch for the space above. To keep costs down we kept the concrete floors throughout the studio and laid wood floors only in the storefront area. We also built a walls with an opening in the center to separate the studio area from the shop. The main projects we did for the space were: painting (benjamin moore's ballet white on the walls), added simple wood molding, the separation wall (fully made of wood), wood floors in the front, our custom shelving for the shop, and signage.

Blair is all about using found, salvaged, and local woods so pretty much all of the wood in the space is salvaged from Florida. He also used some unique processes like painting our wood floor with a mix of stain and milk paint and then topped with wax to create a really vintage look that I absolutely love.

photos & sketches by Anna Bond

We worked on getting the studio area set up first and waited a while to complete the storefront since it's not a vital part of our business (it acted as an inventory storage area for quite a while). The studio area is set up as an open room with a large work table in the center for production and desks on either side of the room. The space also has a storage room and a separate office where I work.

My favorite part of the whole space is the custom shelving in the storefront. I worked with Blair to design the card shelves and the built-in shelves around the windows (bottom left image). I love the character they add to the shop.

It's definitely been a process but I love the space and how it turned out! It's very simple, open, and functional for us. 

Let me know if you guys have any questions in the comments section... More photos of the completed space & opening party coming next week...


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Reader Comments (12)

I think it's amazing you have been able to grow your business completely debt free. You have created a truly wonderful brand and fantastic studio/retail space. I really admire your work, and the business you have grown. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing with us!
December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
absolutely gorgeous. love your sketches.
Anna, if you ever have the time, could you please expand on the "credit and debt free" part? I love your aesthetic and your work, and now I'm doubly amazed.
December 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteriwishihadtaste
maybe I'll do a separate post in the future but the semi-short version is just that we believe in running a viable business and to us, that means only spending what we can afford/have. Of course, this is not always possible or even necessary for every business but we thought it was important for us..

We've been able to do it by taking very calculated steps about how we grow the business and we actually have not paid ourselves from the business until this month.. a year after we launched our collection. we took on new employees slowly, moved into a space we could afford.. and really just reinvested everything we earned back into the business.

one of the best pieces of business advice I've received is that growing too quickly or too slowly can kill your business. getting ahead of yourself can be just as damaging as not keeping up.
December 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterRIFLE
It's really inspiring! It's great to see how you and your partner have slowly but surely worked to create a really fantastic space that reflects the style of your business. and yes the debt free part is also inspiring. Looking forward to seeing the next lot of photos. Really enjoyed reading the story. Thanks for sharing.
December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill Wignall
Beautiful! So inspiring to see an Orlando-based gal succeeding in the creative world. I just started out on my own and you are an inspiration. I can't wait to stop by the shop.
December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
So smart, ALL the way around. Congrats!
December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterP
Anna! You, my friend, are living the life. Enjoy it! Everything looks so beautiful!
December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Would love to see more details and information on the shelves -- particularly the wood stain and the brackets for the card shelves on the side wall. Overall, gorgeous! Hope I get to Florida sometime to see it in person.
December 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertaryn
Beautiful....simple is best! Good Job with the business growing. I know myself how hard it is and the too slow or too fast part too. You have been very smart it seems. Best of luck in the future!
December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarysia
Like so many others i'm really impressed you've done all of this debt and credit free. We've only recently got our first credit card for traveling - not for debt but just because it's recognized. Well done. Great to see your wisdom and hard work paid off! Happy Christmas!
December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharolyn
LOVE this work-in-progress post. It's so interesting to see the evolution from sketch to construction to grand opening. Congratulations on opening your store; I hope to see it in person soon!
January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

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