Happy Earth Day!

Repurpose, Create, Reflect

We're fans of Earth Day! We're aware of it all month and try to live it all year. Earth Day has different meaning for the different individuals who partake. We are for sure repurposing fans and have repurposed things from soup cans to the cardboard boxes used to create our retail signage. Our cards and service menus were printed on stock made from 90% recycled pulp!

Instagramable

For this Earth Month our very own talented Irene decided to express her love of the planet by creating art out of natures debris. She had a few concepts and arrangements but we needed to narrow down the selection to just one image for our instagram feed. It was cool to share the winning selection but felt it was a shame to just let the equally cool others slip away on our cutting room floor. So to celebrate and promote Earth Day in our own artsy way, here's what didn't get any instagram love.

What have you done for Earth Day? Or Earth Month or Year? :)

(Flashback) How It All Came Together Pt. 1

Finally, finally, fiiiiiiiiiinally!

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The hunt was a hunt in every sense of the meaning. Hunts (If they last long enough) can become physically draining. You know if you've ever been on a specific car hunt or if you tried to purchase a home during a competitive timeframe or rent or even wrangle up a certain pair of shoes or children's toy.. you get the idea. It's tiresome. Well we were finally able to move past the "where are we going to be?" stage, and we were thrilled!

The way I would describe the building is Tucked Away in Plain Sight. We were coming up short on our search and on one of our trips down EG Blvd I saw a For Rent sign in the window. I liked the buildings exterior potential and it was sitting on its own lot. We made a call and arranged a viewing of the space.

Jackie may not have known everything we were planning but had a positive feeling from a couple of signs she picked up on. We drove our black 2002 Audi A4 to go meet with Jackie and view her space. Sign #1: When she saw our car she mentioned to us that she had always loved that car. She also noticed the license plate frame, Keys Audi Van Nuys. Sign #2: She lived in Van Nuys. It was a very subtle thing but it was something that gave us a little favor in her book.

Kristy had a few of her own contributing factors that helped ease sealing a deal. Jackie and Kristy connected right away in both a friendly and positive manor. Jackie was straight forward with any questions or concerns and we were happy to answer and put her at ease. To top it off our agreement was a basic two page agreement. It was pretty much the equivalent of a handshake with both parties agreeing to act like adults and to refrain from ever leaving the other party hanging. We had an agreement but even more we shared instinctive trust.

We signed a lease, signed a check, got the keys, took a K&J picture and were on our way with a brand new to us older (1930's) building!

As I mentioned, the layout was solid but we needed to make the space feel like ours. And so we began.

The Blank Canvas

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We secured a space, now what?...

We needed to start some looking and eventually some shopping to transform this shell into our home. Put some "Clean Diesel" in the VW and lets start racking up some miles. We didn't know it would be lots of traveling miles, but this post is now a hindsight matter and we indeed racked up hundreds of miles a week.

Coming soon: (Flashback) How It All Came Together Pt 2.

There was no itemized list of what we needed but we knew we needed things. Places to put things, things to sit on, ways to light things and things of that sort. When we see what we need we'll just know. Or buy it, try it and make a call then. This practice really helped us to add some unnecessary but necessary miles. Stay tuned!

Finding a Space

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Searching for a commercial space is very much similar to looking for a residential to call your home. Certain features are necessary for your needs and other things you'll learn to deal without. From surrounding sounds and neighbors to the physical structure and layout, we had to consider what would best work for us. Oh yes, don't let me forget, to make our thought equation even more interesting there is also cost / rent / landlords to consider. Also if you are wondering just who is "we", I am Brian, Kristy's .5 by law and we are we.

I like to think I was pretty good at the Gameboy game Tetris and began seeing this task as just that, fit the various scenarios together. Although the search for our space began in October of 2011 in a time where Kristy was facing a most certain layoff (due to the closure of Golds Gym / Laguna Day Spa) we advanced by thinking "how can we land on our feet and take advantage of our cloudy opportunity?".

Freelance designing at the time allotted me the free time to roam the frustratingly frustrating pages of Craigslist hunting for new leads. (Note: If you post property on craigslist please include Price, Size, Contact info and most importantly PHOTOS!) This is where I found most of the potential spaces listed. Or after dark we would hop in the car and scout the town eyeballing any signage displaying the words "For Rent".

In a town where the type of space which fulfills your requests is scarce or even non existent you begin to rely on your vision, not eyesight but foresight. Here is how it mostly played out.

Above | December 30, 2011: We were told by the realtor that this was the original EG Fire House. Yeah, I can see an old fire truck or horse buggy fitting in there. After some thought we realized this space needed too much work to fit our specific layout needs. Hmm, maybe it can be used as a Doll House or something? (Click images for larger view)

Above | January 5, 2012: We felt this house had pretty nice potential and if my memory serves correct it was built in the 1940's. The layout was a bit off and it required too much work for our budget. Add landlords whose terms we couldn't find an agreement with and it was a done no-deal. (Click images for larger view)

Above | January 12, 2012: Now this little old house on the Blvd caught our eye passing after passing. For months as our search continued we'd see this place up for rent but then the next week not up for rent, but then back up again the following month. We decided the next time it hits the rental market we would view this place to see its potential. We were amazed when that front door opened, surprised at the amount of upgrades stuffed into this 900sqft home. After a good walk through and some time to process it all we realized that this place was highly decorated, only it was in a style too far away from our vision. We would be paying premium price for upgrades that we personally would never have selected. We asked about redecorating the space and that was a no-go for the landlord. To each is own. It was a very rich space that spewed both style and texture, just not the ones we would want. On to the next! (Click images for larger view)

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Above | January 13, 2012: We did consider commercial shopping centers as long as they had the potential to charm. Our experience showed that retail center commercial space in Elk Grove was 1. Almost always impossible to get a meeting to see the space in question or at the very least get their asking PP/SQFT + triple net, and 2. Always overpriced as if it were still the year 2005. While starting this business we rarely felt that the current was with us. The hunt must continue...

We Can Finally Say Finally!

This has been a long time in the making and to all clients who patiently followed Kristy over the years through her ups and downs, she finally found a space to call hers! We thank you for supporting and would love for you to continue being a guest !

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Follow us on our new venture's adventure!