{image via labohemeblog.com}

We’re still on the hunt for a new location (outside of our home) for our design studio.   We’ve found one that we love but it’s a tough decision to make and I go back and forth.  There are moments when I think we’re crazy to go anywhere else, and other moments where I feel like we’d be crazy not to. 

 A location outside of our home means pretty serious overhead and added responsibility.  There’s so much more to worry about. 

But, with multiple employees, it’s feeling crowded in the home office.  I love everyone I work with so much that I sometimes find that I end up talking to them when I should be working.  In such close quarters, it can be a little tough to concentrate. 

 

{Anna Wintour’s Home = perfect inspiration for our studio!}

Also, when we meet with our clients and present designs to them, we typically meet at their homes.  The ideal location to meet is a studio, where we can invite them into our own environment, let them see and touch examples of what we’re presenting, and share alternate options if needed.  I’d also spend much less time travelling to and from projects, so we’d be able to meet with more clients per day.  (I don’t charge travel fees around the DC area, but it usually takes 1-2 hours to go to and from a client’s home on any given day – traffic around DC can be killer- and with 1-3 hour meetings, one appointment can end up taking the majority of a day.  Because of this, I usually only see 1 client a day (and sometimes two) which really fills up my calendar quickly.   With a studio location, we could see more clients each day, which would really help with our scheduling and free me up some to get more design work in.)

 

{gorgeous space by the interior design studio Dalla Polvere in Barcelona}

I love the idea of having a small showroom in our studio where we could showcase my fabrics, pieces from the lines we carry along with one-of-a-kind objects for our clients and for members of the public.  Right now, we can only take on so many full-service clients at one time, but it would be amazing to be able to help provide our look and custom services to others in the area.  We get calls frequently from people who are looking for help for singular things like custom window treatments, custom rugs or upholstery and we’re unable to take on those projects due to time available & staffing.  With an open studio, we could help them. 

 See?  all of that and I’m so in.

 

{an architect’s workspace via pinterest}

 

But then it’s honestly a little bit of a scary proposition.  We already have very serious overhead with our employees and monthly bills.  To turn a profit, we have to do a LOT of business.  It can be a bit tiring.  Moving to a studio, only makes that target number we need to hit to get paid even higher.   Dave & I have done this before, so I know we can do it again, but things that are out of our control- like the economy- are a reality. 

The question is: are we ready to do this?  If we do, we’re going for it all the way because that’s the only way to make it go.   

Today?  the answer is yes.  We’re moving forward.

We’ve found a space we love and when we get firm leasing details back from the owners of the space and finish negotiating, we’ll make our final decision then. 

I’ll keep you posted!!!

Also, to any designers or shop owners out there who’ve made the decision to stay in the house or move to an outside studio— any advice?  Thanks!!