The lease is signed and the space is mine. A very exciting moment to say the least, but the unknown is looming <cue ominous music>. I began interviewing contractors which was new to me. I had some experience with residential contractors from being a home owner, but commercial is a whole new ball game. After a few meetings and lots of research, I hired Jon Martin from THS to build out the store. He is a charming southern fellow, and he was very thorough when he checked out the space. It was a fit and I am still, months later, very happy I chose Jon. But I had an important question....
How much was this going to cost me? The answer was a lot. I had some sticker shock, but I knew I couldn't turn back. This dream of mine was bigger than the price tag. Jon and I signed a contract and I set him about his way to begin building my little shop.
There are a lot of steps to building even before you can build one little bit.
- Meetings with sub-contractors, insurance peeps, interior designers, engineers, vendors, etc.
- Extensive architectural plans have to be drawn up and submitted to the town for approval.
- More meetings before they are rough-in anything at all
- New discoveries and change orders and surprises (oh my).
I signed my lease in October and it was January before a thing happened in the space. Hoops and red tape and more hoops and red tape. It was a long, hard process, but being patient and passionate helped me through. Once the actual construction started, it was very exciting. They have to add all the complicated stuff first, electrical, plumbing, framing, etc. Kinda boring stuff, but necessary. Once that is done, they add walls and trim and all the fun stuff that makes it look like it does in my head.
So, as I write this, we are about 2 weeks from construction completion. Things are wrapping up and the store is starting to look like a store inside. I am ready and not ready all at the same time. I am happy and scared at the same time. I am every emotion at this point, but more than anything, I am so grateful that I am able to do this. The weeks ahead will be some of the best of my life. I can't wait to see you all in the store. I hope you will come visit and see this little shop that started as a spark and became a beautiful explosion.