I'm feeling very proud as I write this, as after many years of dreaming I have finally taken the plunge and moved my home business into a shop front! I'm so grateful and humbled by the generosity of my family and friends who have helped me to achieve my dream along the way and I'm also so thankful for all the wonderful clients I've worked with over the years and for the beautiful shoots I've been able to do. By having my gorgeous new shop it's going to allow me to do all the things I've been wanting to do for years like studio shoots and most importantly I now have a lovely space to meet clients as well as show them thier gorgeous images on a big screen. I'll even be able to offer them tea and coffee with my fancy Nespresso machine and will have a fridge for wine and champagne. Happy days!
I started seriously looking over a year ago for a place, but was happy to wait until I found the perfect spot. It was actually my dear friend Steph who told me about the free space, which we both were so excited about and couldn't believe, as it was located right next door to her gorgeous shop Native Botanical! The next day I met with Jess from Norton Reality and as soon as we got inside I knew it was perfect! Once I had been approved I crazily made the decision to open on Valentines Day, which at that stage was only three weeks away!!! I luckily already had a pretty clear idea of the look and feel I wanted to create and I started with a rough sketch of the front room, which I've included below.
Celebrating with the two most important men in my life my dad Wally B and AJ :)
I've included a few iphone photo's to show what the shop looked like before I made the changes. Luckily I liked the flooring and the two back rooms, were in pretty good condition so all I really focused on was changing the front room. The previous tenant was a mortgage broker and the bright orange wall they left behind definitely took a few coates to cover up!
The front of the shop.
Front room from both angles
The two back rooms, which I've turned into the studio and office.
I owe a huge amount of thanks to my family, friends and all the trades people who helped me, especially Harry Rowe who continues to do lots of odd jobs for me. Simon Cusack my electrician was also great with ideas and incredibly fast with changing and installing all the new lighting. I can't forget my wonderful dad Wally B, who I love to bits and along with the talented and lovely Clare Brown very cleverly hung all the frames around the room, which was all a bit to much for me! My wonderful man AJ also continues to be my rock and I hugely appreciate all the odd jobs and dinners he cooks for me!!!
It was a mad rush at the end, but we did it and the doors opened at 9am on Valentines Day as planned! The support from the town was overwhelming and it was so lovely to see lots of other business people popping in to say congratulations. I must also give a big mention and thank you to my amazing assistant Emily, who has been such a great support through out the whole journey! She's not only a great worker, but is also so much fun and every day we seem to end up laughing over something or other. Em had the great idea that we should set up a little table outside and offer free champagne and love heart chocolates to passers by, which was great fun and lovely to hear the Wow's and Oooo's coming fom peoples mouths as they came into the shop. By the end of the first day I was on such a high and feeling so excited and pumped for the what the future would hold.
The men in our lives spoilt us this Valentines and both Emily and I received a gorgeous bunch of red roses! Good on you boys :)
And now for the transformation! I tried to source as much of the furniture and decorations locally as possible, however I may have taken a few of my own pieces from home. I'm so happy with how everything came together and I'd like to think that I've created a lovely atmosphere for people to feel comfortable in. I have a great printing company that I use in Sydney and all the frames were sourced locally from Framaglass, who I'm looking forward to working with more into the future. The hardest part was choosing what images to put on the walls, as there are 1000's of possibilities and thank you to my friends for helping me decide! I'd like to give a shout out to the following local businesses; Native Botanical, Fullers Floor Coverings, Turners Furniture One, Whitewood Warehouse, Harvey Norman, The Base Warehouse and Carpet Court. There's still a bit of work to do on the studio and I'm having backdrops installed into the ceiling in the coming weeks, which I can't wait to start using as I'll be able to roll them down to the floor when need and simply roll back up when finished. I haven't included any pictures of my office yet either, as I'm still playing around with the layout and decorations.
I thought it would be fun to incorporate some of the props I use for shoots into my decor and I love the results, as I'm personally a bit quirky :)
The Studio and client viewing room.
I would like to end by saying "Cheers everybody' Looking forward to seeing you all in the new shop soon!