If there's a will, there's a way
As you may or may not know, I was a kitchen and bath designer for twelve years. I was laid off during the recession (did I mention I was 7 months pregnant with my 2nd when this happened)? After some (honestly scary) soul-searching, hopeless interviewing and unemployment insurance about to run out, I decided my last resort was to jump right in and create a job for myself, my own business, Wind and Willow Home.
I started at our kitchen table – dreaming up products, brainstorming names, and refining colors. My husband and two kids were patient with me as Wind and Willow Home slowly began to spread to the rest of the house, but as the business grew, we knew it was time that I had my own space – so it was down to the basement for me!
I graduated from the kitchen table to a basement corner, and then from the basement corner, to half the basement, and before we knew it, the basement was Wind and Willow Home central. Working from home gave me amazing flexibility – I could put the kids to bed and then run back down and finish dipping the order I had received during dinner for 17 mini bowls. But with the launch of the soft goods line, the basement was bursting at the seams, and we knew it was time for the next step: my very own studio.
While it had always been a dream of mine to own my own brick and mortar store, I never thought that would actually be a reality. When we first started looking at spaces for lease, I was just focusing on warehouse space – a place I could set up production and inventory. And then one day, I was driving home with my two kids through the Tangletown neighborhood. As we rolled down 38th street, a “for rent” sign caught my eye – and there it was: the most perfect space with the most beautiful, bright storefront in the most perfect location. I was absolutely terrified of calling to inquire: what if it was too much? What if someone had already claimed it? But it was fate – and I had keys to the building after hounding the landlord weekly for about 2 months.
Now, what I saw as my perfect space was actually a disaster. There was extensive water damage, the electrical needed to be totally redone, and I can’t even tell you how many gallons of white paint we used. But if there’s a will, there’s a way (on repeat). For two months over the summer, when we were both done with work for the day, my husband and I would drive over to the studio. We schemed, we built, we painted, we sawed, we designed, we sweated, we renovated, we DIYed, and we, ultimately, created my dream studio.
We officially opened the studio in November 2014 and it’s been a whirlwind of a holiday season (thank you, my most wonderful and lovely customers! You’re amazing). Now that it’s 2015, I think it’s time we do a tour and share the “before” and “after” of the Wind and Willow Home studio (sneak peak below) – along with a walk-through of all the DIYs (and let me tell you, there are a BUNCH). So stay tuned! We promise that you don’t want to miss it.
Also, extra, extra! Regular showroom hours are starting on Monday, February 2nd (is it wrong for this Minnesota girl to cheer for the groundhog to bring us an early end to winter?). We’ll be open from 10am-4pm on Monday through Thursdays, as well as the third Saturday of each month from 11am-5pm. So come and join us! As always, we’d love to see you.