We have some really big news here in the Moorea Seal studio... not only are we moving up and on to a larger studio but we are opening a retail store front too here in Seattle, WA! Eek! I could not be more excited. Now, I realized I've never given you a good walk through of our current space. Sorry that took so long, sheesh! So I have been here for almost two years. I started out in my studio as an Artist in Residence in my building while I worked away on my own little businesses. And last year around this time, I was chatting with my cousin about becoming business partners and opening up an online store which is now mooreaseal.com. Since I am based out of Seattle and he is in Long Beach, CA we decided to keep our headquarters here and to just start the store out of my studio which at the time, felt plenty big enough. Here is how it looked less than a year ago and here is the big black chalkboard wall when we first painted it. It looks so empty back then, woah! Before that, only a year ago, here is how the space looked before we painted it, oof.
Fast forward to just 4 months after the store launched last summer and WOAH, we needed a bigger space! Our business had blown up even bigger than we could have hoped for! But we decided to just utilize Tram's & my organizing skills to squeeze everything into our current space until after Christmas. So, for the past 2 months we have hunting and hunting for the right space to move into. We debated about moving into a bigger studio space and just sticking with online retail or searching for spaces that could function both as a store front and a workspace. Eventually I kind of nixed the idea of starting a store front because I wanted to just stay tight on a smaller budget for a space. But by some magic we were able to find a space that was only a tiny bit above our budget, had incredible light and huge windows, gorgeous wood floors, was in a good location, and had space for retail and hosting workshops. Every other studio we looked at just didn't even come close to how beautiful this new space was and is. Like for reals, the other places we looked at either didn't have windows and were in a basement, required walking up 4 huge old flights of stairs which with the amount of boxes we get and ship out each day would be insane, or were in areas of the city that were really weird or sketchy. And so... a few days ago we signed the lease and we are moving in this weekend to our new studio and store front in Belltown here in Seattle! It's just a few blocks away from the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, and plenty of delicious restaurants, bars, salons and more.
Since we still have a week left here in our current studio, I might as well give you a quick viewing session of our cramped space now that it's busting at the seems :) Sorry the photos aren't gorgeous, but hey, it's something.
So my "office" is in a weird little attached room to our studio. I decided that when I went from being a team of one to a sudden team of 6 women in one room, I needed to adjust to the major change, especially since I am a major introverted workerbee. It definitely helped me to stay focused on my own work by working a separate but attached space but I'm over it now. Half of the room is just piles of storage stuff and my little area gets messy so fast, it drives me nuts. In our next space we are thinking of building a big conference style table for Jenette, Tram and I to work at together. We are all loving the work table that the team and A Beautiful Mess created. We might have to create something similar!
In our main space we have everything else! Tram and Jenette work side by side under two of our windows, and our interns work under the third window. Every other wall in the space is occupied by racks and racks and racks of product. We ended up having to expand into a storage room next to our main room a few months ago too to store more products! We have about 700 different styles of products in the store and we have between 1-30 products in stock per style on average so we have to be super crazy organized to keep everything in order.
Do you see that incredible super rack in the bottom right above? We have two of those to organize all of our small products from sunglasses to jewelry and oh my gosh, they're the best. We often comment on how they are the most gorgeous, sexy, incredible racks we have ever seen... har har :) So in addition to those two huge racks we have another big rack in my little office, then we have 5 more racks in the main space that store product. On top of that we have 5 shelving units in a storage room next to ours with more product. We are definitely excited to have more space to not only arrange our racks and shelves in but to display all of our gorgeous products for the public!
Lastly we have our packing and shipping station and jewelry making area. We plan on building a long standing desk for our packing and shipping station in our new space for the sake of everyone's backs as whoever is doing pack & ship that day is always up and about. We are also planning on having a table that is just for jewelry and accessory designing and making. Oh man, I love when everything has it's perfect place and right purpose. I'm either obsessively organized or a big old mess, and lately feeling so cramped in our current space makes everything feel messy even when it is really organized. I'm soooo excited for more light with an entire wall and a half of windows and almost triple the space that we have now!
How many of you live in the Seattle area? You can count on us having a HUGE party when we launch the store and you are all invited! Be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you can stay up to date on what is happening in our store, sales, parties, workshops and other events. We're so thrilled to get our space up and running!