I thought I was so unique when I first wrote my biography how I started my business in my kitchen, only to realize that every other mom out there was multi-tasking just like I was when they began. It makes perfect sense though, where else can you keep one eye on the kids, make sure dinner is cooking and create something just for you? The business really did not start there though, it started in my head - just where I am sure everyone else's ideas started. It was such an exciting time - everything was so new, every accomplishment was reason for a celebration. I still look back at that time of my life as exciting and new - it was thrilling, I could not sleep at all.
I started working in our guest room, moving the pretty bed and decorations out and moving some tables, paints and tiles in. Lucky for me my mother is an organizational freak and she took me under her wing while quickly creating a studio. Husbands beware that a woman and a credit card can do much damage at Lowe's and Home Depot when designing a space.
This space did not last long though. I was trying to make product, ribbon tiles and then ship product all in one small space. I would pile all the boxes in the back of my SUV at the end of the week, drag my toddler son and my infant daughter with me as I raced to Fed Ex before it closed. I only had about 20 accounts and those accounts kept me jumping. My process was a mixture of order forms, faxes and personal notes that most times ended up with paint splatters on them. Painting alone in a tiny room is not fun.
Expanding the Work Space
So the kitchen table that turned into a table in the guest room eventually blossomed into a full blown art studio with artists, and all that. Mind you the art studio used to be our two car garage. My husband and father worked weekends and evenings to create a space that could house employees, tiles, shipping department and a ribbon department. We even had some computer work stations and an Internet connection for every aspect of the business. We managed to stay in the garage for over two years, expanding, growing and pushing out more tile than anyone imagined we could manufacture in one space.
What Happens in the Garage Stays in the Garage
That was over two years ago that we left our studio...er garage and moved into real office space. That is when I really started bragging that we were a business. I was finally able to look around and feel proud of all we had accomplished. Silly as that was - I felt we had arrived once we rented space and I dismissed the years at home as not really as important. Looking back I am older and wiser and can see that the early years were even more important in forming the vision that was Jamie's Painting & Design. Those formative years were what built the foundation of the company. Whether you work out of your home, out of a large office space or a corner of your bedroom - it is a business and should be celebrated.
Now that the business is out of the house, the once garage, then studio is now my children's play room. They are able to play, rough house, read and most importantly create. The arts and crafts area is well stocked, the paints are plentiful and they love it. I love being able to come into "their" space and play or create.....and think fondly back on the days when I was able to create here.