Living on an island on the east coast of the US, off the coast of Cape Cod, I really can't get too much more East. But this winter, we packed up the studio and headed about seven miles southeast, relocating our entire studio, office and retail store front from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown. Things had been starting to get a little cramped in our former location. Confined to one room, set way back from the street, we found ourselves tripping over one another to get work done and help customers, and we were told that we were impossible to find! After a long, dramatic and emotional search some divine intervention occurred and I discovered and pounced on THE BEST STUDIO SPACE EVER. Can you tell I'm pleased? Couldn't be happier.
The new space is located right in the center of downtown Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard's historical whaling port town. Rich with history, good ol' New England architecture, yachts, and fabulous dining and shopping, Edgartown is a great spot for any aspiring young jewelry designer to set up shop. At 12 North Water Street, I'm one of five commercial tenants in my 'new' building. Built in 1703, and known as the John Coffin House, our building is the oldest commercial structure on the street, and it's an old street. Originally built as the home of a wealthy mariner, over the years it has been used as a tavern and an inn. Saved from near demolition (to build a parking lot) in 1946, it is now owned and operated by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, a not-for-profit organization focused on acquiring, restoring, preserving and managing our island's endangered landmarks. Thank God! That makes these fabulous guys my landlords.
So this past winter I set about re-imagining our physical space, choosing paint colors, finding furniture deals and drumming up friends and relatives to help with some of the heavy lifting. The space already had a pretty nice paint job, but it was a cool gray-blue with a steely gray-blue floor, so the first task was to choose some warmer neutral colors.
Above are the paint colors before. Below are the paint colors after (for any paint color freaks out there the walls are Benjamin Moore Abalone 2108-60 and the floors are Ferret Brown (eeew!) 2108-10).
That's me in the space. I am pretty tall anyway, but my low 1700s-style ceilings make just about anyone look like a giant!
There is an abundance of natural light coming from all directions here, it's so lovely.
Once all the new paint was up, we set about the great task of moving all of the beads, desks, shelving, drawers, and what not over to Edgartown. Luckily, I had lots of help! Below are some photos of the packing in Oak Bluffs: the mess in the showroom, Jamie, our production manager packs a box of supplies and samples ever so neatly, a silly example of some of our notation around the studio, spooky empty showroom shelves, Suzy, friend and volunteer, carefully secures stacked trays of beads.
Moving all of our beads and findings was a monumental task. Each of the black trays below houses a type of gemstone or bead, and we taped them in stacks for transportation. They all made it safely! Thanks to my husband and our friend Chris for doing all the heavy lifting.
Things were dreamy once we got everything into the new space. It is about three times the size of my old space so even after moving everything over, it still felt roomy! Here are a few shots of those first few days in the new studio.