Watch this space! Well, not this space.
But this space:
One of the Big Things going on behind the scenes here at Needle ‘n Thread is the preparation for moving to a new studio space. And above, in the photo, you can see the space!
I’m very excited about it! I know it doesn’t look like much right now, but good things come slowly…
Right now, the inside of the building is undergoing some vital changes – there’s some frame work going on and a new bathroom is being installed.
After that, the outside will be addressed. The landlord is as keen as I am to beautify the building, and I can’t wait to see how the outside develops!
I live in a small midwestern town called St. Marys smack dab in the middle of the US, and in the northeast part of Kansas (where we actually do have rolling hills, among other things).
Like any small town with a historic town center, business space in the downtown area is limited.
The downtown (it sounds so chic, doesn’t it? LOL!) can’t really expand. It’s fixed by its original “Main Street” foundation surrounded closely by residential neighborhoods. That’s how towns developed along the railroad lines back in the days of the Wild West, and that’s pretty much how every small Kansas town is… except that many small Kansas towns are unfortunately rather dried up and empty.
Our little town is quite dynamic, though. We’ve got good, consistent growth, and with it, the downtown area has enjoyed a cheerful boom for many years, with steady improvement in buildings, parking, and so forth. There’s still room for improvement (my upcoming space demonstrates that pretty clearly), but there’s a lot to love about our little downtown!
When I first moved here thirty-plus years ago, the building that I’m moving into was a diner called Katie’s Korner – the best place downtown for breakfast and an endless cup of coffee! Since then, it’s housed a couple different businesses, most of which have expanded and moved into larger spaces.
This space is going to be great for Needle ‘n Thread – and, I hope, for the wider community, too! I’ve been working out of a residential duplex that has served as a beautiful little studio, but residential space for business has its drawbacks. With the new space, we’ll get back to offering classes, and I’ve got several other plans on the schedule as well.
For those wondering, it won’t be a full-fledged walk-in retail space. That’s not necessarily part of my vision for Needle ‘n Thread. Still, we do plan on having events that are open to the public, that include the possibility of certain types of in-person retail shopping experiences. But that’s down the road a distance.
My direct neighbor to the west is The Design Shop – not a new business, but one that is newly placed. They make signage.
Directly to the west of The Design Shop is Sugar Creek Country Store, a family-owned bulk food store sporting a deli with a sandwich and ice cream counter. It’s a favorite lunch stop for locals and visitors alike.
Directly across from my new studio space is this lovely grassy lot. This was the previous spot of the town’s grocery store which burned to the ground many years ago.
With our grocery store now on the outskirts of town, the grassy lot provides a space for different events throughout the year. In winter, it hosts Town Square Trees, a charming Christmas tree lot that is everything you’d want in a Christmas tree lot, including beautiful fresh-cut trees, cocoa, and Christmas music. Could you get more Hallmark in Kansas? Probably not. I’m counting on a good snowfall this year – I’ll have a great view!
Further down the south side of the street, there’s a small art studio, a real estate office (one of several in town), a computer and printing store, a coffee shop, a bookstore, a pharmacy, and another new business going in – a Mediterranean restaurant called Restaurant Ticino, which is opening some time in September, I believe.
On my side of the street, there are many other businesses, too – there’a chiropractor, an eye doctor and spectacle shop, an accounting firm, a new plant market called My Kansas Jungle, a liquor store that’s been there forever, and, ending the block on the corner, there’s Florence Adams, a women’s clothing and gift shop.
On the next block, there’s a relatively new sushi joint (Firefly Sushi Market), a relatively new home goods & gift store (37 Pine, part of the Florence Adams group), a couple fitness places, a Mexican restaurant (El Corral), and other local businesses.
And that, my friends, is the downtown part of my small town in what is truly Small Town America. It’s a good place to live!
And it’ll be a great place to work, too. There’s a certain “buzz” to a downtown that you don’t find in the residential areas of a city. We’ll have some adjusting to do, since we’re very used to working in a quiet neighborhood with the birds as our entertainment. Our method of work isn’t going to change very much, but being in a different environment will necessarily bring about a whole change in outlook.
Of course, at the same time, work is going ahead as usual in the current studio. If things seem a bit disjointed for the next month, you’ll know why!
I’ll keep you posted on the move. I’ll also share before and after pictures of the new studio space and any tips about organization and space. I’m learning a lot!
Hope you’re having a great week!