sewing

New Year, New Space

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

In 1902 it was The Olympic Restaurant

New Year, New Space - NoodleheadI’ve been dragging my feet on talking about this. It’s a big step.

We talked for the past year and a half or so about needing something different. It’s a combination of needing to kick my business out of my daily living area, giving our kids space (I have most of my things in our house’s third bedroom), and making it all work with our current home. Every option was considered until the very last idea came to life. Before this we talked about moving and building a home, constructing a new garage with studio space above, moving my workspace to our basement, or even buying a lot and building a small studio.

New Year, New Space - NoodleheadNew Year, New Space - NoodleheadNew Year, New Space - Noodlehead

Finally it dawned on us that I needed to try to find a commercial space to move my business into. It’s the only thing that made the most sense but there was only our local downtown area where I could ever possibly envision myself working in. It’s only a couple blocks from our house and about the halfway point between our daughters’ schools and home. The main problem was finding the right space. It isn’t that there was limited options, but there were really limited options that were for sale. Our downtown is slowly growing back with a few new business trickling in over the past few years and a few more that had abandoned storefronts, etc. We made an offer on a property that wasn’t actually for sale, toured another couple of properties that just didn’t feel right, and finally at the very end, found out from a friend about a property that was going up for a Sheriff’s Auction in a few weeks. It couldn’t have been better timing. We did a lot of investigating! And wondering! Knowing nothing about a sheriff’s sale was pretty intimidating. After talking with a few professionals and getting some legal advice, we decided to bid on the property. We were the successful bidders after a little bidding war and we ended up with a really affordable property that needs a lot of work.

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

Before! The building was most recently used as a hair salon!

So we’ve been doing the demo work ourselves and are in the planning stages of the building and working with an architect. It’s very exciting feeling (finally) after being super stressful at first and then having the rush of the end-of-year business I’ve hardly had time to do much dreaming until now. I’m looking forward to keeping things simple, possibly doing some type of workshops in the distant future and primarily have it be a studio space. I’m looking forward to having a bit more space and not having my business stuff all over my house (maybe this means no more total rearrangement of furniture in my living room for photo shoots?!). It’ll be a while before we get to move in, but for now it’s been fun to get to work.

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

Detail shots: first peek behind the plaster, ceiling, cast iron columns (pinkish piece in the center of the pic ) still there!

I’m excited about bringing back some of the original details of the building. I’m a huge fan of old buildings and houses and I find it really fascinating doing research on the property. I’m happy to be able to bring the building back to life a bit and make our downtown a little more visually appealing. Don’t get me wrong though, I still have moments of doubt and worry, but I’m trying not to let that stand in the way.

I’m planning on documenting some of the steps along the way on this blog, I always find it fun to look back. What about you? Anyone else out there carving out space for getting creative? Or maybe you like old houses, too? I’d love to hear about it!

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

74 thoughts on “New Year, New Space

  1. Yolanda says:

    OMG, congratulations!!

  2. Jacey says:

    It is so so exciting!!! I cannot wait to see what you make of this space, Anna (and what you make IN it). <3

  3. aquilterstable says:

    Wonderful. It looks like you’ve done alot of work already!!

  4. OH…big, WONDERFUL, news indeed! I too am a huge fan of restoring and reusing and also being happy with the quirks that an old residence or commercial space naturally comes with! Looking forward to more updates along the way.

  5. Kelly Paulson says:

    Wow!! That is super exciting! I love old houses. Congrats! And good luck!

  6. Deb Saint says:

    Congratulations! Very exciting.

  7. fragulina says:

    Congratulations it’s a very exciting way to start this new year πŸ‘ πŸ˜‰

  8. Gwen H says:

    Congratulations on your new business start.

  9. kimheggins says:

    Congratulations…so excited for you! Looks like an amazing space.

  10. Patti McGarry says:

    Oh my gosh, how wonderful! And look at that gorgeous exposed brick! Can’t wait to see your new project develop!

  11. Kim says:

    Hi Anna!!! Congrats to you!!! This is so exciting!! You really inspire me. You have turned your craft into a career and to watch as it grows is such a inspiration. I hope later on down the road that you’ll do some weekend workshops (and that I can attend:). Sending love xxx

  12. Judy Q says:

    oh, how exciting, I hope you replace an old clock like the in front of the cafe.What city is this? As much as I love your patterns, I will come and help scrape plaster……or re-plaster, not sure , I just don’t want you to slow down on making patterns!! I am going to love watching this come together!!!

  13. Melody Srygley says:

    Enjoy your exciting adventure!

  14. MARY D says:

    Wow. I look forward to seeing your progress on your new space. Yes it can be exciting creating your own space.

  15. Karen Miller says:

    Great idea! I’m sure you’ll make it amazing.

  16. Celeste says:

    Oh my I am so very excited for you! I love watching restorations (not at a place in life to get my feet wet myself) and hope you’ll share many details with us.

    My husband and I have recently purchased a house and I suddenly have a craft room. We went from tiny house living with 3 kids, 4th was on the way, to suddenly having lots of bedrooms and a bonus room. We started out with the bonus room being the play room, but the kids never used it. So guess who suddenly has a 14′ x 19′ sunny craft room?!? After years of crafting/sewing/painting at the dining room table I’m in absolute heaven. Now if only the newborn will keep sleeping lots so I can craft. Ha!

  17. Susan Utt says:

    Congratulations I’m so excited for you. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

  18. Carolien says:

    Congratulations!!! Your own space/shop! I’m very curious about how it will look after the renovation! Wish you all the best!

  19. erin says:

    Exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do. We almost bought a building last year for the same reason, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. It just wasn’t the right fit. I’m still on the hunt.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Wow, you’re really far along with the demo already! What an amazing space! I love the exposed brick – are you going to keep it? Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  21. Little Quiltsong says:

    Super exciting!! We fixed up a few homes along our way, and wished we had taken more before pics sometimes. So happy for you and looking forward to this coming together for you.

  22. Jeni says:

    So excited for you!! Can’t wait to see how you transform it! πŸ™‚

  23. Kay says:

    How exciting. xx

  24. Elizabeth Lehman says:

    so exciting!!! looks like a wonderful space!!

  25. abudansa says:

    Wow! I look forward to seeing your awesome project grow.

  26. Congrats and thank you for sharing these amazing pics. I LOVE that you are stripping it down to the brick and wood ceiling as a start! What a gift you are giving to your community. You are indeed the model of good business citizenship. I wonder where the beautiful clock that once hung outside the Olympic restaurant might be? Will you be replacing the exterior overhang as well?

  27. Monica Hartman says:

    Awesome! I, too, adore old buildings…can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  28. blackeyedsewsan says:

    This is SO exciting-cannot wait to see the evolution of your building! Keep the pictures coming-best of l u c k! Susan

  29. Rae says:

    WOW!!! This is so exciting, Anna!!! I’m sure this will be absolutely amazing when it’s finished. Congrats on the big leap, and I’m excited to see developments as you post them! xo

  30. Leanne says:

    Oh Anna! SO excited for you!!! I’m looking forward to watching your renovation/transformation but am mostly just happy for this opportunity you’ve created for yourself. Congratulations!!

  31. Cindy says:

    Congrats! So exciting. My Hubby and I have renovated a couple of properties over the years. What I have learned is to take your time. Rushing breeds mistakes, which can be costly. Think through, your vision. Make lists. It is always best to have a (long-term) plan. Enlist experienced help with this; it doesn’t mean you can’t have what you want, it just means that others who have done this before, will have a better idea of the proper steps to take and when they need to be in place.

    Good luck. Have fun with it. And, take lots of pictures along the way, of Every. Little. Thing. Because it will soon be a foggy memory, that will get blurred by the many wonderful things you will experience in the coming years.

  32. B says:

    Renovating a shop in my little downtown is one of those things I would do if I won the lottery… πŸ™‚

  33. kristin says:

    Woot Woot, congrats! How exciting.

  34. Kathleen says:

    So exciting! Congratulations! The renovations look fabulous already. Bringing back original details is the best. Best of luck to you.

  35. Emily M Camfield says:

    Whoa, super exciting! Congrats!

  36. Mabel says:

    Congratulations! I can wait to see the results of your magic into this building!

  37. Summer says:

    How amazing is it that you have old pics of your new space downtown? I bet you wonder as you rejuvenate the space about all the people who have occupied that building over the years. If only walls could talk! I would love to follow your journey to make this special place YOUR special space. Thanks so much for sharing and good luck!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thank you! Yes, we are definitely excited to find more historic photos!

  38. Sheila says:

    Anna, how exciting! I can’t wait to see what you make of the space. You have such a clear sense of your own aesthetic that I know it will be bright and light and beautiful. If only you weren’t so far away I would pop by to check it out, since I love building sites!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thank you Sheila!!! Gosh, I would love for you to check it out.

  39. Lisa H. says:

    That is super exciting! Can’t wait to watch your progress.

  40. Susan A Coyle says:

    That’s awesome news! Congratulations!

  41. Megan says:

    So exciting. Congratulations. Looking forward to seeing the transformation.

  42. Di Ross says:

    Congratulations πŸ€— how exciting. Even if I can only visit on line I sure it will be fantastic πŸ‘πŸ˜

  43. Faith says:

    This is so exciting!!!!!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Faith! We were so lucky to get the building!

  44. kkfboise says:

    That is so exciting! You’re bringing an old building back to life and having your special space. I’ll be cheering and following the process. I love your patterns and books.

  45. Amy says:

    Wow! This is a huge accomplishment! Congratulations! I’m looking forward to following the progress.

  46. Leslie says:

    I agree with all the congratulations. Big hug and a high-five for you. You are so deserving of this growth . . . this expanding business opportunity. I love your patterns and tutorials. Well done. Blessings for a productive transition to this new site. This is going to be a wonderful yea for a lot of us.

  47. Brenda says:

    Congratulations! I love the exposed brick, too—imagine what a lovely backdrop it will make for photos of your work.

  48. susan says:

    I just found your blog and it sounds like a dream come true! Looking forward to watching it unfold. Good Luck in your endeavor!

  49. Stearns Carol says:

    Congratulations! I purchased a similar building for my interior design business in 1993. Center door with window either side and shot gun layout. It was also previously a restaurant. Owned it 15 yrs when my insurance agent offered to buy it prior to the downturn in the economy and at a good price for us! So glad to move out as I was nearing retirement and wanted to downsize. I’ll be anxiously watching your progress! Good for you to reinvent the downtown area!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Oh that’s so interesting Carol! And thank you for your support. πŸ™‚

  50. cal says:

    EXCITING!!!!! i’ve just recently moved my workspace out of my house and into a (rented) storefront so i’m super impressed with your projects and can’t wait to watch it unfold! the historical photos are so cool!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Oh wow! I’m excited for you too Cal! Wow, that’s great. I’m definitely excited to watch things unfold here, too!

  51. Rosemary B says:

    Anna, this is wonderful news. Yes, please share the process. Looking at the place, the renouvation looks daunting. I wish you the happiest time and the very best of luck

  52. Ivy Smart says:

    It is wonderful that you have taken on a project of this size. You and your husband must be so proud. Keep sending pictures.

  53. Melissa Q. says:

    How exciting!! This space looks incredible…the demo looks like an improvement on the ‘before’ already! Are you keeping the exposed brick wall?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thank you Melissa! Yes, exposed brick! We chipped off all the plaster! πŸ™‚

  54. Lauren says:

    How exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  55. Marta Jost says:

    Holy cow! Congrats!! This is an amazing endeavor and I love that you say you won’t let doubt and worry stop you. You should be very proud! That brick wall is beautiful, as I’m sure the studio will soon be. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see it come together!

  56. So exciting… looking forward to keeping up with progress

  57. Terry says:

    Congratulations and much success in the new venture !

  58. kateg2Kate says:

    Congratulations, Ms. Graham. You’re doing it right!

  59. Wow Anna, a big step forward surely for your business! Thumbs up!!

  60. Tanya says:

    Oh my! Congratulations and what an exciting adventure you’re on! I’ve popped in to check your latest designs from time to time but now I’ll have to visit much more often! Can’t wait to see what you do with this space and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

  61. Gail says:

    Congratulations! It is such an exciting step for you and the business you have built. The revitalization of downtowns is growing and i am excited you are able to participate in your downtowns growth. Your improvements may inspire others as well. Sounds like it is close to home and easy for your daughters to get to from school. My Mom worked between school and home and I loved being able to stop on my way home to say hello or help out! Best of luck in the new and exciting endeavor!

  62. cindy-liveacolorfullife says:

    So exciting, Anna. I’m sure this is going to be an amazing venture/adventure for you!

  63. Lysa Flower says:

    This is REALLY exciting!!! I can’t wait to see your progress and congratulations!!!

  64. Becky says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do with your new space.

  65. Maryanne says:

    Where will the shop be located? So happy for you!!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      It’s near La Crosse, Wisconsin. For now though I anticipate it being mostly a studio (no retail shop).

  66. Kristin says:

    WOW!!!!! This is so exciting! Congratulations on this big move!

  67. Bhavana D says:

    Congratulations! And where do I sign up for some quilting lessons? πŸ™‚
    All the best, Anna, and hope you have tonnes of fun on your next adventure.

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