"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"
For the past year in a half, Center Town Gallery in Stone Mountain has been our home for Sailor Studio.
We have been part of an artist program down there and it has really been a fantastic experience. As 2012 began, we had to decide if we would renew our contract with the city and continue as a business in the art program for one more year.
My mom recently got married and is going in new directions... and she has been needing to work on other jobs to supplement income which made the hours of the program just too much for her to continue.
So when she decided not to renew the contract, the managers of the program asked if I wanted to continue on as the primary artist, and basically take over for my mom. So over the past month or so, I have been analyzing and weighing pros and cons to continuing...
On one hand, I love having the studio in Stn Mtn. The little old village is sentimental to me, and I like the small town feel of knowing all the local people and the crazy characters of the shops around us. It's nice to have a separate work place, and being around other artists is motivating...
and of course, meeting and talking to customers one on one with an open brick-and-mortar store is great.
I also enjoyed getting to see my family and friends who lived/worked nearby on a regular basis.
On the other hand, I was spending about $350 a month in gas driving to Stone Mountain from home 4-5 times a week. The majority of our sales from Sailor Studio come from craft shows and other events, not from people walking in the store- and that doesn't really warrant the expense of being there.
(yellow daisy festival)
Plus, although the boys were fine there for small amounts of time, if I needed to put in a long day there really wasn't a lot they could do, and they would get bored and end up
driving me nuts getting into trouble.
So I finally decided that financially, and just all around the best decision for my family would be to move the studio to my house. We have a two-story storage building in our back yard that will make a great studio.
Goosers cleaned it up last week and I got to see just how much space I had to work with.
The building is already wired w electricity and has workbenches already built in. After we started moving stuff in, I really got excited about making it my own.
The boys are going to have their own kid area (along w the yard to play in) and they get to help me paint and spruce things up. :)
After talking to everyone in the program and the city officials, they still want us to be a part of the program as much as we can, which means we still get to do our twice a year fashion shows (yay!) at the gallery and we will still have jewelry stocked there for sale.
That makes me feel like I made the right choice. I won't have the time constraints of having to be in Stone Mountain so many hours per week, but we still get the benefits of having a store front location for events and sales.
A little bittersweet, but I welcome the change and think it is going to work out really well.
So my biggest goals for Sailor Studio this year are to focus on the art/craft shows and wholesale accounts, and to really push the online market which we haven't done because the store commitment took up so much time.
So... say a little prayer for me and this new change, and I'll definitely post more pictures of the studio once we are set up.