The Studio Move

When we first looked at the farm 3+ years ago - one of the things that was a definite ‘great part of this place’ was the 3-car garage.

I vividly remember exclaiming to Matt that we would have a place for our tools & the mower and all that stuff.

Our first Summer at the farm (2016) we moved the flower studio into a weird addition on our barn. Think of a cement floor room that is just a simple square, with one window, a tall ceiling & roughly 400 sq feet. It worked perfectly for that first season, but I was quickly realizing we were running out of space.

The following year 2017, we moved everything to the garage. It was perfect . Always cool in there, more room, easier to load up from & we knew it could handle a cooler one day.

In 2018 Matt built the cooler. We use a CoolBot system so the ‘cooler build’ was really framing and insulating in a space and then wiring a window AC unit to become the cooler. Regardless, of course Matt built the most beautiful and perfect cooler ever. Like. Ever.

But we were crammed. With so many pickup events that come on Fridays, we were holding so many flowers for clients, while trying to manage and design for our Saturday full service events - there were days we could barely walk around in the garage. Some days our projects would even spill out onto the driveway.

Plus, (my main reason for the upcoming move) we were not providing the client experience I wanted in that space.

I’m a BIG believer in brand continuity and everyone who came to the garage was like ‘wait wheres the farm?!’ ‘where’s the lavender?’ because from the garage, the way its laid out at our property - you cannot see ANYTHING but the garage and our house. You may as well be picking up your flowers at some random house in some random neighborhood somewhere.

Alright so fast forward, I’m driving downstate to teach Wreath Workshops in Northville in early December, and I suddenly have this overwhelmingly calm and simple idea flood to me: we need to move the studio into the barn.

Long story made short: it’s happening. This spring. A real studio. One with a client meeting space and a coffee pot & mini fridge. One with space for all these damn vases and space for our team to hang their jackets and stash their purses. One with more room for parking, for delivery trucks to actually turn around, for our guests to come to the studio and be able to SEE the farm.

The studio move is our biggest project for the summer, and in typical Kalin fashion I’ve put a deadline on it for mid-June. I want our team & our entire operation to be settled in this new space for the majority of the season instead of a move later in the season- uprooting everything when we are working as a well oiled machine.

What this means for our clients, nothing! Except when you come to meet with me about blooms I’ll have a spot for you to sit that isn’t an old barstool pulled up to a hand me down table stained with floral glue. I mean I’m all about charm but - we are going to kick this up a notch.

What the studio move involves; tearing down a bunch of barn wood walls, putting in some windows & a few new doors, and some concrete repair work. We will move the cooler unit down there and frame in a new space. This is the part that kills me since Matt LITERALLY just build us the old cooler. But good news: the 2018 Cooler will be great garage storage :)

Popular questions:

What about natural light? Isn’t it dark in there? Our windows and doors face south and we are opening up way more walls and space to let the light in. This is my top priority in this space.

Is there where workshops will be? Still deciding. I don’t think I can host Wreath Workshop Weekend anywhere but the top floor of the barn, its too close to my heart. And I adore hosting our summer workshops outside in the shade, but never say never.

Isn’t your barn from like the 1800’s?! 1883 baby! So yeah, while this is a ‘new space’ for us - it isn’t a new build. Cobwebs, the occasional animal visitor, weird scary barn noises - I’m ready for it all.

Didn’t you say you were trying to do the entire 2019 season with ‘no major projects?’ This is not a major project in my eyes. The Tiny House build out & the trench situation (omg my pulse is racing still when I talk about it) were much much much larger projects than this. I’m confident that with a plan, and one giant trip to IKEA this should be pretty do able. (notice how I’m downplaying this? yeah me too, its fine.)

Are you going to share the process on IG? Of course! This is a fun and exciting one for us, plus I know how much I love seeing the process when other studio’s relocate and create a layout. It’ll be a fun one for sure.

But don’t you wanna move to a shop downtown or something?! Nope! We’ve decided that Sweetwater Floral will continue to focus on special events, workshops & a summer busy season. With our studio space located right here at the farm it allows us the flexibility in both our personal & professional life to design a company that works for us.

Can’t wait to share this process with you. To the new studio!



Kalin Sheick4 Comments