- Mitchell Antesky
Where to begin?
So we have our business plan in hand , it's pretty open ended but that's how we want to fly. Not always by the seat of our pants, but with enough flexibility and an understanding that we may take a step forward and then two back sometimes. After all, we are being honest with ourselves, we have never worked in lamp shop, maybe not even been in many, let alone own one. We have never owned any type of retail store. However, we are leaders, in nearly every job that I have had in my life, I have eventually been promoted to some level of management or at least a leadership role. Scott also has been respected and highly trusted at many if not all of his jobs.
The custom design nature of what we envision forces us to have a lot of variables but hey, we're artist right? Nobody puts baby in the corner, (That's a movie quote isn't it? I don't know many so bare with me if that one seems out of place, in my head, it worked).
Speaking of my head, ugh, I should warn you before we get too far along in this journey, it can be...well...it can be...well, why don't I just let you find that out for yourself as time goes on from here, but I digress.
We started the purchase of the lamp company in mid August 2020 with plans to have possession no later than the first of November. We thought that would be plenty of time to prepare for the holiday season, the potential for the busiest months of the retail year were just around the corner. But, seldom do things go as planned. Set backs and red tape brought the transition to what felt like if not a screeching halt at least a slow crawl. As each day went by it was now obvious that our closing would be early December, not ideal for our hopes of a busy holiday shopping season but we still had a determination.
I have touched briefly on our internal plan for the business and won't bore you with all the details. What was the most exciting thing for a visual person like myself was the potential for what could be, but it was obvious that there was a lot of work to do. Our vision was simple, our lease covers two rooms, the larger, approximately 500 square feet would be designated to be the showroom and the smaller adjoining room, about 350 square feet, would be used solely for production. Previously the larger space housed products on display, some work benches where pieces were built, several warehouse shelving units that held various pipes, fittings and miscellaneous...everything. The space was a non-descript beige, no wait, I take that back, it was very descriptive, it very much resembled an average midwestern garage that was a catch all for cast-offs, hadn't been painted in years, was kind of greasy, very dusty, fairly cluttered, filled with mismatched random furnishings and well, to be frank, was ugly, depressing and uninspired. Wow, that was harsh, so how do I really feel? With no offense to the former owners, it worked for them and was quirky in it's own unique way but it certainly wasn't what we dreamed it could be with some effort.
Mostly due to the fear of the unknown I wasn't always totally convinced I could be a lamp designer but I knew I could transform this ugly duckling of a garage into a showroom of a beautiful swan that would not only highlight our original creations but stand on its own as a best kept secret tucked away inside a hundred plus year old warehouse. Is it time to pick out some paint samples now?