Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Top 10: New Office Favorites!

I'm back, and with a "top ten" in tow!

But first, a preface...

The latest and greatest in my life concerns moving our Imagine Artists business office into a brand new location in downtown Morton! We received the place at the beginning of October and have been diligently working in it ever since. This includes numerous days and nights of rolling mustard yellow paint onto walls, purchasing old, vintage-like furniture, learning how to correctly use a spray paint can, calling people and recruiting their skills (sign-makers, carpet cleaners, internet providers, artistic painters, handy-men, etc.), and much, much more.

We even painted our front door purple.

So a lot of progress has been made... and in the weeks to come, a lot more will continue to unfold. It has been a great experience so far, and being downtown has been spectacular!

Today's Top Ten will focus on some of the top 10 things I like about our new location and being downtown. This post was inspired by my dad, so you can think him that I'm actually inspired to write... tonight, I was driving in his truck with him, and he asked me what my favorite part was about being downtown. And I thought, now wouldn't that be a great Top Ten.

Also, I should add... I will soon post pictures. Kristi and I are waiting until the office is completely done before we go public with it so that we can unveil the entire process in its entirety.

Top 10 Favorites... What would be your favorite thing about being downtown? Vote for your favorite!

1. Surrounding Businesses
It has been so fun getting to know the people in some of the surrounding businesses. We're right next to a bridal store, and the people in there are great! There is a gift shop/makeup seller next to us, and they are also very friendly faces. I'm excited to meet some of the others around us. New neighbors!!

2. The People
Kristi and I work facing 2 open windows (which will soon be covered), but it is very easy to people-watch. We can see people walk by and cars drive by at any time of the day. Every once in awhile, I'll hear a car jamming out to really loud music... or a huge semi will drive by and it feels like an earthquake is in progress. Anyway, it's fun to be in a place where there's a buzz, and at any given time, a friendly face could show up and inquire within!

3. Accessibility to Coffee
I am essentially right in the middle of 2 of my favorite coffee joints in Morton. So there's a chance that my addiction to coffee will not be cured for quite some time. The problem is, I was already a "regular" at these places... so now they really know me. I walk in, and they don't even have to ask me for my order. If I go early enough in the morning, I see the 65+ older mens' crowd, and I get in on the talk of the town.

4. Accessibility to Ice Cream
You know, DQ is just right across the street. Except today I learned that they are closed. Don't know how I missed that one! I thought they usually stayed open until November, but I sadly found out that are shut down for the season. Nonetheless, I know we will pay them many visits when they reappear in the Spring!

5. "Going" to Work
Before, our office was located in... my basement. So now, I actually get to go out my front door in the morning, get in my car, and drive the 5 blocks to work. It may sound silly, but there is something about having a place to be that gives you purpose. Before, I could go to work in pajamas with my cereal bowl in my hand. Now, I actually have to leave. This also helps me to separate work life from my personal life, which has been really great!

6. Picking out Paint Colors
They say that having a business partner is like being in a marriage without the benefits, and let me tell you... there may be some truth to that. =) Kristi and I have made so many decisions regarding moving this business that I almost feel like we are married. Picking out paint colors was interesting. We were actually inspired by one of the unique t-shirts that my mom sells, which will definitely be posted in the office photos when they go up online. Anyway, the color palette was derived from that shirt, and while we definitely changed our mind a few times, we are both satisfied with the end result!

7. Addition of Birds & Fish
IA now has a new look... including some cute little birds that are incorporated on our wall art. Additionally, there are 2 new Beta fish to keep us company during the day. The Betas still need names, and perhaps our hesitation to name them is due to their inactivity. We've both noted how "boring" they are. Yet the do add something extra to our meeting table.

8. Land Line
I think that Kristi and I will both cut our cell phone minutes in half. We now have a land line with a business number!

9. Walk-in Entertainment
I'm usually not a huge fan of sales people, but the other day, a guy walked in wearing a Santa hat. He handed us both a flyer for "singing telegrams" and "greetings in the grass." He wouldn't agree to giving us a demo, but we did talk about doing a trade! Anyone always wanted a bouquet of balloons and someone to sing you a song for your birthday?

10. Downtown Community Involvement
Our location will help us to be more exposed. There are a lot of fun events that go on downtown, including the upcoming Holidazzle. Kristi and I are excited to get involved with the community and help plan some of the events, and make ourselves known around town as the creative team.

Love you all! Stay posted for pictures!


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hello Fall

Fall is officially here.

I can't believe it, but somewhere in between Pumpkin Festival activities and moving into our new office, the weather has cooled down. This past week hasn't done much for me... gray, cloudy skies with cold rain isn't my style... BUT, I will say, I am thankful that the weather up until that point has been beautiful. And I don't doubt that we have some nice, crisp, Fall-like days ahead.

The past couple of weeks have brought about a leap of faith and creative progress! Some of you may know that Kristi and I had been looking to get a storefront for our creative business. We weren't necessarily actively searching, but if we saw a "For Rent" sign, we would make the call. Over the past couple of months, we have been in and out of a lot of different spaces and place in Morton. A couple of weeks ago, we went through a place right in the center of downtown Morton. Great location-- and while the place definitely needed some work, we really saw a vision. We went for it...

And now two weeks later, we're still holding paint brushes. But we've made a lot of great process, and we're excited to open the doors to our new office relatively soon! Family has really been awesome in helping us out, and it's times like these that I realize I sometimes take for granted how talented and supportive my family is!

It's neat to look back even a year ago at this time... I was just wrapping up my last days at the publishing company that I had been working for, unsure about where this business would go. I worked at it full-time for a few months alone, and was soon joined by Kristi... but even to do that, there were no guarantees. Now it's October 09 and we have our very own place! I am excited to see what plans God has in store for this business in the future, and I truly hope we can make a difference for His Kingdom in our work!!!

Enjoy the picture... I often look at my nieces at this age and am slightly envious of their childlike freedom. I remember the days when I could run barefoot through open fields, laughing and screaming... and then suddenly, I'm all grown up and I wonder where the time went. =)

Love you all!