Our Story - Part 4

Howdy! Yesterday I ended my post with “It was go-time, baby!”

So today is a brief account of the series of progress, chance meetings and encounters that lead up to this big leap for Jon and me. I can hardly wait to tell you the rest of the end (er, beginning?) of this story tomorrow! The suspense is thrilling me!

In a moment though…here’s this first. A photo of my fortune from this past weekend, read during an evening spent with The Village. It’s now taped to my computer, so every time I open it up to do my work, it’s there as a lovely little reminder of what life’s all about…

True dat.

OK, here we go! Shortly after my Fire Starter Session I mentioned in yesterday’s post , I was all fired up and ready to kick it into gear. I had done my homework, I was working with enough clients, it was time to start focusing on building my website and to hang up my shingle.

So, a couple of days later I met the fabulous woman who owns Pieces Fine Furniture Consignment. When we met, we pretty much looked at each other and knew that we’d know each other really well, really soon, for a really long time. From that day, she has introduced me to so many people I didn’t know I needed to know until the exact moment I met them. She is a connector, just like me. Much, much more on her and her fabulousness later…

Then came my work/play trip to Austin, Texas, where my sister lives and where I did the redesign for the offices of Greenlights for Non-Profit Success. While there, I planted seeds for my next work/play trip out there.

Sally, my cousin, friend and collaborator, and I did a tree for the Children’s Hospital Tree Festival (shown at left…named “The Squiggle Tree” by my daughter.) Lots of positive feedback on the uniqueness of it, and we even won a special award! The buzz about my business really picked up.

Celebrated my 37th birthday on January 7 of this year– my closest friends lifted me up that day, literally – by way of the silly childhood game of sitting in a chair as 4 people try to lift you up and can’t, then they perform some “right up my alley energy magic”, and then all of the sudden they can lift me up with just two fingers each. I mention this because that day was a tipping point for me…something shifted and I was a speed train of love heading in the right direction.

A few days later, I met a fellow muse who hired me to do the design of her boutique A Woman’s Whimsy. That same day, there is a surprise opportunity for me to move my office space outside of my home. That ended up not happening, for obvious hindsight reasons, but it restarted the dialogue between Jon and I about the need for us to move to an office space outside of our home.

At that point, I was comfortable with the portfolio of work I had under my belt since I started my new business. I got serious about finishing this website.

Started a Karen Starr ReDesign Facebook fanpage about three weeks before I launched my website…great reception to it! Lots o’ love coming my way…

Finished website with this blog post as a guide to the approach of it. Yes indeed, Danielle LaPorte is the gift that keeps on giving. IttyBiz ain’t too shabby herself.

(from here down, the timeframe is one week - March 1 to 7, 2010)

Launched website on Monday, March 1 – visibility and traffic increased, new clients came. (I loooooove the Internet.)

Getting used to blog component. People are telling me they like it!

Jon and I quickly felt the need approaching to get ourselves a brick-and-mortar office/studio space presence (though at that time, the retail/showroom aspect was not in our conversations…we thought that was still years down the road.)

My friend, client and mentor Jan took me to a luncheon to meet some local business folks…mentions out of context a store front rental space on Front Street in The Falls.

Saturday night of that week: BFFLarry mentions Krieger’s Market and their fabulous produce out of the blue. I think to myself, “Jon’s never been there! We should go sometime.”

Sunday morning: Jon and I feeling fine, it’s a warm sunny day at the end of a very exciting week, so we decide we’re going to take Claire bowling. (Yes, bowling on a Sunday morning. How fun is that?)

Before we go, I jump in the shower. And the idea came to me: It’s not just offices or studio space for us outside of our home! It’s that - plus retail space - plus the component… (I’ll tell you details tomorrow!)

I jump out of the shower, bursting with the need to get this out and scribbled onto my whiteboard. I immediately think of that space on Front Street Jan mentioned but wonder if it’s the right location/fit.

I show Jon the whiteboard scribbles, he says it’s interesting but we’ll talk about it later. We go bowling. I bowl a “turkey” for the first time ever! We leave and drive down Graham Rd. I say, “Hey, we should stop at Krieger’s and get produce.” Jon says OK because he’s never been there before.

Claire gets her first popsicle of the season. She is a happy little guss. We are feeling fine. What a great week! How could it get any better?

Pulling out of the parking lot, Jon looks in his rearview mirror, says, “Is that Kevin?”, then stops the car and hops out to talk to whoever Kevin is.

He’s out there for awhile, so Claire and I get out too. Claire and I meet him, his dad and his son who just happens to be the same age as Claire. Jon knows him from college. We catch up on life since Jon and Kevin haven’t seen each other in 10 years.

We talk about our work, we ask him about a building he owns that is closing soon.

He says, “Why? Do you want to rent it?”

And I say without hesitation, “YEP!”

For two days we dream and consider the possibilities. Could it be that awesome???

We go tour Kevin’s building, I’ve never been inside. As we are walking up to it, my heart is pounding, I feel like I’m walking into our future home. I’m taking pictures of us walking up to it, Jon thinks I’m crazy, but I know what is about to happen.

We walk inside. I’m smitten and woozy. This. Is. It.

To be continued tomorrow…