Monday, March 9, 2009

Wow... seems like it's taken an eternity!

In one of my last blog posts (a month ago already?) I wrote about how I was moving my jewelry store to a new location, and out of my home. It's been an extremely long process preparing the new building location for move-in, but it's almost finished. You see, I received the keys to the building on January 20th, but we were not allowed to enter the store until the previous tenant had completely cleared his belongings. At that time, the landlord had told my husband and I that he would not allow any alterations, or any painting done to the building. The whole place had very dark wood slatted walls inside, and the previous tenant had left carpeting that probably had some of every type of alcohol available at the bowling alley bar spilled on it. It wreaked heavily of beer and the smell was overpowering. Definitely not the best atmosphere for a jewelry store.

January 28th we were allowed access to the store. I spent much of that day steam cleaning the carpet. The next day, I had to clean it all over again and even after I had it cleaned twice, the stains remained and it still wreaked. We decided to tear out the carpet and replace it with a large chiseled area rug that we had purchased several years ago. My husband pleaded with the landlord to let us paint the interior walls and he finally said "ok". This is when most of the headaches began.

February 2nd I went to our local Home Depot to get a gallon of primer. Knowing that these wood slat walls were 70+ years old, I didn't think slapping some paint alone one them was going to do the trick. The paint department manager decided that I needed a special kind of "bonding" primer, and proceeded to sell me a gallon of it at the cost of $43.00. Although this was a bit more than I had hoped to pay, he assured me that this was the best stuff to use for the surface I needed to prime. As I returned to the new store, I called my husband and broke the news to him that instead of our "usual date night dinner out", I had spent a great portion of my pocket change on primer, so he'd have to settle for my own cooking and possibly a rented movie.

Later that night, we decided to go to the store and start priming. We were hoping to get it done in one night, painted the next and I could have started moving things in on or around February 4th. I was just hoping to be all set up by Valentines day -- HOWEVER -- we ran into just a few snags. You see, during the "old days" (or as my husband says "when I was just a young boy") people used to be able to smoke in the bowling alley. In fact, it was until just a few years ago that people were allowed to smoke in there and because of the years of prior cigarette smoke, my dark wood slat walls were filled with nicotine. My husband and I spent two days priming the whole building inside, only to have all of that nicotine come pouring back out of the walls! On Feb 4th, I went back to Home Depot for another gallon. This time, there was a new "manager" on duty. He told me that the previous "manager" had sold us the wrong primer, and that we should have been using a Kilz123 to cover the nicotine. Another gallon of primer, another $40.00, another couple of days set-back. After using the entire gallon of the Kilz123, we realized that it was no better than the first stuff. The nicotine still came out of the walls. So -- after a third gallon of primer and yet more lost days before I could move in, we decided that three coats was going to be IT. If the nicotine still showed through. TOUGH BEANS!

On February 10th we headed back to Home Depot for some paint. I decided on a nice pale violet color for the walls (after all, it is my "signature" color ) and after completely putting the first coat of paint on, and going through the entire gallon, we knew that the walls were going to need a second coat. February 12th - Back again to Home Depot. I handed the guy behind the paint counter (possibly the only employee at Home Depot that didn't have "manager" on his name tag) the paint chip selection that I had saved from the previous gallon. He swiftly mixed up a second gallon of paint and I headed beck to the store to finally finish painting. I was so excited at the thought of being able to start moving display cases in and maybe even opening on Valentines day!

But as we were putting the second coat of paint on, I noticed that it didn't quite look the same. My husband assured me that it was, and that it probably looked different because I was now painting over a lighter color, rather than the dark wood walls -- but when it dried it would be the same.


Early morning on February 14th, I loaded a couple of display cabinets in the van, and drove to the store. When I opened the door and turned on the lights I was horrified! The room was a bright pink! I immediately called Home Depot and told them that the two gallons of paint they had mixed weren't the same color. I brought both cans back where the mistake was finally discovered: Our original paint color was called "Misty Violet". The second can was labeled "Violet Mist". Two different colors!

Now Home Depot realized they had made a mistake, so they gave us a third gallon of the correct color, free. But once again, we had to take the time to paint the whole room again, and this (again) set us back yet another couple of days.

February 17th --I was completely bummed that I wasn't able to open for Valentines day. We finished painting and went home to crash. I felt so sorry for my husband. He works very hard all day long, and had still spent the the past 19 evenings working with me until sometimes 2:00am, trying to get my store ready. And it wasn't over yet! We still had lots to do, like move supply cabinets in and hang them on the walls, build a work bench and do some other finishing touches here and there.

Today, as I write this blog post, it's March 9th. I've been opened for one week now. It took from January 28th until March 2nd to prepare the store. There's still a few minor things that we are going to do, but for the most part. It's done. You'd think that for a small place (9 X 13), it wouldn't be so difficult. NOT.

Even though I've overheard several passers-by make fun of my store name (hey, at least they'll REMEMBER it), sales were pretty good for the first 7 days of being in business in a new location. In-store sales alone totaled approximately $660.00 and I've already received four requests for custom work.

If things stay moving at this pace, I'll be real happy. If not, You may just see me behind the paint counter, working at Home Depot.

I'll be the one with "manager" written on my name tag.

~ Mzz Thang


LaDeDaCreations said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for you! Even though it was a lot of hard work it will be worth it!!

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