After a night of a little too much vino at LULU (Thank you for the lovely glass of champagne Fabrice!) to celebrate the signing of the lease on our new studio space; I have spent the morning reflecting on what promises to be incredible journey.
As many of you know BlueSky has been an all-consuming factor in my life for the past 2 years when I decided to ‘open the doors.’ (Though BlueSky has only been around for 2 years, photography has really always played a major role as a former Journalism Major, Photography Studio Manager and life-long shutter bug..) What some of you may not know is this; though I was clearly spending more than a typical 40-hours-per week on building BlueSky…I was also gainfully employed in another industry and spending equal amounts of time on my role there as well. (You know, with a nice salary, awesome benefits, and company car…a really great job by most people’s standards.) But After 2 years of maintaining the ‘balance’…something had to give. –To keep the steady-Eddie job or attempt to pursue something I love and fulfill a ‘bucket list’ item of owning my own business…THAT was the question.
Those who know me well know that I am risk taker …but also someone who believes firmly in taking calculated ones. That said–one might certainly argue ditching the ‘security’ of salary/benefits/11 Billion dollar corporation for no guaranteed anything, ridiculously high self-insured rates and a new fat lease payment may not be quite so calculated. (OMG… should I be freaked out right now??) But life is too short to not live the one you choose for yourself. (My friend Courtney and her yogi friends refer to it as something like ‘living your authentic life’…)
With caution to the wind, (sort of..as there is a ‘plan’…but certainly A LOT of R_I_S_K) I would love to tell you more about our next big adventure: BlueSky @ Plaza Muse!
Fate works in mysterious ways and this is how BlueSky came to be a part of what promises to be a much talked about Charlotte gathering spot, Plaza Muse.
Here are a few ‘fate-ish’ things which made this choice oh-so-perfect.
One: The artist ‘co-op’ environment has been near and dear to me since a visit to the California Mountains for a corporate event years ago where a group of artists shared a space, sold their wares and entertained groups of folks by teaching about their individual crafts over amazing food and wine. I loved everything about it and have always had the concept in the back of my mind as something I would love to be a part of.
Two: For the 6.5 years I have lived in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood Neighborhood I have driven by 1200 Central Avenue and said “‘Man, I love that building…it so needs to be something cooler than a real estate company/law firm.” (No offence, John Nichols:-)
Three: Once the wheels got turning regarding taking the plunge I started to pay a little more attention to open spaces around town, visting properties, looking at lease rates to begin to plan accordingly. (Which candidly–this was not to have happened until after Mid-January of next year. The goal was to get in at least 2 more Bridal Showcases and have the 2012 season booked out on the wedding side of our business before taking the leap of a lease…) But on one of my many AM drives down Central Ave. I saw a little hand painted lettering pop up on my beloved 1200 Building…”Now leasing Artist Space.” Say what!! I did not even know the law firm had moved out to open up the space and I drive by the building every. single. day.
I quickly scheduled an appointment with Dan, the Muse’s Owner, as once something is in my head…well, you know. The second I walked into the space…I knew it was “the one.” Asides from the lovely/chic look of the space, the beautiful work already displayed and Dan’s promise of wine and good chocolate; I LOVED the fact ‘our’ space had huge windows (window light =photographers dream), enough space to both have an office and an area to meet with clients and design space. It also has a private entrance and its own address as a nice perk. Within days the lease was negotiated and the Plaza Muse building became ‘Studio-Sweet-Studio!’
If you are unfamiliar with Plaza Muse (get with the program! ha.) it is best described as group of select artists (Gallery Director and Owner, Dan Butner, accepts applications of artists, screens them/their work and will only select (1) artist from each individual genre. (I.e., one photographer:-) yay…that’s us!) The main areas of the building will include an awesome little retail space for purchasing local art, a craft gallery (pottery and hand-made awesomeness) as well as a photographic images gallery (where all of the art prints are purchasable!) and a rooftop terrace. My perception of the Muse’s ‘goal’ is a local artist community with open doors to the public to enjoy art in the form of workshops, viewing and purchasing art as well as a nice little spot to enjoy a glass of vino and fine, handmade chocolates. (Is that accurate Dan? And do you want a business partner? as I could not be more in love with this space/concept!:-)
So with ‘brass ovaries’ (I read that on someone’s face book post last week.. hilarious.) lots of excitement (and okay… lots of nerves with the fear of eating only Ramen noodles for quite some time…) I welcome you to my ‘authentic life.’
Let’s hope so!
Here is a little video tour of the building prior to it becoming Plaza Muse/BlueSky’s home… Wait until you see it now! 1200 Central Avenue. (Bluesky is the space they refer to as the Hawthorne Street space:-)