If there was an optimal time of year to pick-up and move your business, it probably wouldn’t be during the holiday shopping season. However, sometimes you just can’t control when opportunities present themselves to you. For the past year or so, I’ve been casually shopping around for a new space for Sloppy Kisses in Downtown Saratoga Springs, New York. After almost six years in business, I had outgrown my cute, little basement level space on the outskirts of our vibrant downtown shopping district.
A few months ago, an art gallery vacated a prime, centrally located space in the heart of Downtown Saratoga. At first, I was hesitant to even look into it because of the size (approximately three-times bigger) and what I knew was going to be significantly higher rent. Just for fun, I walked through the space and totally fell in love with it. But falling in love with the space and figuring out how to make it all work are two very different things. Could I afford the rent? What would I do with all that space? Could I get out of my current lease? The questions were endless, but the goal was clear: Make Sloppy Kisses bigger and better!
Through a series of fortunate events, the last of which occurred around the middle of November, the planets aligned and the move was on…but when? I could have waited until after Christmas and moved in at a leisurely pace after the holiday rush. However, Downtown Saratoga Springs has an annual event called The Victorian Streetwalk, which brings 15,000-plus people downtown for a kick-off of the holiday season. What better time to advertise a new location? The problem: Victorian Streetwalk was scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1.
So on Thanksgiving Day, with paint roller in hand, preparation of the new space began in earnest. The Sunday after Thanksgiving was our last day of business at our previous location. All day Monday and Tuesday were spent moving. All day Wednesday was spent setting up. On Thursday, Dec.1, at 10 a.m., I opened the doors of Sloppy Kisses at our new location and we’ve been running at full speed ever since. Right now, I’m only utilizing about one-third of the square footage. After the first of the year, I plan to offer a variety of services, including hosting doggie birthday parties and pet photo sessions, as well as holding obedience and puppy socialization classes. In addition, I plan to move the baking operation from our kitchen at home to the new store. What was once an insurmountable task is now behind me and I’m so exciting to write the next chapter of my business story.
I do have a few tips if you choose to tackle a similar endeavor:
1. Never try to paint over a burgundy colored wall, especially if you want the wall to be yellow. You’ll spend more money in paint than you can imagine. Burgundy is not that bad a color.
2. If you have a bakery case that needs to be moved, consider selling it to the new tenant taking over your space instead of trying to move it. It must weigh at least 1,000 pounds. I now know how to take a door off of its hinges.
3. Caffeine really does boost productivity. Thank-you Dunkin Donuts for helping me survive this move. I’m indebted to you for life.
Wishing all my fellow boutique owners a successful Holiday Season!!!!
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