It’s a fascinating journey moving business premises and for the first time since we opened, we’re getting the chance to design our workshop inside from scratch! It’s a little daunting but exciting at the same time.
I don’t think many Framers get this opportunity and we’re trying to savour every moment. Often, they will move into a space and have to adapt it, this is what we had to do at our current place. When you first start out, you don’t always think about the practicalities of the day to day working areas, especially when it’s your first business.
Our current premises, for example, is also a place to live which is split into two houses & a retail area. There was already a Picture Framers here before but he retired. It was set up as a family home with business but our needs were different, so it had to be jiggled about and re-configured. This was great, at first, but as we’ve grown over the years, our layout has become more challenging.
It’s only now with years of experience that we can really get our teeth into how we work and the space we need to make it all flow nicely.
So, we effectively have a shell (or there will be hopefully in two weeks time!) to move into. Then the hard work starts! The open plan layout will be split into mainly workshop with customer area consisting of seating, the main “frame viewing” desk and a separate area for private appointments (e.g. when we see Artists, Photographers, Collectors or Interior Designers etc.) and customers with larger than average pieces.
We can’t wait to unveil it and want to keep some of the ideas secret until they are finished. It’s a complete change to what we have now and we’ve taken 2 whole years to find it (actually it found us strangely!).
One of the most important changes is that the new workspace will be open plan. This will give our customers the chance to see the framing process in action. We hope that this will create a fresh connection between ourselves and the customers. It will also give us the chance to show what work and craftsmanship goes into making frames.
The setting is a complete change and something we thought long and hard about before committing to. It’s in a gorgeous rural spot with other designer makers as neighbours. It’s off the main road, which was a big decision to make but we felt the rustic setting really suits what we do and it’s only 5 minutes away from our current shop which now makes it only 20 minutes from Bristol!
I’ll try to find time to blog about the build at various stages! The plan is to move and be open by the end of October 2011. We hope to see you there! Some photo’s of the very basic structure below…
Contact details: Gallery 370 will also be known as The Picture Framers Chelvey and the new address will be: Little Chelvey Farm, Brickyardwood Barns, Brockley Lane, Chelvey BS48 4AB Tel 01934 832712 will still be in use as will our current website and email: www.gallery370.com / firstname.lastname@example.org