Small Business School: How We Moved Our Shop + Studio

Alyssa Nguyen

Small Business School: How We Moved Our Shop + Studio

Hello from our new brick + mortar! 

In case you missed it, we moved last month and are wrapping up our third full week in our new home. And yet it feels like it's been longer than that, as well as feels like we just moved yesterday. 

It was definitely a little bitter sweet saying goodbye to our first storefront. We had so many great memories in there from our very first customers who have now become some of our friends, to the hundreds of workshops (and thousands of workshop students) we've had the honor of getting creative with. 

We turned an old, forgotten warehouse into a little slice of paradise with our incredible wall mural, selection of cards on our card wall, and by hosting weekly events for our community.  And we'll forever be grateful for our time on East 6th, especially for all of you who walked through our mint green door there! 

Some of you may have figured out through Instagram that we packed, moved, and unpacked just in time for our normally scheduled workshops in less than 48 full hours. Seriously, we spent a few hours packing on Monday, spent Tuesday morning moving + building out new fixtures in the new space, spent half of Wednesday setting up and hosted our first workshop that afternoon.

Many hands make light work, everything came together! But it wasn’t easy, it took a TON of preparation, planning, and effort on everyone’s part. Curious about what we learned from this move? Here are a few things to consider whether you are moving into your first brick + mortar, or relocating plus some sneak peeks of our new space!

1. Have a plan

I planned out our moving week schedule by designating a packing day, a moving day, and a day to solely set up, and a day to patch/paint the old shop before I turned in my keys. The packing day went a lot faster, it took 5 of us about 3 hours to completely pack up our old shop + all our inventory. 

We started our moving day at 6am...honestly purely to beat the heat and traffic. So we were completely done by 11am. 

Here's the kicker, by the time we went to patch and paint the old shop, our electricity had already been transferred to the new shop so it was perhaps the sweatiest and hardest part of this entire move since it was extremely toasty!

In addition to planning a schedule, having a floor plan mapped out for the new space beforehand enabled us to efficiently move things in and set up the space easily- be flexible, sometimes things don't fit or look the way you want but having a general floor plan takes the guess work out of it. 

2. Create a budget (cost of a uhaul or movers, things breaking, things need replacing, extra furnishings for the new layout, updated marketing materials (decals signage) 

Moving is always going to be an expense. Having a budget can help since you'll have some time leading up to your move to save up some money to help buffer the costs. Consider a uhaul (are you going to be using movers?), account for the fact you will likely need to replace some things when you move because things may get damaged from moving or you may figure out some things just need to be replaced. 

I left a little buffer for additional furnishings since I knew our space would be much larger and I also accounted for the fact I would need to beef up our inventory so the shop felt fresh + full when we reopened. 

One thing to also consider is that you may need to revamp or update your marketing/branding, for us it was for our window, decals as well as indoor + outdoor signage. Having a budget to present to our designer was crucial in prioritizing what needed to be done before we opened, and what could wait until we were settled in!

3. Make a list of places you'll need to update your address on (bills, banks, google, website, mail chimp, social media etc.) 

The biggest stress (and fear) about the move was worrying if guests or workshop students would be confused with where we were. So we made a pretty intensive list of every. single. place. our address would need to be updated to alleviate any confusion. 

First, obviously, your bank. Update the addresses on all your bills/utilities. 

Next we worked through our website, mail chimp, email, website, google, and all our social media platforms (note that it may take some time for all of it to update: it's taken a couple of weeks for everything to finally read as our new address!

4. Call ahead (to set up your electricity + internet) 

At least with Austin Energy, it takes 2-3 days for them to shut off your electricity and transfer the service. So it's a fine balance of making sure you're out of your old space and into the new one, with as little time between them with no electricity because it's HOT in the summer. Yay Texas! 

For our internet set up, we couldn't transfer our account over since the company we were using at our old location did not service this area. So it did take a few days for them to set up the new service. But as you all know we need the internet for our POS, speakers etc. A quick fix and little bandaid to this was to just use my personal phone as a hot spot to connect to the wifi to check people out/stream music. 

5. Ask for help

I feel extremely blessed and lucky to have truly amazing and supportive friends and family. Who volunteered to help with the move (again, in the summer, in Texas). There's no way I would have been able to have a pretty seamless transition over here without all hands on deck!

Also, the kind words of encouragement, customers who popped by to say hi and bring flowers, to even volunteers via Instagram (just even the fact there were folks offering to help meant SO much!)