I was going to title this post "We came in like a wrecking ball" but I figured I'd keep it a little more straightforward. On Tuesday we finally got the keys to our building! It was a seriously fantastic and surreal feeling to have those keys in our hands. We had been waiting to get into this location for MONTHS due to the building being bought and sold and while both owners were going to rent to us we had to wait to find out who would be our landlord. Thankfully, everything worked out smoothly and we are now locked in! Chad and I both decided to enjoy the extra time off together because we knew that as soon as we got into the location work would start and not stop for hopefully many years to come. I honestly feel like God has been giving us exactly what we need during this entire process and I trusted that this down time was all in his perfect timing.
Once we got the keys we immediately started working. This location used to be a coffee shop and it came with a ton of items already provided. In order for us not to feel overwhelmed I make lists. Lots of lists and the first thing we needed to do was go through everything and decide what we would keep and what we wanted to remove. During this time we discovered a big flooring issue in the kitchen and to make a long story short we are now getting new floors installed! The building is over 100 years old and hasn't been in use for months so as I'm told, "little things like this will pop up as we move in." I'm okay with it and thankfully we have a wonderful and fast responding landlord that is just as invested in our shop as we are. I can't even explain how thankful I am for that. The community as a whole just keeps solidifying why we wanted to move back to Laurel in the first place. There is something so special here and the support has just been overwhelming from all angles.
Once we decided everything we wanted to keep and use it was time to get started on all the basic things. For me that meant getting the power turned on, setting up our sales tax info, contacting the health department, inspection office, and the vendors that are adding things or removing them etc. I've been told time and time again how quickly we get things done but I think that is just how Chad and I work. We make a list and start knocking things off of it no matter what that entails. That system has helped us in many aspects in our life from moving across the country twice, starting over in a new place, at work, at home, etc. and I highly suggest it. You may hear me from time to time walking around saying, "Relax Terri, ONE THING AT A TIME." I have to remind myself over and over that when things start to feel overwhelming to just take them one at a time.
Thankfully, we didn't want to do any huge projects at the shop. It is pretty much set up and ready to go for us (besides the kitchen flooring) so, the next thing on my list was painting. The shop is mostly an off white color but it had a few accent walls that were orange and blue. Since they did not fit our design they had to go and on Saturday my wonderful and talented renovation expert Momma came to help us paint. I know everyone loves their Momma but having a talented know-how-to-fix-anything Mom really makes me feel like I hit the jackpot. We spent all day Saturday painting - I say "we" but it was really all her. I got distracted by another project early on and tried my best to just stay out of her way. That woman is FAST and EFFICIANT. Thank you for everything Mom! The walls turned out beautiful!
If you're wondering what I got distracted by early in the day and why I was basically no help to my mother two words: EXPOSING BRICK. I did not intend to get my hands dirty breaking down walls and never in my life did I think about becoming a demolition queen but I think I'm in love with it now. The previous owners had large TVs bolted into the walls behind the main counter and as we were trying to remove those bolts the wall started crumbling away. I panicked at first but there were already some exposed brick on other areas of the wall and my Mother suggested chipping away at the holes that were already happening to see if it was just more brick that we could uncover. (I told you she’s a know-how-to-fix-anything Mom) I started to slowly expose more brick and then everything just got prettier and prettier. The Sun came out, birds started singing, and for the next few hours I worked at creating several exposed brick areas that fit in perfectly with the rest of the wall. To say I am proud of this "renovation" moment would be an understatement. Several pictures later of me posing with a hammer I text Chad to let him know that I had a huge surprise for him when he came into the shop. His first question was, "Good surprise or Bad surprise?" Since I wanted him to clean up the huge mess I had just made I scared him a little more by saying, "Oh a little of both..."
I was just finishing up when he got to the shop and the look on his face was in direct reference to the pieces of wall laying all over his recently cleaned counter tops. Then he gave me the best compliment ever by asking if the brick was exposed like that before? That's exactly what I wanted - it blended in perfectly and you don't even realize that it wasn't like that the entire time. Good thing I took plenty of pictures in which you can see the progression happen. Next, it was time to get that blue backsplash off of the wall. We aren't feeling the blue look and we are going to get stainless steel to go up in it's place next week. Since I had already made a mess it was the perfect time to rip it off the wall. Chad got to work on that and then he cleaned the area again. He's a trooper.
This week we got A LOT of work done on the shop and we have even more planned for next week. We are aiming to open our doors up the second week in May. As we get closer to that time we will have more updates and hopefully we can lock in an official opening date. To everyone that has stopped by the shop to say hello and check in on us it has been so nice to see/meet you!