I received an email on Monday. The contents of which have led to a buzzing insomnia, a flurry of messages and an endless pinning of ideas on Pinterest. I was going to tell you the other day but I didn't know where to start so I asked you how to make a quilt that had been in my head a while now. And now I've been sitting here for 20 minutes, dumb with excitement, tapping my fingers on the keyboard, hoping they will do the thinking for me!
The email was from Renew Newcastle, a local organisation that was established to find short term leases for artists and creatives in disused buildings in the CBD. And I've been approached to submit a proposal for a shop space in the old David Jones (department store) building on the main street of Newcastle over the summer!
At first I was terrified. And giddy. Setting up shop has been a long dream of mine. But I always assumed it would happen when the kids got older and we moved to some country town on a highway somewhere so I could sell things to tourists with cheap rent.
So I chatted to my designer friend Anneliese, who has been doing my illustration and design work for me since I started up. Would she like to draw on walls? Could we set up a space with a cool, illustrated Super Hero/Alter Ego theme? She was beyond excited.
Then I chatted to some other making friends of mine. Could I sell their reversible clothes in the space too? The answer was, 'Of course!'
And I chatted to Tim.
You see, what is so unique and amazing about this opportunity is that it's 3 days a week, just for the summer (over Christmas here). It's a tiny $35/week, electricity and insurance included! And Tim works as a casual academic, which means his busy, family unfriendly, lecturing schedule is about to finish (next week! Woo!) and he has research assistant work lined up for the summer, in which he sets his own hours, and can work from home!
And he was excited too. Oh man, he's amazing!
So I'm brimming with ideas, simple and white, with a touch of timber from my workspace and coat hangers, and maybe a cot to display my quilts. I'd love to take this work space in. (Just the benches and cupboards below, to sew and serve from.) A couple of white bookshelves for fabric so that people can choose custom orders in the shop. I can see clothing rails sticking out from the walls (rather than running along the wall) with Anneliese's amazing illustrations behind it. And a big drawstring quilt on the floor by the window, with timber puzzles and toys to play with. And then an explosion of colourful fabric, in the form of dresses and shorts and quilts.
Thankfully, with all my sewing for markets, I have enough stock already. So I'll have plenty of time for the fun bits like design and shopping, making tags, etc.
Oh my! I so hope I get in! Applications close in 4 days, then the spaces will be open on the 5th November to begin set-up. And then they'll be open from the 22nd!
Cross your fingers for me! I'll keep you posted!