WE ARE MOVING out of the basement…

Well, it’s been a week I won’t soon forget…a week of excitement and totally insanity trying to make something work…my last post on September 1st was about my journey through the Dana Mill and how somehow I need to get myself in there…

My first thought was to take the space I had been obsessing over for a few years now…not very large about 970SF…it had water and lights and was equipped for what we needed. Mas and I talked endlessly about it, and finally we wrapped our heads around the idea of being out of our comfort zone..and I signed a lease for this space.

I showed up the 15 of October, super excited and received the keys. I had received estimates to paint the walls and floors. I looked around and felt like the space was a bit small but I tried to let that feeling go. I also tried to let go of the floors which were plywood instead of the old mill floors I so loved. I thought of taking the floor up but then discovered Asbestos tile beneath which of course we would not touch! So here I was, in my new space with all this glorious light..and felt a bit disappointed? What was wrong with me I thought..I should be so so happy? I had been wanting this, dreaming this for years…

So, a little side note, or a big side note, when I was looking around the mill of course you peer into every open space available and I remember the space down the hall that I told Maslen was our future space, the space we move into a few years…a dream space..it had the floors, the lower windows and it was BIG. I imagined a long silk screening table going along the back side of it and going and going and going…well I could not stop wanting this space. I was told a while back that it was 3 times my current rent of the space I was currently looking into, and well, it was 1400 sf and jutted out over the water…and oh, one BIG thing, it did not have plumbing…yup. No water means no printing…ok so I again…I tried to let it go.

So back to me standing in the original space, the one where I signed the lease, gave my money and standing there…I invited Heather Knuppel out to take a look around…a new soul that I just love who is working with us now helping make some adjustments on production, wholesale and new offerings that we have been dreaming up. She is my devine intervention…finishing my thoughts for me and basically taking balls and running with them. I love her…I will post about her again I am sure but for now, just know she has been amazing and helping me get my creative insanity in check. She has worked with numerous home design companies and basically is going to help me “fly” as we both put it. She shows up, we do a little celebration dance…and I say…it’s small right? Then with out her answering…I say, ok,  let me show you my dream space…I take her down the hall—a long hall, pass the last entrance to the mill and up a ramp and to the right, we both see light pouring into a dark hallway. She peers in, and well we both gasp. It’s not 5 mins that I am on the phone trying to work out a deal…asking about the cost, how low they could go, cost of water…you know the drill. So honestly two days later, I have a deal on the table that I can swing, I have multi plumbers give me quotes…and well let’s just say they found a old water and vent pipe under my floor —yes I know, super insane awesomeness and yes, I am now moving into this DREAM SPACE.

When I turned the key to walk into the space for the first time, I walked over to the right side of the space and peered out to see the river below me roaring by and the dam to my right…pumping water. I didn’t realize that this space juts out over the rushing river below and the sound is like a symphony lullaby completely in tune with my heart. I was home…I was home, I was home, I was home…I kept feeling this and saying this in my mind..chills running up my entire body…I wanted to cry, i wanted to sit down on that floor and cry with joy…it was ours. We worked so hard, saved our money and worked some more..and it was ours….this was it and I knew it…this was the start of something so amazing I could already see it in my minds eye. It was already working for me, not me working for it…I was no longer afraid (ok not so afraid)…I felt peace though. A sense of complete okness. I wanted to live there, I wanted to be there…and now I can’t stop thinking of it…dreaming of it…so we begin…

Reality check: the first trip with kids and mas was not so magical…it’s hard for others I think to feel what a designers feels..or sees what they see. I think Mas sees a lot of work, the kids see a roller skating ring ha ha…and I think he feels he is going to have to share me with this space…be unavailable to him and the kids…we talk about this…and I know I must keep focused on family first…bring the family together not apart.

This journey with Maslen is based on trust that we are a team…and as this thing grows…our team (our family) has to stay strong. I think the hardest part or one of many hard parts is that I must keep our home intact…I don’t know if you know what I mean but when you are obsessed with your life’s work…sometimes your other life can be a distraction. But in my quest for completeness, maslen and the girls are intertwined with my work, they feed it, inspire it and embrace it…most of the time. Other times real life stares at me, laundry piles, homework, cooking and cleaning and oh, playing and laughing and just being a good mom, and a amazing wife and partner. Basically I have to keep my shit together. I can’t just dive into the depths of my creative being and work myself to death..because I think I could…

I guess as I close this chapter and open a new one, I say to you that your passion feeds you and guides you and sometimes the people around you are cheering you on and sometimes  they are not…Mas has always been my rock…but he has always been the balance in my madness. I need him as much as I need this next step. We talk over dinner, alone at last..and we talk about him building our first super long 36′  table that will ramp up production like no other…. and moving out of the basement…and he say’s…”we can move it all out…then I get the basement back for my tools”…at this second I see light in his eyes replaced from a unknowingness. I smile, and I take a deep breath, because I know at this moment the other half of  my heart is on board with me.

The other thing that drives me is knowing that we are hand printing and sewing everything here in the USA. This has become my personal mantra on how to keep growing mindfully, while keeping things simple…working local…while bringing manufacturing back to Maine’s mills…and in this case, one yard at a time…

For now here is where we are at–a few pics to enjoy!

PS. I was given a tour of the basement the first day I received my keys and I felt I was taking a tour through history. Dan, the main maintenance guy who has been so good to me and in return has already been bought lunch and a few cupcakes from the local deli—took me on this amazing journey through the basement of the mill. I took a few shots…the most insane thing was that the river actually runs through the basement of the mill to release the pressure of the river. The old musty smell of mold and dirt was so strong, and boards weak from years of age…it was awesome. I found old machinery, random left behind parts and well I found a room filled with the old cotton carts that I about died over! So Dan let me borrow one for my space. It’s amazing…please check it out in the pics below!  e

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