False deadlines and launch parties
The craziness continues... The weekend saw us at exactly 29 days since we first stepped foot back into this creepy house and started knocking out walls in an attempt to make it somehow better. Not long after, we had set the date as a false deadline for ourselves to be done (knowing full well that we wouldn't be). But we know from past experience that nothing really pushes you to get finished with a project like throwing a party, and inviting 50 people over. Especially if those people have some stake in the project as was the case here (all of our artists/makers). We sent out invites a few weeks early to make sure that we had the place primed and ready by then. As always, we did not...but that hard core push to try and get ready for the evening of the party was the only way we could possibly get close enough to finished to focus on those final remaining details in the week following before the first guest checks in. Sadly, I spent three 12-14 hour days in the shop working on a bed frame to complete the second bedroom (an interesting learning experience) and jen took most of the burden of prepping for the party. We had photos taken the day before and yet still found ourselves with a half-assembled bed and were still hanging photos and artwork long after guests started to arrive.
But...the rush appears to have been worth it. Along with wrapping up for the party, we posted MakerFlat as available on AirBnb...first with only two photos from the iPhone but then two days later with a full set of photos from the photographer (and good friend). We had our first request to book within 8 hours and a total of 9 requests and 6 bookings within a week. Far better than we could have even hoped!
The party was a nice excuse to relax and look at the project from other peoples' perspectives...but even from ours over the last few days of living here and returning after long days in the shop. It turns out this place is remarkably livable. Even to our surprise it's amazingly comfortable. Who knew. We've always looked at this place as a dark and dreary, poorly designed home that needs to be torn down to get any value out of... but now after a quick 30 days of work it's a home we could happily live in. A bit too large for us, and we would have to leave 2 bedroom doors shut at all time...but really comfortable nonetheless.
The last few days after the party have been admittedly difficult. Likely the problem with false deadlines. We found time to squeeze in a few dinners away from the place and even to help a friend move, but our enthusiasm and stamina are waning and we are finally admitting that we are completely exhausted. Mentally, physically, and for now financially. Our first guest checks in in just two short days and the list of details to be completed still seems to be growing instead of shrinking. To make matters worse, we had already planned on being back at the garage by now and finishing out details before the Portland ADU tour next weekend, which doesn't seem like much of a reprieve.
On the upside (I think/hope), things may be working themselves out financially at least for the near future. We had raised our AirBnB price for the garage for the summer in hopes nobody would book it and we could be at home enjoying ourselves for june, july and august. We set the price high enough that we didn't think anyone would bite and made sure that if they did, we were making enough profit that we would happily find another place to stay for the night. Turns out the speed of bookings didn't slow down at all and we will apparently not be living at home most of the summer. Not exactly according to plan, but again- at a price that makes it not all disappointing. Apparently... it's far more beneficial financially for us to be homeless.
On other fronts, zenbox has gotten some nice media coverage in the local paper leading up to the ADU tour, and makerflat seems to be getting some as well. Despite being so tired that we crash as soon as our heads hit the pillow I've been trying to find hours to moonlight on actual zenbox projects as well during the madness.
One current project has broken ground and another is trudging through city requirements trying to get permits. Definitely NOT the part of the job I enjoy. If you know anyone who is looking for work as a drafter, or wants to go sit at the city and pass a planset through the code enforcement department please pass them along- it seems zenbox could use their services.
I've started offering to a couple of friends to join in on this crazy ride...but I can see their trepidation as it's an unknown entity with an unknown future. I can't exactly offer full time work with benefits just yet...and i'm not sure even I would trust my own longevity at anything resembling work. ;)
We also just found out today that the garage has been selected as one of the entries for the apartment therapy Small Cool 2015 contest. If you follow the blog you know that I have a love/hate relationship with competitions and popularity contests...but if you have a second to click through below and vote for our submission we would be grateful!!
We also find ourselves deep in thought and conversation (as per normal)... about what our goals are, what we want to achieve out of all of this and how to find balance. Its difficult not to run full speed ahead at opportunities but also important to take a breather and look at the big picture. We seem to be really fortunate to be finding clients who want or value our services (I've somehow had a meeting with prospective clients every day this week), our projects seem to attract interested guests on AirBnB, and we somehow are still talking to and actually like each other at the end of every day.
Despite our grumpy demeanors and absolute exhaustion there is much to be thankful for. But... it also is feeling a LOT like work. There is a higher level of stress than we had hoped, a lot of hours being worked and even some decision making for money over fun and happiness. NOT part of the plan. Its a slippery slope this thing called life. We've agreed to take a long romantic weekend to ourselves over memorial day to reset the dials a little bit. And we couldn't be more excited about it!