If we can ever get the doors put back in...It hit me like a ton of bricks earlier this week that i'm horrible at saying no. It just doesn't seem to be in my vocabulary. Here we are, in the middle of what is turning into maybe the fastest remodel in history, I'm also in crunch time and going a few nights in a row without sleep to finalize plansets for our two current clients, designing a website from scratch, starting work on a third client's design, working on some pro bono graphic design work for a friend... and I somehow still catch myself saying yes to everything. It's like my brain is just hardwired because I'm afraid I'm going to miss an opportunity if i say no. But at some point you have to look big picture and realize when you're biting off more than you can handle...and for me that was this week. I was running so ragged from lack of sleep and starting to stress about the potential new clients that were hanging out there waiting for me to say yes, and start their job and I finally realized something had to give.
I made the call and turned down a paying client. It hurt. It hurt bad, but then almost immediately after it felt really, really good. An enormous weight lifted from my shoulders and meant i could focus in on the other 90 things I've already committed myself to. Oh, and then we took a day off and went to wine country...because i had already said yes to that too.
Things are progressing well on our project and despite our lack of sleep and general exhaustedness...we couldn't be more excited about the progress we've made in a very short amount of time. Framing is completed, drywall mud is drying as I type and the outside of the house is halfway painted with a new set of colors. Thunder Gray and Pussywillow. Nice. It's a whirlwind around here for certain, and it seems impossible that we just started this remodel 13days ago. CRAZY.
But we have to be fast because our deadline is approaching even faster. We aren't just prepping this house to rent it out again, we are prepping it for an equally exciting new venture. We decided a while back when discussing how to make this place a successful short term rental that we were between a rock and a hard place. We had to find a way to renovate and make it cool and appealing enough to be popular; and had to somehow do it with our few remainng dollars. We also hated the idea of furnishing the place with a bunch of ikea furniture just to have to turn around and throw it all out if this wasn't successful.
We discussed me simply making all the furniture, and maybe guests would buy some of it on the way home (we have had quite a few questions about our stools and other hand crafted items at the garage)... but as just discussed, I'm a bit busy as it is. Me making a house-full of furniture would probably take the better part of a year (or two).
But...somewhere deep inside that conversation lay what we think (hope) is a very good idea. Rather than filling the house with my furniture, what if we filled the house with furniture from a community of local makers? What if we could use it both as a way to make the house beautiful and also as a way for Portland makers and artists to get their name out there to potential buyers from other parts of the world? What if...this crazy idea actually could work as a true win/win/win scenario for all three types of people involved. An amazing stay for guests, rental income for us and a chance to really give back and help support the community of makers here in town (and maybe even help us meet a broader group or creatives)...
We know so many insanely talented people. Many of whom have no outlet to market their products and wares. Many who are also struggling to make ends meet, despite an inspiring willingness to stick with an attempt to live a lifestyle based on creativity rather than stability. We discussed over several happy hours and decided that there were legs to the idea, and started talking with makers and artists we know in town.
The idea spread like wildfire and pretty soon we were committed. The only problem being that we had soon locked ourselves into having a place to put all their works starting on May1. Which also meant we have to have an attractive enough place to serve as a backdrop for some pretty amazing pieces of furniture, art and furnishings.
Pressure aside, we are really excited at how everything is coming together. We now have about 20 makers/artists joining us in this little social experiment and now have a name to go with it.
It's already been really fun to watch people have a reason to be creative and to make. A handful of the people we invited have even used this as a reason to finally name their business, to setup a website for themselves and start really trying to make a go of it. So inspiring and so awesome! Our hope is that this not only becomes a profitable income stream for us in terms of rental, but that it also becomes a creative driving force and an income stream for all the artists that have decided to join us. Time will tell.
If you aren't from portland and want to visit... I can now (okay, soon) suggest a groovy little pad in the heart of portland's best neighborhood, walking distance to everything AND you get to live like royalty among some really cool furniture, lighting, artwork etc. If you are from portland, you'll be welcome to stay as well...but I'd suggest having family and friends stay when their in town instead.
It's our latest possibly absurd idea, but as someone pointed out after the last post - at least we go after our absurd ideas with gusto!! Wish us luck...were gonna need it! Introducing...Makerflat.