Shop Origin Story
I like to think I always base my big life decisions on logic and reason, but when I set out to find a studio-shop space last year I felt an unshakable sense of destiny creep in. Here’s my (shop’s) story…
Cue the chimes, we’re heading back in time…
*Don’t forget to scroll right to the bottom to checkout the transformation!
My first visit to this particular shop space when I was around 15-16 years old (maybe 2001-02).
At the time I was obsessed with leatherwork, I had borrowed all the books from the library and was on the hunt for supplies and more know-how.
Being a Frankston local all my life I knew of one shop – Don’s Custom Leatherworks.
A hole-in-the-wall type establishment with one narrow staircase leading up to the unknown.
My curiosity was peaking, what or who would lie within?
On entering Don’s shop I recall being in awe of all the sights and smells.
All the tools and materials of Don’s trade on hand.
Experiencing a craftsperson’s workshop, with works in progress to explore and finished objects to marvel at.
Though the memories of my few visits have faded, I do remember Don’s willingness to help me get started. Setting me up with the leather and tools I would need, him offering advice on how I might go about my projects.
I have a feeling he thought I was just some crazy kid (this was during my hippie phase after all!) but Don helped me complete several projects so I’ll be forever grateful.
Don and his shop left me with one lasting realisation – that it was possible to be both craftsperson and business owner.
And though I held this realisation closely and likely never told anyone until recently, I envisioned a life where I was creator, craftsperson and teacher.
Back to present day, I was contemplating that next step for Loom & Spindle and came across the real estate listing for Don’s old shop.
That unmistakable feeling of serendipity hit hard.
I dismissed it (I’m a logician after all). I had a million reasons why this could be a mistake… or even fatal for my business.
It kept playing on my mind, I couldn’t shake it.
Just one inspection wouldn’t hurt, hoping that would appease my logician brain.
But we know how this storey ends, I signed the lease!
I’ll let the images below tell the storey of the shape the shop was in on my first inspection.
There were bars on all the windows, nails sticking out of the floor, and the agent showing me around almost had an asthma attack due to the amount of dust in the air.
But it had great bones as they say – timber floors, high ceilings, copious amounts of natural light. The perfect character-filled hideaway for the intense focus and creativity required to run a business.
Without a doubt the opportunity to create my vision was here.
Thanks Don, for letting me make your home my home!
PS: Don sold me a leather punch which I still use at the office almost every day! Kismet!