In January of 2017, representatives from the City of Knoxville visited us in our little downtown studio and told us that due to a pending construction project, we’d have to move our business. I was 5 months pregnant at the time. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: What’s the time-frame for this relocation?
Them: Anytime late spring or summer.
Me: I’m having a baby in July. Can we make it May, June, or August?
Them: We can’t say. We don’t know. We can’t make any promises or give you any solid information of any kind because we are a government agency with absolutely no authority to do anything at all, except force you to move upon our command. (Okay. They may not have actually said it exactly like this, but the concept is entirely accurate).
Me: What’s your best guess on time frame? Because, again, I’m having a baby in July and I’d like to avoid a move while having a baby.
Them: It’ll likely be… July.
And so it was: we moved and had Eden in the same month. More accurately, Ty moved the studio and I had the baby, but I supposed it was a team effort for both endeavors.
I was really nervous about this move. To start, the timing clearly felt terrible. I was 39 years old and very pregnant. We were moving to a new area of town, which was an unknown. (We’d been downtown for over 7 years!) I thought we’d miss the downtown energy and vibe. I was anxious about going from an exposed brick, open, beautiful, urban studio to a space with drop ceiling and faux wood flooring. What if our clients couldn’t find us? And no more Sweet Pea’s Barbecue right next door… where would we lunch? But the biggest challenge would be a divided studio: the new space in Bearden couldn’t accommodate Ty’s letterpresses. He leased a small space in our friend’s coffee and furniture shop about three miles away. We would have to divide and conquer.
As it turns out, most of my fears were unfounded. With a coat of paint, some thoughtful rugs and display furniture, those faux wood floors practically disappeared. Our clients found us easily, loved the accessible parking, and our walk- in traffic significantly increased. And of course, Chick-fil-a (aka “God’s Chicken”) is literally across the street. Lunch problem solved.
But the dividing and conquering part proved more difficult that we thought. On-press reviews that used to be a walk up two stairs transitioned into a flurry of photos sent through text. Questions were harder to answer on the spot. Everything, from staffing to ordering paper and inks, to post-job communication became more complicated. But we carried on. We loved our little storefront and just had to make do with the complexities of two locations.
Then, this past Thanksgiving, Ty found out that he may have to move. The building he’s subleasing went up for sale and he was told to be ready to move at any moment. So here we were again.
Whenever I study the Israelites in the desert, I’m fascinated. The entire story draws me in. I relate to these wandering people. I relate to how they get angry at God and they complain all the time. It’s easy to point the finger at them (because they can definitely be a bunch of dum-dums throughout their account) but if I look at my heart, I’m not better than them. I’m also prone to complaining. I get sick of “the manna” and I want more. But as if wormy manna, low water supply, and living in tents for 40 years wasn’t enough, there was also the constant moving:
“Whether the cloud lingered for two days, a month, or longer, the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud remained over the tabernacle; but when it was lifted, they would set out.” Numbers 9:22
God was in that cloud, and he was on the move. Always without warning. And those people would just about get settled and He’d go and move again. It could be a day. Or a week. Or a month. I mean, we moved two years ago and I’m annoyed to be doing it again. I can’t even imagine how irritated and cranky these people must have been.
Yes, we’re moving again. We are so excited and tickled to share our new location with you: 5605 Kingston Pike, right here in Bearden. We’ll be nestled in with Est8te, Grow Salon and Firestone Tires, and we couldn’t be happier. This new space will bring printing and design together again under one roof. You’ll be able to see the presses in action (which is mesmerizing, sort of like watching the taffy-makers in Gatlinburg, only less fattening!)
I would love to call this new studio my “Forever Home” but we follow the Cloud, so who knows? And this summer, we find ourselves a bit like the wandering Israelites living in tents—homeless. We have to leave our studio on Homberg by the end of April, and our new space build-out won’t finish up until later this summer. You can find us at the Market Square Farmer’s Markets, Retropolitan Craft Show, and of course, online!
In the meantime: today is the first day of our Studio Moving Sale! Our storefront is currently 25% off on everything… All calendars, wall prints, framed prints, letterpressed City Prints, greeting cards, journals, stationery notes, etc. Everything has to go! Stop by and lighten our load… the less we have to carry in this ‘tent’ from one place to the next, the better.