These past couple of months it's been literally a matter of not enough hours in the day to physically accomplish all that needed to get done to launch the new Clad Home store and website. It's all I've been doing. I don't think I would recognize the inside of my gym, it's been so long, and I'm pretty sure I can't touch my toes anymore. Any social life (sorry friends!) has totally fallen by the wayside while Melanie and I have been putting in long hours at the store. We're days away from opening and I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
For starters, the signage began going up yesterday, which was ultra exciting. The main large wall sign above our glass storefront goes up today and I can hardly wait.
I think this is what the store looked like the last time I showed it to you ... a big, raw, empty, light-filled space that, after some renovating, was a vast improvement over the state it was in when we found it.
Around a month ago we moved our office operations into the space and began amassing furniture, art and decor that piled up around us in an insane jumble that we picked our way through in order to get to our desks. We kept butcher paper on the windows so no one could see our chaos, and spent a couple more weeks toiling over the website (which we'd been working on since last Fall) from dawn 'til well after dusk ... I don't think I had ANY inkling the amount of work and then re-working and re-working necessary to design and launch a halfway decent commerce website. Even working with a cadre of web designers for months and months on end, which we did, it was just about the most tedious, time consuming thing I've ever done.
But launch we did, and although it's not yet perfect and we're still working out some technical kinks as well as adding lots more product, I'm proud of what we've achieved with it so far. We're taking orders and we ship nationwide! (I won't say it would have never gotten off the ground without the help of Melanie and Marc because that would be laughable it's such a massive understatement.)
I'll be sharing much more with you soon about the whole vision behind my new line of upholstery, my commitment to designing quality goods that are locally made and bringing them to you at a really accessible pricepoint. Because I'm a firm believer that we should all have access to beautiful, distinctive design at prices we can actually afford. It's not just a pithy slogan on my website, it really and truly is design for the people!
Along those lines, we've curated quite a collection of artwork for the store all done by local artists and selling at pricepoints from $50 for gorgeously framed photographic prints to $1500 for enormous "statement" paintings, the kind that single-handedly make a room. I'm extra excited to introduce you to this work, and we'll soon be making some smaller (easily shipped) works available on the website as well!
Today is a big deal because all our custom lighting is being installed, and lighting transforms a space perhaps more than anything else. We had some incredible fixtures custom made for us by Park Studio, a local husband and wife team that we're excited to partner with in part because their designs are amazing, and in part because we're psyched to get to showcase more fantastic local LA designers!
I've been scouring the flea markets too and have picked up some awesome vintage lighting that's going to look amazing in my storefront windows. In case you couldn't tell, mid-century is easily my favorite era for lighting design ...
Also being installed today are some big 10' tall modular shelving units I designed with my metal worker. I wanted them to be brass toned like this awesome design, but we couldn't get the color quite right at the powdercoaters (and working with solid brass would have been too expensive.) So I went with matte white powdercoated metal and light-toned natural wood shelves. I have raw concrete floors and bright white walls like this, so I'm thinking it should look pretty good.
Oh and the Clad Home write-up in the LA Times that was meant to come out a couple of weeks ago? The publish date got pushed back, which is actually much better timing for me because it means that the store will be up and running by the time we get that nice dose of publicity. We pushed ourselves so hard to have the new website up and running in time for the earlier supposed publishing date, and then it didn't happen, but the silver lining is that all our toil was not for naught. It meant that we could get that immense project off our plates and focus on to the business of opening up shop!
So this is the week that we pull a rabbit out of a hat and turn a crazy jumbled pile of stuff into a beautiful shopping experience, and next week is our "soft" opening. We'll be staffed and open from that point on, although I'll wait until June or July when I have everything dialed in and looking just the way I want it before throwing our big grand opening soiree. You'll be the first to know!