Yesterday evening, at 7pm, Angeli and I didn't even have time for a moment's reflection...not for a second did we think.."Will anyone come?" Angeli barely had time to whip off her dirty t-shirt, after having worked non-stop all day, in exchange for the pristine white one with our logo on - matching my own, in several sizes smaller - before our first guests arrived.
Let me recap and savour the whole thing from the beginning again - so far, it's not a long story but it is quite an exciting one. As I may have mentioned in my previous post, only about five months ago, Angeli and I had our first conversation about the possibility of working in partnership. The idea was that a partnership would allow us both to do something we feel passionate about, whilst doing it individually was almost prohibitively expensive and difficult to do. Angeli said she would do it with a bit of a push and I said I'd do it if she did it with me. In the end, we jumped together, believing, instinctively at first and then with growing confidence, that our idea for a joint Art and Yoga Studio was a good one and just what our town needed.
|Large Yoga Space|
|The Art Room|
After that, there was a lot of behind the scenes work.
And a very steep learning curve. Domains bought; websites created; blog pages written. Have a look! I did much of it myself with some help more recently from Angeli's daughter, who, from Madrid, has been a great help as she's a marketing expert. Take a look...
We began to talk about dates and promotional material. And then it was September.
We'd been invited to a Forum for Business in the town - a big, well-attended event, run by the council and with lots of successful local businesses represented. We did feel a bit amused that there we were, as yet untried, but being promoted alongside flagship companies based in Alcala la Real. With our own board of information on display, premises contract still unsigned and our fingers crossed that we weren't getting carried away with our own enthusiasms. The morning of the two day event saw us picking up our visiting cards, hot off the press....
Angeli wanted wooden flooring in her part of the space - warmer and more comfortable for doing yoga. We had a very nervous week as the delivery was held up and with less than a week to go, she got the news that the delivery couldn't be made before the weekend. And I have to say, she was so cool and adaptable when she heard, she was a great advert for yoga as a stress reliever! And in the end, the delivery was made on the Friday - six days before our planned inauguration day - and it had to be unpacked and left in the ambient environment for 48 hours before it could be laid....
|The logo arrived for the window.|
Our logo was carefully attached to the window and the light box outside the door had its new vinyls put up, with our name and the logo.
Tuesday evening, FR came down to put up an old driftwood branch that he'd found on the beach many years ago and which he thought would look good in the window and something to display some of my pictures from.
I unpacked my boxes and pictures and materials and began to make myself at home in my space.
As instructed by Meche, our business advisor, I held back on investing money in new furniture wherever possible - so, looking a little lost in the big space, but still very familiar to me, I brought in a couple of bookcases and my boxes of paper, stamping and card-making equipment and cases of pens, tubes of paint....oh, looks like a spirit level left inadvertently on the top shelf! It was Tuesday evening when I had a mini-crisis as I couldn't find all the pictures I had selected to put in the window. I was convinced I'd thrown them in the bin and that I was going completely crazy...of course, I found them in my car. Just so you know that even when things are going as well as possible, this journey has had its stressful moments!
But so many great things have happened too!
On Wednesday morning, a friend of Angeli's came in with a super-duper cleaning machine, which swept, washed dried and polished everything sparkly and new. I was so very grateful for this as cleaning floors with a mop and water is not my favourite pastime...
Oh, and the ladies of La Hortichuela, a nearby village, arrived. And yarn-bombed our tree!!
We did buy new units for the front of the studio to make a reception area, separate from the Yoga floor. And Angeli splashed out an a wonderful and enormous mirror, which adds great depth to the place. And we took an IKEA delivery....had to. Tables and chairs for me and a sofa for the reception area.
And then, somehow, between Wednesday evening and Thursday lunchtime, with the help of Angeli's two sisters, an amazing transformation took place.
From a clean, empty space, suddenly, we had this magical, special place. I could hardly bear to leave it on Thursday morning, but I had promised Spinach Filo Pastries, Tzatziki, Carrot Cake, FR's tortilla and Sangria for the food table...and only the tortilla was made..
A crazy couple of cooking hours later before I jumped in the shower, only to find there was no hot water...but, it was very reviving just when I needed reviving.
Angeli arrived at the studio just as I did, still busily doing all the last minute things like sorting out the drinks, collecting the documentation and papers we needed for the inauguration - information about classes and hours and the like. She'd obviously never stopped since the morning but incredibly just carried on until the last moment, before whipping off her work clothes and emerging shining and beautiful in the white t-shirts we'd had printed...interestingly by the company that had occupied these premises before us and who were now just around the corner - they did our logo and various other design and printing material.