Woah! I can't believe it's already been six months since we moved into the new Curbly studio space! I wanted to check in and give you an update on how things are going so far. Moving into this space was one of the biggest changes that has happened at Curbly in the last five years, it was the first time we've had a real, legitimate office space for the business.
Taking on this added expense was a little anxiety-provoking, to be sure. Not to mention all the little responsibilities that come along with having a 1,500 square foot office to furnish and maintain. Guess who mops the floors, takes out the trash, and waters the plants?
But having the extra space has been inspiring and useful in many ways. Within the first few weeks we completed a project that would've been almost impossible to pull off in our old space. Then in September we threw an office-warming/birthday party that proved the studio can work really well at hosting small events, which is something we're interested in doing more of.
We found a couple of great studio-mates: Ande Lund and his experiential marketing agency, Clamor, are using about a third of the space. Ande's a resourceful, creative thinker, and a lot of the work we do with brands overlaps with his areas of expertise, so we're excited about collaborating in the new year.
Our friend, and phenomenal photographer, Melissa Oholendt, is sharing the rest of the space with us. We first worked with Melissa when she photographed the Curbly House for our makeover project with Emily Henderson; she also shot our previous (tiny) studio for us, as well as our Christmas card last year. We're thrilled to have her, and can't wait to think of another project to work on together.
And as if that wasn't enough, we've taken a few other big steps: this week, the newest member of the Curbly team, M.E. Russel (pronounced like 'Emmy'), started working out of our St. Paul studio. We connected with M.E. via her Instagram feed, which, when I first saw it, and noticed she was local, made me think: "Holy cow, I wish we could hire her!"
We reached out and were blown away when M.E.'s response was, basically, "Holy cow, I wish I could work with them!" M.E.'s going to be blogging (her first post went up this week), helping out with our Instagram account, doing video, and probably a million other things (sorry, M.E.). We're beyond excited.
Earlier this year my brother, Grisha, started pitching in at the office as well. He's been working to help grow our revenue (think: affiliate links and sponsored posts). We even used him as a guinea pig for a Friendsgiving guide we did for ManMade. He's great to have around, always up for a challenge, and a positive presence in the office. Plus he always has a cat GIF or two to post on our Slack channel.
Finally, and probably most impressive, Alicia (along with her business partner and friend, Molly) has pulled off two hugely successful Niche MN pop-up boutique events in the space. Over the course of two weekends in October and December, Niche drew more than 400 people, got noticed in several local publications, and sold out of nearly all of their inventory! Not bad for a first attempt and retail. I think you'll be hearing a lot more about them next year ...
So far, having a big, permanent space to work in has proved to be really inspiring and rejuvenating. I can't wait to see what happens in the next six months.