In 2016, we contracted with our Amish friends to tear down our old rotting barn and build a wonderful studio space to house Penny's quilt design business. Her company had grown tremendously over the 8 years she has been in business, and it had taken over the entire house. So we needed space! The entire construction of the new studio shell took 6 weeks from start to finish, and the results are spectacular. We were left to complete the interior ourselves.
Unfortunately, half way through the build, Penny landed in the hospital with what we thought was just exhaustion, or maybe a nasty bug. After many tests, she was diagnosed with SEID, System Exertion Intolerance Disorder, a form of Chronic Fatigue. Now, Penny will be the first to tell you that she always thought that Chronic Fatigue just meant you needed to get more sleep. But she quickly learned that it's so much more than that. It can be a scary thing to not be able to control your body when it wants to just shut down on you. We experienced this on the road once while doing a show in Connecticut. We were worried, but Penny didn't want to give up on her dream.
We continued working on the building and the business throughout 2017, installed the boiler system, insulated and prepped the walls for drywall, installed the service box and ran the electrical system, installed the garage door, lights, just to name some of the accomplishments. At the same time, we did 13 shows across the eastern United States and Mid-west, meeting so many wonderful people along the way. We visited Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina.
Well, it was all too much. Penny's health declined to the point that she couldn't work. We decided that her health was more important and we shut down her business at the end of the year. It was a devastating decision, but necessary. And with that, we kind of stopped work on the interior of the building.
But, you know how they say that every cloud has a silver lining. Well, our silver lining is around the corner. We've been offered a tremendous opportunity to take over an existing sewing machine repair business, very well established in the area, as well as transition classes from a closing quilt shop whose owner is retiring. But, we need to get the studio done. Penny is feeling better, but still can't work like she did and her business closing has left our budget in shambles, so we need your help to finish what we started.
Your pledges will help us finish the interior of The Studio, purchase tables, chairs and electronics for the classroom, and install a kitchenette, so visitors can grab a cup of coffee and relax on the beautiful porch. The Studio will offer classes of all kinds, showcasing the tremendous artistic talent we have here in Western New York. We already have teachers and students waiting for the space to be finished.
In addition, area artists will have the opportunity to rent "maker space", a pop-up shop, so to speak, to come to The Studio, set up a booth to showcase their art and wares, and give demonstrations or classes. The Studio will promote and market each artist to bring customers in, giving these independents a place to show their work and conduct workshops.
The Studio is going to be a place of creativity, fun, learning, and adventure for all ages. Help us finish the dream! We have a bunch of great rewards, something for everyone, so we hope you'll take advantage. With your help, it can become a reality!
Risks and challenges
The opportunity we have been presented with has a finite timeline - and with doing all the work ourselves, we may run out of time. This would mean that we would have to hire outside labor to get The Studio done in time, and that would impact the completion budget. We have prioritized what has to get finished for the customer facing activities, and those will be completed first. The "back office" areas may remain unfinished until funds are available to complete.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)