There is this American saying:
I think this is so true as sometimes you truly do not know what is best for you. For instance, before the summer I had started to realise that it was no longer possible to work out of our apartment. Bag-all had grown quicker than I had anticipated and we where literally drowning in boxes in our house. I started wishing for another solution for my business (and so was the rest of the family).
The boxes started creeping up on us. First a little:
This used to be Margaux room:
She had to give it up in order for us to get more bags in:
And these where far from all of the bags. A major problem for Bag-all had been constantly selling out of styles. This might sound like a “luxury” problem, but really it is very bad and hurtful to the business when you are unable to accommodate orders. So, in order not to sell out this Christmas I had made a gigantic order this summer.
Here is me with some of the 88 boxes that came in this shipment.
Clearly these boxes could NOT fit into our apartment. This had gotten out of hand and I needed to find a solution – quick!
When I looked into getting an office I realised that the rents in New York City, for the type of space I would need where astronomical. So, the next option would be to get a store space where we could work, hopefully sell some bags to cover the rent and most importantly meet our customers! There is nothing more valuable than to get the input from you all! You tell me what you want and I try to make it happen!
So now to the part of: Be careful what you ask for – you might get it! Or not if you are lucky!
After getting back from Sweden this summer number one on my todo list was to find a store space. I knew exactly where I wanted to be: in a very small area in Nolita (between Houston Street north and Spring Street south and Lafayette Street west to Elizabeth Street east). Only in this little square could I picture my store. So, I walked around in this area to see if there where any spaces available.
There it was: my dream space!! Just look at that old store front! I love everything old and worn with character. I wanted this space sooo badly!
I contacted the broker and we went through the whole process of getting the lease. This is not a small task I can tell you. Especially for a new business like mine where I can’t show years of money coming in (I have no investors in Bag-all, we have built it from the ground and up my husband and I). I worked so hard to get this space. And then – like a miracle – they accepted me. The broker called and congratulated me. The landlord had accepted Bag-all as a tenant and my offer (the amount I was willing to pay in rent).
We celebrated! Where so happy! I took the girls there to proudly show them our new shop!
But the days passed and the landlord did not send me the lease to sign. I keep calling the broker asking where is the lease, what is going on? But he reassured me that it was all fine and normal. “Things like this take time”, “the landlord is out of town” etc and so on. I had this incredibly uneasy feeling. I was telling my husband Micke that I could feel that something was off in my whole body. (With age I have learnt to really listen to what the body tells me, even more than what my head tells me.) And then finally, two weeks later he called me and told me that they had decided to give the space to someone else.
I was sooo disappointed and devastated. I had wasted all this valuable time. We where drowning in boxes at home and I was no closer to a solution.
It is at times like these when you have to remind yourself that:
Problems are not stop signs, but guidelines!
So, I picked myself up by my boot straps and did what I should have done all along: called in a pro. This pro was so close that I had actually kind of forgot about him, but the guy that owns the building we live in also is the manager of one of the most reputable real estate broker firms in New York: Corcorans. He put one of his best commercial brokers on my case: David Graff.
We then found the space on Mott Street.
It didn’t have the character, but it did have something even better: SPACE!!
It has the basement where I can fit in tons of boxes and bags. I can even fit in an office in the back of the store. None of this would have been possible in the store on Spring Street. It was 350 square feet (35 kvm) in total. The space on Mott is three times bigger and as a miracle it is the exact same rent!
Now I am SO HAPPY I didn’t get the space on Spring Street! It wouldn’t have solved my problems at all really.
See I asked for that space, I really wanted it, I almost got it, I was super disappointed – and it was the best thing that could happen!
Have a great Sunday people!
Today we started a pop-up Bag-all store in SEIBU Department Store, at the flagship
store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. The pop-up will be open for two weeks, so if you are in Tokyo stop by and say hello!