As many of you know, our expansion/relocation took place this past September. Now that I've been in our new location for about 4 months, I'd like to share with you my thoughts and tell you all about the journey!
One Rose Decor's first retail store was located out of a vintage 1940's motel. What originated as a motel, then became my grandfather's real estate office (Hubbard Real Estate) until he passed away in 2010. I joked for years to friends, family, and even strangers about my dream to repurpose it into a store. Most people looked at me like I was crazy. I got the "eye roll" more times than I can count. I even laughed myself most times I spoke about it.
One of the first photos taken of the building.
It was a far-off dream for many reasons. Mostly because it was TINY space. It had the history/story behind it that I longed for. But it was a small space. Not to mention I was only 18 years old when I started having the vision for this place. Barely even a legal adult. When I say today that I had no idea what I was doing when I started 1R, I mean it. I was going by instinct and what felt right in my heart.
At the age of 22, when I had the opportunity to finally pursue my passion and turn this special place into the birthplace of One Rose, I was over the moon. The small shop at Grove Rd quickly turned into my paradise, my customers' happy place, and a sanctuary for so many.
My father and I at my first grand opening September 11, 2017
The smell, the creaks in the floors and walls, the feel, the atmosphere of it...I fell in love with all of it's quirks when I was only 2 years old.
Me at 2 years of age (1996) standing with my grandfather at what would later be my checkout counter.
I was tempted on a daily basis to rent your everyday retail space in a "normal" shopping center. Something with more space and more visibility. Traveling from home to work every day, I would pass countless cookie cutter shops that were screaming to be rented. I can now attest to the fact that you don't have to be seen from the road to be successful.
But nevertheless, I held on relentlessly to my purpose and my overall dream. Nothing about One Rose Decor is cookie cutter. The history behind this little old motel was too bitter sweet and just downright AWESOME. I couldn't leave.
Let me tell you, in a competitive industry such as this, (and in the retail business in general), it is a constant battle to "separate yourself" and be "different." I recognize something good when I have it under my belt, and I hold on to it like my life depends on it. Day by day, our inventory grew, our foot traffic grew, and our vendors multiplied. I was forced to find a bigger space for retail. But I couldn't bring myself to cut ties with Grove Rd. I had to find some way to hold onto this old place.
The shop at its' absolute fullest! (Fall Open House 2017)
It didn't hit me until everything was out. My little shop at Grove Rd was empty and I would be lying if I didn't tear up when I stood back and looked at it. I struggled to keep a strong face for my customers and my family who supported every choice I made. But I spent many nights sitting on that empty floor going through old photos of my grandfather. It was bitter sweet, but I can't shake the feeling that my he is by my side with every business decision I make. His never-ending determination, work ethic, and sheer willpower has followed me to my new store. I feel it every day I switch my "open" sign on.
The shop as it stood empty after clearing it out before its' transformation into a classroom.Exactly one year after opening that first store at Grove Rd, I closed the doors and opened for business at our second location and Grove Rd was transformed a month later into our classroom. I naturally had to keep the Hubbard Real Estate sign mounted on the wall as a constant reminder to stay motivated.
Me changing my sign to say "classroom" and the classroom as it is set up and ready for action!
I fought to make our new space have that same "character." Going from authentic wooden beam ceilings to an office-like drop-in ceiling was killing my "reclaimed" vibe. I sat on the floor at the new shop for hours on end. Just listening to music and staring at the ceiling. Friends and vendors would come in and say "stop standing around. Get something done!" What they don't realize is that half of my creative process is literally just standing around...looking....and thinking. It was during these sleepless nights of renovations that I truly fell in love with my new space. With every wall that got painted and every ceiling tile that went up, I could feel One Rose coming to life in a new way. It was a move that had to be made and has allowed 1R to take off more than I could have ever imagined.
After days of taking down ceiling tiles, taking down insulation, spraying the tiles with grey paint, then putting the insulation back up, and putting the tiles back up...
I finally had a pretty awesome ceiling!
The ceiling finally completed with repurposed windows and string lights!
Other renovations included, taking down a wall, adding a new wall, scraping up not one but three layers of old tile flooring, painting the walls...
And adding my beloved pallet wall!
The pallet wall completed!
My new slice of paradise on Huguenot Rd. was surely becoming home to One Rose Decor. And the old shop was slowly making its' transition into the official classroom. As a tribute to my grandfather and his Hubbard Real Estate legacy that he left behind, it is my personal goal to never give less than my all, stay true to my morals, and run a successful and HONEST business that brings genuine inspiration and joy to everybody who shops our store or takes one of our classes.
If you haven't checked out our hand-lettering and paint classes that we offer, click here for dates and more information!