So, LinkedIn keeps sending me alerts that I normally ignore..however…a few people have been wishing me happy anniversary. Apparently it has been 18 years since I started A Work of Heart. So many memories and such a journey seems just a bit cliche’
I’d love to say I was organized enough to have all the photos captured to present a lovely blog post with images to coincide with all the stages of this business…I have a few but not nearly as many as one would expect knowing my business started out focused on Scrapbooking!
Here is a timeline for those who are interested:
August 1998 – SO into SCRAPBOOKING…seriously..Didn’t want to go the way of many with Creative Memories. Joined my friend Michele von Richter and started “Scrabooking…a work of heart” We designed a logo and had it embroidered on apparel like denim shirts, sweatshirts and t-shirts. We also (my favorite part) started buying scrapbook supplies and hosting crops for our friends.
1999 – Michele went back to work as a classroom teacher and I continued the business of A Work of Heart mostly focusing on selling supplies online (back in the age of free e-commerce web stores) I picked up a gig via my good friend Anne Stubblefield where I started creating custom scrapbooks for one of Anne’s previous employers when she was a nanny.
2000-2002 – Taught scrapbooking classes at both Pocketful of Memories on Bascom Avenue and Scrapbook Mania on Camden Avenue in San Jose. Continued to work for one major client but started taking on other custom jobs.
July 2002 – Husband completed construction on my dream scrapbook room in our garage..a dreamy 12’x12′ space dedicated to my passion and business
December 2002 – The scope of the projects from my one client were so large and time consuming I started sub-contracting out the work to friends. I no longer had space to spread out as I needed in my home studio. Opened the first commercial space of what you now know as A Work of Heart Studio at 1998 The Alameda in San Jose. Spent 18 months there.
June 2004 – The trek across town got to be a bit tiresome for my family. Moved to a space at 1060 Willow Street in the lovely neighborhood of Willow Glen. Sublet part of a business where my co-tenant ran a high-tech business out of the back office and taught martial arts classes in the large adjacent room a couple nights a week.
April/May 2007 – Said co-tenant moved back east and the landlord didn’t let me take over the lease since I really had too much traffic flow with the birthday parties and classes I had started hosting. This was also the year that a customer came in with a copy of “Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine” and my life passion took a serious turn.
June 2007 – Found my current 2196 Lincoln Avenue location and started construction with a potential partner (9 weeks later things didn’t work out) Continued with the plans and brought in ScrapLovers to run the retail side of things. Christina Olson moved her online business headquarters here for 2 years and I continued to offer classes and parties with a gradual shift in focus toward more mixed media and jewelry making.
August 2009 – Christina/ScrapLovers moved out. I continued to expand A Work of Heart’s teaching and retail offerings until it has grown to what it is today.
August 2016 – I celebrate 18 years in a business that allows me to share a place for creativity through teaching classes and collaborating with national and international art instructors. While I’ve certainly experienced all the normal ups and downs of business ownership, I really would not have chosen a different path. I look forward to what is next. I have 10 months left on this lease (yes, I signed a 10 year lease!) and have started looking for a new location. We have simply grown out of our 1800sf. Looking for more like 3000 to give everyone a bit more space to be creative and move around!
Thanks for showing up! A Work of Heart Studio would NOT be what it is today without the faithful loyal customers who have become friends. You know who you are! Thank YOU!!