18 years 1 month

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18

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

1998alameda

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.

1060willow

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.

2196Lincoln

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.

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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!

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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!!

 

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16 responses »

  1. My first class with you was at the Willow St store. I created an altered journal and was hooked! Followed you to Lincoln Ave and have crafted there happily ever since. Congrats for 18 inspiring years!

  2. Thanks Leila! I do remember you coming into the Willow Street studio…I loved seeing you here for your birthday last year!

  3. I loved reading this history! And am so excited that you’ll be looking for bigger space. You’re a true inspiration to me. Thanks for all that you do!

  4. So great to read about the history of A work of Heart, also an inspiration! Glad I found you and I look forward to many more crafty classes 🙂

  5. Didn’t realize that YOU were the “Scrabooking…a work of heart” teacher at the 2000-2002 Pocketful of Memories scrapbook classes that I took and then followed in 6/’04 over to your WillowGlen shop. I remember drooling over the scrapbooks you made for your nanny friend’s employer! Was sad when the WillowGlen shop closed- lost track of you until you popped back up in our lives at our children’s school and we rediscovered you in your new current shop and re-directions of your talent. Looking forward to seeing where it takes you next and watching your creativity continue in your daughters!

  6. I enjoyed reading about your journey, hopefully I’ll get to visit your store someday soon when I’m in California. You have some pretty amazing instructors passing through your doors! Congrats on 18 years, may there be many more.

  7. Andrea, I can’t even remember the first class I took with you but it started me on a journey for which I am eternally grateful for your presence in my life. I appreciate your encouragement and guidance. Your teaching style is so uplifting and allows me to let go of “perfection” and just enjoy the process. I have fallen in love with mixed media and I now call myself an artist. I look forward to the new, bigger space. Thanks for all the wonderful artists you bring to the studio for classes. You are a gift to the world.

  8. Thanks everyone. It is amazing to me how many people I’ve crossed paths with in this business and still feel like it is just the tip of the proverbial “iceberg”. Thank you for your part in this journey. I look forward to many more years in the area. Thank you for your continued support, come in and join us for a class or pick up some supplies from our shop as often as you can…you are vital to the overall success and longevity of this small business. SO GRATEFUL!!

  9. Congratulations on 18 years Andrea! I luv AWOH & am so thankful you are in the area! Best wishes! Corky

    Sent from my iPhone

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