New space

studio swatches

YOU GUYS! I got a new studio space in downtown Ann Arbor!! I moved all my stuff in last Friday and have been gradually getting everything unpacked and put back together. How fun is this?? So let me give you the big tour: when you first walk in, you see this room (pardon the squalor…still unpacking!):


And then off of the big front room there are two smaller rooms, one where my sewing machines will live (last pic in this post), and the other where the computer-blogging-fabric design-photography stuff will live:

rae computer room

It is a bit weird to see my name on the door. I keep thinking, “IS THIS TOTALLY CRAZY?” but the thing is, nearly every successful endeavor I’ve had in my career as a professional blogger/designer-person has been rooted in some decision or idea that was totally spontaneous, and if “crazy” means I move forward, then I’m going to just take the leap and go for it. By contrast, it seems like when I premeditate or overthink things they always seem to backfire on me. Crazy is a good route for me, I think.

So what am I going to do here? I don’t exactly know. I was thinking maybe I could hire an intern or something to press and fold all my fabric (KIDDING. Sort of)…but I need to really sit down and make a thorough list of things I need done to see if I could truly keep one person busy working for me here (Elli and Jess work remotely in Texas and Missouri, so waaaah, they won’t be able to work with me unless they move, hint HINT). Karen‘s already promised she’ll come and work here with me occasionally, so maybe I can get her to sew for me. And of course my Ann Arbor friends are welcome to stop by!!!

rae newsewing room

I have dreams of it being a place where I could have sewing socials or even teach the occasional sewing lesson, maybe even a class…I don’t know, maybe host small events of some sort. But all that takes quite a lot of work, and because I’m already planning on teaching a few sewing classes at Pink Castle Fabrics at their NEW location here in Ann Arbor this year, the stuff I do here would be in addition to that. For now I’m happy having this be my work space.

Anyway, this is the “before” post. I’ll make sure to show you more photos once I get it all souped up. Do you have any fun ideas for my little studio space? And who’s up for coming to visit me in Ann Arbor?

47 thoughts on “New space

  1. Just another excuse for me to make the 1 hr drive to Ann Arbor. I was at Pink Castle this weekend picking up fabric for my first washi and geranium dresses.

  2. Congratulations on your fab space! Would you mind telling me what type of lighting you use for photos and what back drop… Right now I use the sun and a large roll of white paper clipped on a clothing rack! I’d like to get some “real business person” equipment soon. Thanks!

  3. You know girl, that all 9.85 fingers of mine are at the ready! It’s looking good so far! Let me know when you’re giving in-person tours. So proud of you!!

    (yeah, Crazy truly means you’re heading in the right direction. As yummy as waffles are: they are bad for business!)

  4. Best of luck to you! I’m in Ann Arbor a lot (live an hour away) but I’m going to be in the lookout for your shop. May your creativity be too abundant even for your new space!

  5. Congratulations! I hear you – crazy is a good route for me, too! Ha! Best of luck in the new space, looks fantastic!

  6. Congratulations! That is so cool. Ann Arbor is the coolest. We have family on the east and west sides (of MI), so maybe I’ll get to come see your cool space someday. Yea! I can’t see what you do with this space–great things–I’ve no doubt. πŸ™‚

  7. It looks amazing and sounds like exciting times ahead. It sounds so romantic Ann Arbor, I just wish I could visit that place and maybe I will one day. Where I live in England it is hard to find good Fabric Stores and it would be amazing to live near one.Virtually all my Fabric shopping is done online and while thats very handy, it is oh so nice to browse and wonder at all the beautiful fabrics. My husband was diagnozed with Myeloma last year-which is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow and we had planned to visit the USA. But we cannot get Travel Insurance and so have had to re-think. Sewing has been amazing therapy to me over the last few months and I so enjoy catching up with news on your website. Best wishes to fellow sewists across the pond.

  8. Rae,

    You go girl! Do I see herman miller chairs in your studio?

    Wow, those things are pricey! You sure know how to ergonomically take care of yourself. I’m sooo envious!

    And of your wonderful fabrics of course.

    I want to learn to sew too. Should I take a class at a community college?

  9. Jumps in car, drives 10 hrs to Ann Arbor to apply for intern job, realizes she left 2 children alone at home… Oops πŸ™‚ never thought I’d be sad I didn’t live in Michigan πŸ™‚ so happy for your new space. It looks AWESOME!!

  10. Ooh…congratulations. One thing I wish my area had was something sewing related that appealed to my generation. The sewing stores in our town are a little….older. I think a sewing meet up that would appeal to our age would be awesome!

  11. Congrats and good luck! I’m sooo JEALOUS!!!
    I would so work for you if only I didn’t live in QuΓ©bec…

    If I happen to be in the States and you are teaching in your new space, I’m there!

    I hope this is the best move for you πŸ™‚

  12. Congratulations! Looks like a perfect space. I look forward to seeing the progression of what it becomes.

  13. Wow, great lighting! I know it will be a blessing to you! Really wishing I could stop by your new digs, but that would be a little weird from Atlanta.

  14. Congratulations Rae! This is such an exciting time and it is so inspiring to watch Made By Rae grow. Can’t wait to see more of your new space. xo

  15. This is SO exciting. You’re not a businesswoman you’re a BUSINESS, woman!

    I’ll come stay in your new guest room and sew for you too! :*

  16. Congratulations!!! A huge step and accomplishment. Hoping for great things to come for you! (or should I say even greater :))

  17. Any chance of lunch time sew-ins? I work by Miller and Main, enjoy the blog and hear about you from all the AA Modern Quilt Guild friends. Can never seem to get out of the office to exercise at lunchtime but I might get out for sewing!

  18. Thats soooo exciting Rae! Congrats. I think you should definitly host a few sewing sessions and classes… Then sew 1 or 2 of every pattern you have. Then draft your own and sew those too then share… Then buy more fabric, fold it neatly, organize it by color/ type, sit back and stare at it and have a light bulb go off and sew some more… Sounds quite dreamy! Hahaha. Im so jealous!

  19. So excited for you! I made a similar crazy decision to open a studio in Fall 2011, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Have a fabulous time settling in! We’ll all be looking forward to the pictures.

  20. Congratulations! That is very exciting! – I have family in AA and would love to take a class or come to a sewing social when I visit.

  21. Exciting! Can’t wait to see what you create in your new space. Looks like you’ve got a lot of nice room to stretch out while working. πŸ™‚

  22. Congratulations!!! Look forward to all the inspiration and new ideas that will come from this new creative space!

  23. Good for you! Congrats on moving forward with your plans… Wish Washington state was a tad bit closer… would love to take a lesson, or just drop by!

  24. Wow, looks like a great space… wish WA state was closer… but I probably won’t be visiting anytime soon. πŸ™ Good luck getting it all set up, what a dream.

  25. Hi Rae,
    Great to see this post. I live in Ann Arbor, I would love to come to your studio sometime. I didn’t see an address in this post. Is there so place i can find it.
    And.. Welcome to Ann Arbor πŸ™‚

  26. What an amazing thing, to have such a great space for creating! If you ever have a grown up sewing camp I will be there πŸ™‚

  27. Congrats on the new space, you are living the dream! πŸ™‚ I know Karen through an online group we both belong to; I hope the two of you have fabulous, creative adventures together in this new space!!
    As for ideas, I have a pinterest board dedicated to stuff I’d put in a studio, both inspirational wall art and functional furniture:

    Have fun!!!

  28. I have friends in AA and would love to use a class or workshop as an excuse to come visit!

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