My wife and I are about to move the press out of the house and into a real commercial space. We’ve been debating the pros and cons of shop space vs storefront space. We’d love to know what type of spaces many of you are in and how it works for you.
There’s no right or wrong place to be, it merely depends on your vision, style and ambitions but we’re really curious to see what people across the country are doing. Are you in a garage, a shop space or a street retail space and how does it effect your business?
I apologize if this has been asked already, I haven’t seen it and were pretty new to LoLP.
That said, I presume that your business has risen to the level where it is making enough money to pay the monthly rent of having a commercial space, or that you intend to invest enough effort to create inventory to run a retail operation.
I can certainly see the advantages of having the shop at a different location from the house, the reduction in distractions would be tremendous and allow one to focus more on just printing. I guess the thing I would go for is a storefront shop with living quarters upstairs.
One problem I can see, that I’ve noticed with a local letterpress retail shop: the inability to get work done because customers are always coming in and need to be taken care of. You either will have short retail hours, or a second person to field the customers–or print at night.
I’m in a similar process: I started renting a storage facility to have a “resting place” for my new press and paper cutter until I find a more permanent home for them. Lo and behold, turns out the same facility has front office air conditioned office space attached to a storage area with a bay door. The unit has a front office, a rear receiving area, a place for a design center and what can easily become a press room. Required is insurance. Total cost of electricity and rent monthly is about one third of what more conventional places lease for. Nice parking, near a main road, and it doesn’t look like a typical storage facility. Hopefully, we’ll be in that space by September. Or at least sometime this year.