Small Business start-up, part 2. insulation.

old storefront

early 1900’s to present

Starting my small business: building out the shop space.

First things first, owning and running a small business is great, freezing and paying huge heating bills while doing it is not nearly so great.

Insulation was practically nonexistent despite the building being over 100 years old and located in extreme northern New York State. There have been small businesses in here for most of the past century, imagine the heating costs!

Here is the Insulation plan (so far.)

Ceilings: Roxul.  This is awesome stuff!  Lowe’s sells it and it’s available in several other locations in my area so the popularity must be increasing. It has great soundproofing, it is highly fire resistant, not damaged by moisture, plus bugs and critters hate it. The back ceiling will be two layers of R-15 and the front area will be a layer of R-23 and a layer of R-15. There are videos online showing installation techniques, they helped a lot!

The first layer of Roxul will go in, then the rough wiring, then the final layer of Roxul.

Walls:  Not sure yet. Most of the storefront has great original painted oak tongue and groove walls, I am investigating blown insulation for those areas. The other option is remove the wood walls, insulate and maybe sheetrock before re-installing. Good thing I am not afraid of a little hard work!

starting a small business

Original T&G walls

small business

Original T&G walls showing some crackle

The commercial space has ten foot ceilings so rather than working from a ladder, I bought a rolling scaffold to work from. I am really picky about what tools I buy, this was a solid purchase that has earned its keep over and over.

The original floors are VERY dirty but are mostly intact, the storefront area is still great but there was some water damage in the rear of the building from an old plumbing leak that will require replacement. I don’t think the floors have ever been painted, shellacked, or coated in polyurethane so the work to sand and refinish them will be fairly easy. They are going to be gorgeous!

starting a small business

original hardwood floors.

How I stay motivated.

I have been poring over my Pinterest board: Commercial Space Inspiration  SO many great ideas on Pinterest!  truly endless inspiration from many creative people. If you don’t have a Pinterest board yet, I encourage you to start one. It is such an easy way to organize ideas.  I am also re-reading a couple of my favorite books on the subject of vintage, junking, and shabby interiors to help keep me motivated as I work.

I am itching to start doing the fun stuff: painting, decorating, displays, inventory and such but I must push myself to complete the important preliminary steps!   If only they were more fun!

Are you dreaming of your own small business or maybe in the middle of making it happen? I would love to hear from you!

Side of the road vintage salvage treasure!

vintage salvage

scanning the roadsides

Today I was driving along and out of the corner of my eye, I caught the glint of a piece of mirror from within a pile of wood on the side of the road. I have a great little frame that needs a piece of mirror so, being the dutiful vintage salvage junker that I am, I decided I would stop on the way home and see if there is a piece big enough to cut to fit. I stopped there a couple hours later and this is what I found! Continue reading

Small Business start-up, part 1. the shop.

small business

early 1900’s to present


After many months (years, really) of planning and dreaming about a small business, I am about to embark on my next adventure: A retail vintage shop… hopefully with coffee too!  I will be writing about all the steps I go through to build out and start a small business in this building in a really small town.

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I stole it.

small business

That’s how it felt, anyway.  Maybe 8 years ago, I went to our county’s tax sale for delinquent real estate, it was spur of the moment and I really doubted I would be successful but off I went with just enough cash in my pocket for the required 10% down payment. No checkbook, no credit card, nothing that would allow me to bid beyond my predetermined maximum spending amount. Continue reading

Oversized Wire Spool Clock DIY

Oversized Wire Spool Clock DIY

wire spool clock cable spool oversized vintage salvage how-to DIY

Vintage Wire Spool Clock DIY

There were several old large wire spools here on my farm when I bought the place 25 years ago.  I saved a few that I liked and passed the rest on to others.  The blue and white one is my favorite along with the bright yellowy orange one.  Once I found Klockit and their movements and hands for oversized clocks, I planned my next project: an oversized wire spool clock.

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Salvage stash (some of it, anyway!) Don’t judge!

old wire spools

old wire spools

Click on any photo to view the gallery.