It’s hard to believe that at the end of this year, Potted will have been open for 10 years. I guess the old saying, “Ignorance is bliss,” really does hold true. Mary and I had absolutely no idea what we were doing or getting into when we purchased this old pottery store and might not have done it if we had. But I guess it’s like having a kid, isn’t it? If you really knew how much pain, sweat and tears raising a child takes, no sane person would ever do it…Boy am I glad I’ve never considered myself a sane person.
Here is December 2004 (that’s my sister Susie waving in the background). Then called Los Feliz Pottery & Statuary, the place was hardly a design destination. Our landlord Andy Sliger (who finally passed at 96) and his wife Ruby ran the business for close to 60 years. Andy was a very sweet and kind man, so much so that we didn’t even get upset when he made our husbands sign the lease too (because we were women) or when he made us redo our signatures because he said they were too messy. Were we really going to explain to a then 92-year-old-man that we were capable women who could sign our own leases (messy or not)? Learn to pick your battles, I say.
Here we are looking from the front door to the back of the store. It’s not even recognizable any more. The door leading to the side yard wasn’t there and everything was just a big mess of inventory. I think it took us almost a year to get rid of all the old things.
This is the side yard. I especially love the lions in the foreground.
And here’s what it changed to circa 2006 (after we hand plastered & glazed the walls, put in a side door, ripped out the dropped ceiling, moved the cash register to the back and got rid of every plaster David we could find). It was a lot of work, let me tell you. And since that time the store has kept growing. We came out of the recession stronger than ever and literally bulging at our seams.
What our receiving area looks like when we get in our Spring pre-buy of Fermob. You almost can’t move in the back. And so…
We have rented the medical building next door (and yes, that means we can use the parking lot now!) But a medical building, you ask?
Well the front room is really lovely and we are going to put our “offices” over here which means that marketing, website and landscape services will operate out of this very cool 60′s reception area (you can actually see through the marble wall on the right.) We’re thinking of making those exam tables into desks but they are virtually impossible to move so perhaps we should rethink. Anyone need three freakin’ heavy exam tables from the 40′s?
Of course every Outdoor Living Store needs their own Laboratory (we really do, actually…how do you think we come up with our new designs?)
And all the exam rooms will now be holding lots more inventory so maybe we will actually have the Fermob chair you want or the Loll table you’ve been coveting without having to wait for them to be ordered (but, you know, sometimes you will have to wait).
What this means for the main store is we’re looking to open up this wall from the front to the back and add almost 400 sq. feet of showroom space. And everything is going to get a facelift (except me and Mary.)
Right now this is what the back looks like (though we’ve already started to take things out). We’re adding a skylight and it’s going to be beautiful. Hoping to be done by October and then we can really start the celebrating. My daughter (because I was not sane and did have a child and Mary was even more insane and had two!) used to say she didn’t have a birthday, she had a “birthday season.” And so we will enter the “birthday season” in December to celebrate 10 years of running this crazy, wonderful business we call Potted with different events and opportunities to celebrate and share our good fortune with you, our wonderful customers.
So stay tuned…