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building our shop in 10 days

On May 30, 2019, Brandon and I signed the lease for what would become our very first shop and the home of Path. Before we signed the lease or even started looking for any sort of creative space, we started planning a cross-country road trip which meant that we had a little over 10 days to get something together before we left.

There was so much excitement centered around this space from the beginning. It was the first place that really felt like our own. We had complete creative freedom, we didn’t have to ask permission, we didn’t have to show up or leave by a certain time. There were no real rules and being two twenty-two year old creatives, that was such a liberating feeling.

The very first thing we did the day we got the keys was paint. We bought a couple gallons of paint and some rollers, touch up spackled and sanded the walls so they were somewhat presentable and then got to it. For whatever reason, we thought dark grey and red were going to be our colors. Not sure what we were thinking, but it felt right at the time. And so, that first day we painted the entire back wall red.

The following day, we rented a U-haul to move everything we wanted from our house to the studio. We moved in a couch and piano, all of my tables and paintings. Our house looked a bit empty after that, but we were so excited to move stuff in that it didn’t matter. That same day, we took the Uhaul to pick up some free pallets we found on Facebook Marketplace.

Music and woodworking were the two things we were most passionate about at the time, they were the two ideas we wanted to explore a bit further and so we decided that we were going to split the space down the middle. One side would be a music studio where Brandon could make music and record artists and the other, a wood shop where I could design and build furniture.

We wanted to divide the space without closing it off. We were so excited to finally be working side by side, and so we opted for a divider rather than a full wall.

We focused a lot on keeping our cost low during this studio build, especially with this trip coming up and so we took those free

pallets that we got from Facebook Marketplace, screwed them together and bolted them to the floor and that was our divider. It was nice because each side had its own feel, its own purpose, but the space overall still felt very open.

From there, we made plans for as sound-proof of a vocal booth as we could make. Neither of us had ever built any sort of a room before, we never even framed out a window and so building the booth was a learning experience for both of us. After a few days, we managed to get a solid frame together.

We framed out a window that would be centered on the desk so Brandon could talk to whoever was in the booth, framed out a door, sheet-rocked, spackled and painted and it looked like it was meant to be there. It was, by no means perfect, but it kept a lot of the noise out and it ended up being a really nice place to go and get warm in the winter when the shop was freezing cold because we had no heat and it was the only spot that was insulated.

After that, we built a studio desk that was modeled after the Danger Fox desks. It was super angular and had openings for racks and audio equipment which was a bit of a challenge so early on having such little experience and so few tools. Again, it wasn’t perfect but it was our first desk. It looked good, we were proud of it and that desk held up for a long time.

We kept things simple on the other side, one work table and a set of shelves. We eventually added a wood rack and a couple more tables. That side started out much simpler, but once things took off the way they did, it was constantly evolving. We were always thinking about how we could maximize our space, how we could make it more efficient.

I was still working at the time and so I’d be up at 7:30AM, work until around 4PM and then go straight to the studio. Brandon would already be there and we would spend hours and hours each night building this place out.

I remember driving to work one morning and being so sore that I couldn’t even lift my arms to the top of the steering wheel. It was an exhausting but exhilarating 10 days, and, in that time, we got a solid foundation built and ready for us when we got back.

Building out this space for the first time really got us into the mindset that anything is possible, that we could build or create whatever we wanted, whether that was a desk or the reality of finally having a creative space of our own.

I remember when we initially set out to build this vocal booth, I had no idea what I was doing, and so I grabbed my sketchbook and looked up how to frame a wall, how to frame out a window and just wrote it out. I did the math, figured out how much material we needed and, once we were ready to start building it, we just took it step by step.

There were things we missed or didn’t do perfectly. I didn’t know they sold 2x4s that were 92” instead of 96” to use as your studs and so when we went to go put the sheetrock up on the booth, our sheetrock did fall a little short. I totally miscalculated one of the openings in Brandon’s desk and so when we went to go fit the racks in there, they didn’t quite fit, and I don’t think either of us thought to measure or count how many pallets we needed for that divider and so we ended up with half a dozen 13’ pallets just sitting in front of our bay door for a couple weeks until we could figure out how to get rid of them.

These are all the harder but ultimately more rewarding parts of throwing yourself so fully into something new. You become comfortable being uncomfortable. You accept the fact that you know nothing or very little and that you’re going to make mistakes. In a lot of ways, you become a student again.

And that can be a very easy position to reject or shy away from, and instead, to sort of stay within the confines of what you already know because it’s safe, it’s comfortable, you feel very much in control. The sooner you realize that you’re not in control, that anyone can do anything, suddenly, nothing seems impossible, nothing’s off the table and you’ve opened yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.

I guess the moral of the story is that there is no ‘right’ time. If you wait to start something until you feel ready, you’ll never start. If you never leave your comfort zone, you’ll never grow.

I know, the more I embodied those ideas, the more my life started to change. I was actively taking steps towards creating the life I had always envisioned for myself, and I wasn’t prepared. I was making mistakes, but I was learning from them.

And now, here I am. I’m my own boss, I’ve been my own boss for the better part of the last four years. I make my own hours, that’s why I’m recording this video at 5AM. I wake up everyday and work on projects that I’m passionate about. And all this started because I realized that anything is possible. I wasn’t afraid of what I didn’t know.

I got out there and I started. And that’s all you need to do. If you have an idea, if you have something you’re passionate about, just start and I promise you, the rest will follow.


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