Thursday, May 27, 2010

Janus Home is MOVING!

Yes, you read that right - Janus Home is packing its proverbial bags and boxes and hitting the road. Don't worry, we're not going far - to a different quadrant of the city, yes, but only 10 minutes (OK, 15 in traffic) from our previous location. So, where are we moving? And, perhaps more importantly, WHY are we moving?

To be honest, the main motivating factor is a reduction in overhead. After some serious thought, we decided that we didn't really need all the space that we are paying for in our current location, and that overall, the business needed a re-org. After looking at several potential new spaces, one in particular kept our attention for longer than the others. For one, it's half the price of our current space (and less than half the space, but more on that in a minute). For two, it's located on N. Mississippi Ave (for those of you non-Portlanders reading, N. Mississippi is a hip, happenin' little shopping district that has become extremely popular over the last few years). The best part is that it's not in the busy retail core of N. Mississippi (there's no way we'd be able to get a decent sized space for the price we want to pay anyway), but in the slightly more gritty, still rather industrial area, 4 or 5 blocks south of the main retail core. If you're wondering, the actual address of the new space is 911 N. Monroe St, which is located on Mississippi Ave, 3 blocks south of N. Fremont St.

Now, about that whole "less than half the space" thing. Our current space, counting the upstairs mezzanine, is about 6000 square feet. The new space is...(drumroll, please!)...about 2000 square feet!! Yes, that's 1/3 the space! So, how are we going to fit our entire operation into a space that's 1/3 the size of the old one? Well, truth be told, we haven't really made terribly efficient use of all that square footage in the current space. The upstairs balcony - well, we never really knew quite what to do with it. And the back warehouse? Well, it's certainly been convenient, but it also made it just a little too easy to buy things that maybe we shouldn't have bought, with the thought - "oh, we'll do something with it someday - and in the meantime, it's not like we're short on space!" This has contributed to us accumulating a whole bunch of stuff in the back room that has lots of potential, but that we haven't actually been able to sell!

Plus, our current location on SE Grand Ave, while very centrally located and relatively easy to get to (that is, when the city isn't busy tearing up the entire neighborhood with construction projects, which it has been for the last 6 months or so), was also very hard to see, and for some reason didn't stick in people's mind very well. I don't know how many times people came in the door saying "I've been driving around for 10 minutes trying to find this place!" Hopefully this will not be the case with the new location, as the building is very visible from the street, and we will have good signage on the building as well as sandwich boards out on the street when we're open.

So, apart from the fact that it's much smaller, how will the new location be different from our present one? Well, the main thing is that due to the obvious space constraints, we are going to be MUCH pickier about what we buy! This means that we will be buying fewer things, and consequently, the things that we do buy will have to carry that much more weight! This means that we will no longer settle for buying a piece that's "just OK" (and not totally fabulous) just because it's cheap. This means that, to a much greater extent than we already have been, we will be doing what I refer to as "exercising our 'NO' muscle" (as in, saying "no thank you" to something that someone's offering to sell us if it doesn't quite meet our standards).

In addition, the new shop will operate more as a working studio than a retail store. We will only be open 2 or 3 days a week (yet to be determined), and other times during the week by appointment. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost is that the new space is not actually a retail space. There are no windows to Mississippi, and it's zoned industrial. One enters the building from the rear (facing Monroe St), and rings a buzzer to get in (the entrance is shared with another shop that is strictly a workshop with no retail at all), except on days when we are "officially" open, when we will likely have the door propped open during business hours. Also, we've always felt that operating on a limited retail/by appointment basis would allow us to spend more time consulting with each client without distraction, and helping them to realize the best pieces for their specific situation. We will, of course, continue to grow our online sales as well, focusing more on our own newly re-launched website and less on eBay.

IN THE MEANTIME, please make some time to stop by our CURRENT location, as we have lots of stuff to get rid of before the move! All warehouse "as is" inventory is currently out on the showroom floor, priced as marked, and all regular priced inventory is 25-50% off regular prices! Maybe best of all, we have hundreds of yards of upholstery fabrics that we have reduced to only $5/yd! The sale will continue through at least June 15th, and possibly for the week after that. If you want to keep apprised of everything that's going on with the move and the grand opening of the new space, please go to our website via the link above and sign up for our newsletter! In the meantime, we hope to see you at the sale in the coming weeks!


Anonymous said...

Hi There,

I was hoping for some advice. I am having a bench built opposite the kitchen and wanted to do walnut (all my furn is walnut) but I know that it gets alot of fine scratches (maybe this is a problem with veneer vs. solid walnut?). Is teak a better option for durability? Is solid better than veneer for durability?

Appreciate any advice. Thanks. Mandy

Janus Home said...

Hi Mandy,

Sorry I didn't get to this question sooner, I haven't looked at the blog for awhile! Anyway, to answer your question, I think that walnut and teak are about the same in terms of durability. How many scratches it gets would depend almost entirely on the type of finish that you put on the bench. A good lacquer or polyurethane finish should give you the maximum durability. For average everyday use, I would say that solid wood and veneer really wear about the same. Technically, solid wood is more durable, but it's also A LOT more expensive - especially Teak, which these days is one of the most expensive woods out there due to trade embargoes with Burma, where most of the teak in the world originates.
Good luck with your project, if it hasn't already been completed!

Cristine Orzel said...

not sure if you are still getting email messages using this blog? but I did want to know if there were a way to send a photo or two of our new dining chairs (middle of refinishing them ...just teak oil not painting the gorgeous wood :) but wondered if you might be able to a) see if teak or walnut? b) any thoughts of who might have made them?

We have 8 - 2 with arms and 6 w/o