A New Beginning: Our New Shop!

A New Beginning: Our New Shop!

By Ryan Herbstsomer, 10 min reading time

     After 7 years splitting an unheated, dust filled shed and a cluttered basement, Autumn Summer has finally found a place of it's own!

     25 minutes down the street from our house, is our new warehouse and office space, equipped with 3 offices, a foyer, restroom, break/storage room, and a full sized shop/warehouse for our woodworking tools. Autumn Summer finally has room to grow!

(Starting to build the work benches)

     Our old shop was in my 12x20 shed, which was not only unheated, un air conditioned, and uninsulated, but didn’t have any sort of dust collection system, which means that we were putting our health at risk each time we worked. Every crevice of the shed was filled with dust, and after just a few cuts on the table saw, the room would be filled with a visible layer of dust. 

     The “office”, which consisted of one large desk and two bookcases doubled as a shipping station, pen assembly area, lunch & storage area, and conference room, was connected to our living room.

     I found myself working on Sunday’s as the Raven’s were playing (what?!) and watching tv in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. Definitely not the most productive work environment.

     Ok, enough of the complaining. That part of Autumn Summer is over, and home life is back to it’s uncluttered, happy, work free origin. 

Preparing for the Move

     The move took a total of about 3 full prep days and a week of actually moving in. Luckily the space was in pretty good shape so the only "big" thing we  had to do was paint over the dreadful "productivity" blue. 

(Lizzie, when paint first hit the wall)

(Fixing broken ceiling tiles, running without sleep)

(After the second drop-off)

     In addition to the 3 feet of snow (snowmageddon) the day we signed the lease, we had a few hiccups.

     Because of the snow the old tenant was delayed in moving out. We had all of our tools packed up and couldn't make a thing, but we we didn't have a space. After the longest week of my life, we finally started to bring things in. 

     After 6 full mini van trips, 7 week, and what I would estimate to be 21 cups of coffee and 7 subway sandwiches, we were finally moved in.

Our new diggs

     Drumroll please… now presenting, our new office space in Westminster, Maryland. 5 minutes away from our engraver. 3 minutes from the post office, and 2 minutes away from downtown Westminster and all of it’s family owned eateries. Whether I can afford to eat there is a different story, but they’re there none the less…

     I personally spend most of my time in the office, which is strategically painted with a coffee shop theme to give that feeling of a startup working from a coffee shop, without someone yelling “large mocha latte” every 30 seconds. 

     I never understood how people get things done in coffee shops. I think it’s a myth. 

(The view from my desk)

     Next, probably the most interesting part, the wood shop/warehouse! The warehouse is twice as big as the shed, and on day 1 I installed a fully powered dust collection system. Three weeks later, the floor looks like that of a fine dining establishment. 

(A shop/warehouse pano, close ups to come)

(90% of our tools. Lathe, band saw, drill press, & belt sander)

     Another small hiccup was the dust collector. When it arrived it took about an hour to set up, and to be honest I was worried to plug it in (I was worried it would be too loud for the neighbors). After a few minutes, I said I'm just gonna do it, went to plug it in, and I got this:

(The Dust collector's plug. What the heck?)

(The dust collector itself)

     Luckily we got an electrician in pretty fast and we were up and running the next day. Considering that was our only problem with the space, I'm certainly not going to complain.

Other Operations

     Before we get too far, I would be remiss without mentioning the most important member of our team: the Keurig.

     When you’re using a Keurig, always be sure to use ground coffee beans as opposed to the K cups. They may save you a few seconds, but it’s a rip off. Just my two cents. Which will save you more than 75 cents every time you have a cup of Joe. You’re welcome. 

     Oh, and speaking of coffee, since we have more room to warehouse our products, we’re expanding our shop! Check out our new coffee mugs from Fire Robin Pottery (coming March 2016). 

     The warehouse and shipping area are in the other half of the shop room. In our old shop we had to ship everything from my work desk, which meant cleaning off the desk each time something needed to go in the mail. I wish that I had a picture of how that went down…

(Shipping supplies...)

(A selection of our inventory)

     Next is our assembly table, which is between the tools and the shipping station. It’s based on a desk from goodwill (again, 5 minutes down the street, it’s great!) that we got for $10. All of our materials are in smaller clear bins, but we also keep boxes of the extras which now fit nicely into the desk drawers. 

(Assembly table w/ pen press)

(Carroll Biz Awards Checks...) 

(Pen blanks read to turn, and other storage)

     You can also see our new pen assembly press, which should save time and blistered hands. Not sure why we didn’t replace this guy sooner, but I’m glad we did. 

Thank you!

(Our photo booth)

     So there you have it! Hopefully now you can understand what goes on “behind the sawdust” at Autumn Summer.

     Thanks to everyone who supported us before and during the move, and thank you for making this possible!


Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Blog posts