How did you open your workshop space? I get asked this a lot, so here it is…
If you aren’t familiar with my space or me my name is Lisa and I am an artist and art facilitator. Before opening The WORKSHOP N4 I freelanced with many charities working in schools, youth groups, communities and with large corporate companies for around 8 years. The daily grind of travelling all over London to different locations everyday was taking it’s toll and I was desperate to make changes.
During this time I began working two days a week at the fabulous But First Coffee shop for the amazing Matt and Nic. For about a year I stood making coffee looking out across the road at an empty shop space and day dreamed about having my own space to facilitate the workshops that I wanted to, in the way I wanted to. The shop had been empty for over a year and the shutters were always down. I had little memory of what it looked like inside really, only vaguely from when it used to be a hairdressers. Finally after a little push from Matt, I enquired about the space, only to find out that “YES” I could have it! Woohooo, I was ecstatic and full of ideas and plans. Very quickly I realised that the school term began again in 3 weeks….so I had just 3 weeks to turn the pretty neglected and not so inspiring decor into how I wanted it to look, oh yeah… and also plan all the lessons….and most importantly get some customers to use it!
There’s nothing like having a deadline to make you work hard. I spent averagely 15 hours a day in the shop prepping, decorating, ripping out the ceiling, organising putting in new electrics, buying workshop materials, promoting, talking to locals etc etc. What a hectic three weeks that was, but oh, the best three weeks!
In April this year The WORKSHOP N4 will have been open a full two years! I can not actually believe how quickly the time has passed and how much I have achieved and learnt in that time. No one really tells you that when you open your own business that it will completely consume you, day in, day out, but really in the best way possible. There have been a few bumps along the way, like how much time admin and promoting takes to achieve properly (I really underestimated this aspect). I have absolutely no regrets and I am so thankful for all my friends, family and local community that have supported me along my journey. You are all amazing and you keep me sane. Thank you!