Who knew constant change would be our theme for 2019?
When Thomas and I started meeting together about merging our two businesses in late 2018 we looked at multiple options for where to begin for office space. When we found out about the little office above Pike Road Family Eyecare coming available, it was an easy decision.
Office spaces in the community of Pike Road are rare. In this one, we only had to sign a one-year lease. At 250 sq feet, it was plenty enough to hold the two of us and maybe up to 3 others crammed in there.
By May of 2019, it was just that, 5 of us crammed in an office. Dr. Nicki Hill, who owns the building, allowed us to move down the hall and change spaces with the conference room. This added an additional 200 square feet. And as soon as we moved in we added our 6th employee.
Change To The Vision
Later that month we took a trip to Atlanta as a staff and visited the headquarters for MailChimp (one of the tools we use to help clients with email marketing) – better known as the Ponce City Market. It’s a great mixed-use development between retail and businesses using a repurposed Sears and Roebucks Building. We knew that our plans were for continued growth and basically decided at that moment that when it came time, we wanted a space like that. We wanted to maintain our open office concept but in a redeveloped old space.
The only thing was – we love Pike Road. 2 of our 6 employees live in Pike Road. 2 of the other 4 are currently building homes in Pike Road. To say we are ingrained into Pike Road would be an understatement. Before we could feel peace with leaving we had to exhaust our options. Our search was extensive in the community, but an open office concept that would allow us to grow was nowhere to be found.
If we couldn’t be in Pike Road, then we wanted to be in Downtown Montgomery and be part of the rebirth of that area. The first space we affectionately called the dream sadly fell through. Our second choice ended up bringing a new player into the location options by sheer accident. Seriously, we found our new office space in the most bizarre set of circumstances that I’ll share at a later date.
Finding the New Office Space
When we walked in the room filled to the brim with furniture, boxes and lit by outdoor string lights across the ceiling, we knew it was for us. The entire building had been redone by Foshee Architecture and they occupied the 2nd and 3rd floors of it. It was open, exposed brick walls, and old recently resealed heart pine floors. Was it perfect? No. Was it what we were looking for? Absolutely. Change was in the air!
The building was built in the early 1800s from the best we can deduce because of the historical pictures we have located so far.
The longest tenant was the Parker-Sledge Hardware Store from the 1920s to 1990.
While researching the previous tenants I was able to connect with Richard Bailey. He is the son of the last owner of the Parker-Sledge store. Richard lives out of the country currently but will be in Montgomery this summer. He’s very anxious to come to see the old store and what we’ve done with it. We’ll be sharing all about his visit on our social media and blog!
We’ve also received permission from Richard to use the old Parker-Sledge logo to pay homage to the previous tenants. We have some great ideas that we plan to put in place to make that happen.
We moved all of our equipment over on Friday, Nov. 29 and as of today, Monday, Dec. 2 we are in our new office at 19 South Court Street, Montgomery, Alabama.
Our New Office
The change just happened so we’ll be sharing inside pics soon on our social media channels. When they are posted you’ll see that we’ve installed new lights throughout the building. We created a unique meeting space with a great chandelier hanging over the conference table that was built by JF Designs owner John Fricks. John also built our reception desk, kitchen cabinets, and employee break area.
We have an awesome sign that our team spent Friday painting to get ready for the opening day that sports the phrase you see at the bottom of all of our sites “Made with ♥️ by Dogwood”.
Our expo display was also repurposed and used in different areas of the room as accent pieces.
We plan to hold an open house in January where all will be invited to our offices so you can come by to see it yourself. Be on the lookout for that date and we hope you’ll make plans to come!
In the end, it’s a place we can grow as a company for many years to come and we are excited to be in downtown Montgomery. If you had asked me a year ago how much change do you foresee in your first year, I would have never guessed this much. It’s all been very exciting with the end result being a new place for our business to continue to grow.
Pictures are from the digital archives of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Click on them to be linked directly to the archives where you can check out more images from Alabama’s history.