Blog Kickoff: the Narwall HQ
Well, here we are. It's 2018 and to kick off the new year we're starting a blog! I'm Paige; my husband, Nate, and I are the team behind Narwall. If you haven't read our "about us" page, start there. Narwall has been in business for four and a half years and this blog has been on the list of things to do because there is so much that I've wanted to document. That's four years of blog ideas stewing around. So get excited!
We get questions every so often about where we make the Narwall products, so to start I wanted to show you inside the "headquarters". We don't get much traffic at our store-front because we're tucked away in the corner of a shopping center. But that's okay because it's usually crazy behind these doors. And if random people stumbled in on our creative process (which involves loud music, scrap wood, and an unimaginable amount of paint cans) they would probably run far, far away. Sometimes a mess should only be seen by its creator, am I right? That being said here is the cleaned up version:
When you walk into the shop your eyes go up to the high, wood planked ceilings and the floating lights (they're called Mooi Random Lamps; found at an estate sale in Atlanta*). From the outside the last thing you're expecting is tall ceilings and an industrial vibe, so people walk in and follow with an "oh wow". The space is basically one large room with a side office which holds our machinery, a computer, etc.
*Forget our wedding or the birth of our child. The day I found those light fixtures was the best day of my life. Kidding, of course!
Black chandelier is found here.
Since we don't get many customers walking through our doors, one of my main objectives when setting this place up was to make it comfortable. Bringing in a couch was an absolute must and that is easily the most used spot in the studio. I sit by the windows with my laptop and design cut files and respond to emails for hours on end. I'm pretty sure our postman thinks I'm a potato because without fail every time he walks by to drop off our mail, that's where I happen to be. I'm working, Mr. Postman! I promise!
Moving on... the white door on the right leads to bathrooms that are shared with our awesome girlboss neighbor: a nutritionist (Fireflower Wellness). When I first moved into this space and realized that the five (I repeat, FIVE) neighboring businesses were singlehandedly run by women that was pretty exciting.
As you know, we make stuff around here -- sometimes just for fun and sometimes to pay the bills. But so you understand the level of thriftiness we've got going on, here is a run down from the one photo below:
1. The glass door with the white frame was found at a second hand shop. A fresh coat of paint and some makeshift hardware turned it into a modern "barn door" which slides and closes off the office.
2. The chalkboard was originally a huge cork board that we bought from a garage sale, and then we covered the back side of the cork board (the smooth side) in this magical chalk board paint. That stuff is seriously the best. Add some colorful chalk and some Nathan Walker, and you'll get a cute elephant drawing that you'll never want to erase.
3. I'm not sure if you've ever looked for a LARGE work table that also has storage, but they're kind of hard to come by without spending a small fortune. So we made one by laying a 4'x8' piece of birch plywood on top of this metal shelf. It makes the perfect work area. And conference table. Lunch spot. Packing and shipping station. The shelves come as two separate pieces that you can either place side-by-side or stack. We placed them side-by-side to use as the base of the table, and the whole thing was super easy to "build".
4. We originally made the big Narwall sign as a booth backdrop for a craft fair. And it may not look like it, but making that thing took some serious brain power because it had to tick a lot of boxes. It needed to be about 8 feet tall, safe (not tip over if someone leaned on it), and it couldn't take up much space. It also needed to be lightweight enough for two of us to carry and assemble. Bonus points if it could roll, and it does. Without getting into too much of the construction details, we ended up mounting three hollow core doors on top of a base made of 2x4's and some heavy duty casters.
Long story short, we DIY around here.
We're in the middle of completely renovating our house, and our hands are all over those projects as well. Actually as I type this Nate is outside finishing up my Christmas present - a deck in our back yard. Considering our original careers were interior design (me) and architecture (Nate), we're so excited about having our own little fixer upper. There are some pretty awesome before and after shots that you may have seen in our Instastories.
I guess we'll wrap it up there. This is a fun little place to work, and sure beats the garage we were working from prior to moving in here. If you're in the area, feel free to stop by. Look for the orange whale with the horn (ahem, the narwhal) and you'll know you're in the right place.