We recently made some huge changes at Cool Jazz Web Design Studio which included moving our office space. When we started looking for a new location, we dreaded the process. We hate moving. Hate it with a capital HATE. But it was time… so we began looking for the perfect space in Danville.
We were feeling drawn back to downtown, in spite of ourselves. Steve and I both love old architecture and buildings with history … so we began looking for something unusual, something to fit our personalities and the boutique nature of our creative web design studio. That was a big order. It was huge.
We couldn’t find what we were looking for anywhere. We started looking at more “average” spaces, but neither of us liked them. This one was too plain, that one too modern, the next too expensive, the other just didn’t “feel” right.
We both always liked the old church at the corner of Walnut and Third, so we approached Bernie Hundstad to see if he had any available space.
Bernie showed us some lovely office spaces in the old church and offered to take us down the street to another property on Third Street for our consideration. Before heading to the other location, he gave us a complete tour of the entire building.
That’s when we found it. The Bell Tower. It was perfect!
Never mind that the plaster was falling in some places, never mind the hole in the wall, never mind the weird peach color coating the walls, never mind all the work that would be required to make it into our new office. It was perfect… or it would be.
Bernie was a little surprised when we asked to rent The Bell Tower and he reminded us that he had many options in the building (and in other locations) that didn’t require any imagination to see how wonderful they would be.
He was right, of course, the other office spaces he had were lovely, but we had our hearts set on The Bell Tower. We negotiated harder and, finally, he laughed, shook his head at us, and agreed to rent us the space — as long as we realized that using the entry for the Third Street Methodist Church may pose a challenge for clients trying to find us.
We assured him that we were up to the challenge of personally directing our clients into The Bell Tower.
In the span of three weeks, as Bernie worked tirelessly preparing the space for us, we worked day all hours to shut down the old office on Hustonville Road, consolidate all our “stuff” and move our office. It was a challenging time for everyone involved.
Steve and I were both sore and feeling way too old from the physical labor of the move. We had begun adding sound effects every time we stood, climbed stairs, sat down, or shifted position. Our lives were filled with the groans and grunts and sighs of old people in motion. It was embarrassing. Meanwhile, poor Bernie literally cracked a rib while getting our space ready – and he kept working! (I’m not even sure Steve and I were THAT committed to making our move happen on time!)
I don’t know how your experience with landlords has been, but ours has been remarkable at this new downtown Danville location. Bernie actually helped us move some of the furniture that was too big for our truck and he even rented a lift to get the huge conference table into the loft that I wanted to use as a desk.
What landlord does that sort of thing? Ours did!
There are still some things we need to do to polish up our new digs – we still need signage and we will work on that as soon as the dust settles. We have a bit more to do, cosmetically, to our office, but as you can see, in the photo above, it’s lovely. We invite all our fellow Chamber members take a moment to stop by and visit us. We would be happy to show off The Bell Tower; the new home of Cool Jazz Web Design Studio.
Now, if only I can manage to discourage Steve from ringing the bell!
If you are downtown and you hear church bells at an odd time it might mean that 1.) We just landed a new client 2.) We just finished a huge project or 3.) I failed to discourage him… yet again.
When we first saw The Bell Tower, Steve said, “It’s quirky and cool, it fits us perfectly!” And it does!
There’s inspiration here. The atmosphere in our office pulls creativity out of us like silken threads. Innovation flows. It just does. I’ve never been inside a better building in Danville for creative endeavors.
The other day, I told Bernie how happy it makes me to have our office here and he asked me if I knew why. I told him that I was sure it was a mixture of things – the history, the architecture, those amazing stained glass windows… just the unmistakably warm “feel” of the place. I told him that I feel inspired here and that it makes me “seven-kinds-of-happy.”
He smiled and said, “Or it could be 227 years of prayer?” And, you know what? Maybe he’s right! Perhaps that “can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it” wonderful feeling that envelops me when I’m here is, indeed, a two-century legacy of prayer.
All I know for sure is that the “happy” greets me each morning when I arrive for work and bids me farewell each afternoon. I look forward to going to work each day, and how many people can say that?
Initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted our business to be back downtown. But, after being here a month, I can say that I do. It was the right choice for us. We love it. It’s nice to be downtown among other “homegrown” small businesses and business owners and to walk a block or two to have lunch (and occasionally dinner when we work late).
Cool Jazz Web Design Studio has finally found the perfect home — in an historic, downtown building with a unique character that is being carefully preserved and restored by someone who appreciates it even more than we do (if that’s possible.)
Yes, change is hard, but it’s wonderful when it resolves so beautifully.