Shop Talk: 3009 Commerce Backstory
Last week we told the story about our long road to retail. After more than five years of heartbreak, we finally found our perfect brick-and-mortar match in an 1897 brick warehouse in Deep Ellum.
We’re so in love. Like crazy, deeply, madly in love with the 5,000 square foot space. The exposed brick walls. The antique chippy white painted ceiling tiles. The sweeping concrete floors. The history of it all.
Now that you know our tale to getting this space — 3009 Commerce Street — we thought we would share more about it with you.
We purchased the property from Michael and Pat Harding (that’s Pat and me in the top photo). The brothers own a company called Vogel-Bracken Printers Inc. that their father started decades prior on Swiss Avenue in East Dallas. Although I believe they do all sorts of printing, in the most recent years, they printed the labels that wrap around paint cans.
For the past 40 years, they manufactured their goods inside our Deep Ellum warehouse space. Sometime in the ’80s (if memory serves me right) the city of Dallas started metering street parking and instead of paying the fees for the next few decades they purchased the 1,800 square foot space next door that came with a large parking lot as their building had no parking. That’s how our piece of property comes with two buildings and a large lot.
Michael and Pat are the kind of people we all aspire to be. They’re genuine, big-hearted and care about the important stuff in life. When I changed over the alarm system after purchasing the property I called Pat for the code and it was “quality.” Enough said about who these people are, right?
During our option period I was constantly in the building with contractors, realtors, engineers and my trusty little measuring tape. One day Pat brought me a paper bag with a gift inside. It was a black felt hat from his mother-in-law. They got the hint that I like hats and wanted to give me one from her collection. My eyes swelled up when I opened the unassuming bag. This hat will hold the most special place in my heart — and closet — always!
During our option period I saw Pat several times a week. I told him my plans for the buildings and even showed him my mood board and Pinterest pages. We became pals. When we would see each other I would always gush over his gorgeous antique and vintage fixtures throughout. The space was filled with old work tables and items that had been in his family and business for generations. These tables are simply gorgeous and tell the history of the hands and projects that touched them.
With no place to take them post retirement, the Hardings let me have them (I definitely dropped hints that I wanted them from day one). Same goes for the roll paper cutters, shelving units, shipping pallets, flat file cabinets (that’s them in that antique photo from the Swiss Avenue shop!), antique desks and even the doors that came off their father’s old shop on Swiss Avenue. We are giddy to breathe new life into these pieces and turn them into display units, workshop tables and even clothes hanging racks.
We start demolition next week on the space and take our first steps restoring every inch of the warehouse. Keep checking back for regular updates, photos and progress!