Transformation, part 1

It might not be obvious to anyone visiting the KAMP space in its current condition, but the storefront at 3405 South Jefferson did not always look this way. When we first toured it, the address had been vacant for several years, with the exception of the occasional art show. A lot of work went into transitioning it from where it was to where it is. When you are done checking out the images, be sure to drop in live to shop!

What it looked like on the day we signed our lease (it took a little squinting, but we could see the potential):

An in-progress image by our landlord, South Side Spaces:

Concurrent to the white-boxing going on inside in January, our contractor, Joshua Hines (joshuahines25@yahoo.com) was busy building the custom fixtures for our space. With the exception of our beautiful bag wall and our peg board displays, all of the wood at KAMP was reclaimed from houses under renovation in St. Louis City.

Image of our POS countertop inside Josh's workshop:

While we waited for the space to open for us to move in, our home began to fill up with inventory and store supplies. Here is a shot of our dining room showing less than half of our current stock:

During our planning phase, our leasing company had anticipated to allow us into the space to begin our own buildout in mid-January. This would have been an incredible favor and stress reliever, but unfortunately, the white boxing renovation fell behind schedule (weather was very poor), so we were unable to move in until February 5th. This was the first indicator that our planned Grand Opening date of March 3rd might be hard to achieve.

Image of the space on move-in day (already an incredible transformation):

 

A close-up of one of our super-cool LED pendant lights and original tin ceiling:

Our first alterations were to put up the butcher paper on the windows, and to add the address and label decals:

We had a lot of curious folk outside afterward:

Within the first week, Josh had procured and delivered all of the building materials for our classroom space, and with the help of his team and Jason, the stud walls went up in only one day:

One of our biggest concerns with the February move-in was temperature cooperating long enough to have our ADA ramp installed in time for our Occupancy Inspection. Luckily, a warm spell allowed us to achieve that work, just before the skies opened up to dump another round of snow.

Over the next two weeks, work in the space was performed between the classroom construction and fixture installation:

It finally started to look like a shop!:

One of the last work permits for us to receive was the permit to construct the exterior sign. With less than a week before we were planned to open, our circular logo found its place above our door:

It was around this time, looking over what still needed to be done, both in terms of buildout and inventory preparation, that we realized that we needed to push out our previously planned Grand Opening (luckily, we had anticipated that this might happen and had not sent out any invites yet). Still, for someone like Jason, who comes from a background in art installation and exhibition planning, a delay was a tough pill to swallow. We decided to give ourselves an few extra days and to push out the opening night to the following Tuesday. It wasn't much extra time, and we knew that there was still a mountain of work to overcome.