Happy July, everyone! Hope your summers are off to a good start, and that you have some fun, patriotic plans for the holiday.
Well, Follain officially began “soft opening” mode last week, and we’ve been doing really well thus far—much better than expected, actually. Without telling anyone about the launch (besides friends, family, and NA followers like you), I simply raised the blinds and opened the front door, wondering if a single soul would walk into the store. Much to my surprise—and delight—the neighbors have been streaming in steadily! We've even had repeat customers in the mere 5 days we've been open!
Neighbors are stopping in because they’re interested in the concept, yes, but also because they "love what I’ve done with the space.” In the spirit of full disclosure, you must know that I NEVER would have been able to pull this space off without the help of great, great friends. Read on to meet these incredible people, and to see before and after pictures of their hard work that brought Follain to life.
Step into my new office...
I'm so grateful to all of my friends and family members who put in time to make this space look GREAT. Many, many people contributed to the effort, but a very special thanks go out to the following...
Thank you for painting, Lockwood
An ad-man by day, Lockwood recently left the mountains of New Zealand to come climb around the Follain store instead. He began his painting "career" at the Holderness School in New Hampshire, where he learned the trade from a mysterious man with a handlebar mustache. Lockwood's funny stories, jam sessions, and early morning wake-up calls were all vital to Follain's progress during renovations. Sadly, Lockwood has left us for bigger and better things. He can now be found on a boat launch in Nantucket, but he'll always be remembered for his meticulous attention to detail, his ability to paint to ceilings without a ladder, and his knack for covering up purple paint.
Thank you for building everything, Johnny
Lucky me, my great friend Johnny had the "summer off" before B-school, and was willing to learn a new trade...carpentry. Johnny quickly befriended the local lumber yard, hardware store, and wood shop. Days later I had beautiful shelving, display pedestals, and a custom point of sale station! VERY lucky me! Whether it was picking the best wood, trialing different finishes, or building the best cubbies this side of the Charles, Vandy never missed a beat in the carpentry department. I'd grant him that forestry degree if I could.
LOOK at those pedestals!
Thanks for the expert advice and equipment, Sam
Whenever there was a question about placement, materials, or equipment, Sam was the man with a solution. When I first met Sam he had just built a cabin in Maine...by himself. Fast forward a decade (including many years in the construction and real estate businesses) Sam is now our resident expert on all things building-related. We were lucky enough to tear him away from thesis-writing every now and then, and we always listened closely when he came in and dropped great advice bombs.
Thank you for absolutely everything, James!
A special thanks goes out to James for spending his single week of vacation working on the store, and for spending his weekends here too. Not as a dutiful husband (no...couldn't be!) but as the biggest Follain supporter of them all! More importantly, for providing tons of support at home, for believing in me, and for lending all the amazing advice. I dare say that the consulting internship is already paying off nicely! This man looks just as good in a suit as he does in a dirty jerzy t-shirt with his own face on it!
SO WORTH IT!