How Did I Get Here?

I’m sitting here at the counter running a resale co-op on Main Street Houston.  How did I get here?

I’m a computer scientist by training, and my working career starts quite a ways back, but I was trying to do iPhone apps full time up until February of this year, when it became apparent that the income stream there was not gonna hack it.  I was in a similar situation in 2002, and I showed up at the Continental Club and helped Pete build the Big Top.  So, this time I came over again to see what was going on.

I was vaguely aware that the 3600 block of main had something going on, so came to see if I could get some mortgage money.  It turned out that the block had been obtained by a small group of investors, some directly involved in the Continental Club, some not.  The old building across from the Continental has been mostly boarded up since they moved in in 2000.  Labor Ready was here for maybe a year, before that other portions of the building had been office spaces.

They thought they were going to tear down the building, but first they gutted it.  When they took out the drop ceilings, they exposed an amazing wood roof supported only by piers in the middle of the building and wood trusses.  So, they decided to renovate it.

When I started working here in March, the place was partially framed; you could pretty much walk freely through the interior.  The plans for a while have been: a restaurant, a resale/vintage shop, a retail shop, a coffee shop, another retail shop (which ended up being Sig’s Lagoon’s new location – moving from the Continental Club building to here), and a combo barber/salon/tattoo shop.

I did various construction jobs here, mostly finish carpentry and fitting and placing windows.  The octagonal windows on Natachee’s (the not-yet opened restaurant) are my favorites.

When we got close to finishing out some of the spaces, the previous management plans for the vintage resale co-op had untangled.  Bob asked me if I’d like to own and run it.  It’s totally out of my realm of experience, but I’ve come to love this block (in the last 10 years), love the vibrancy of the light-rail city scape, and can totally see how great this are can be.  I want to be here and watch it grow into its potential and this seems a great way to do that.

So, though I have no experience directly in Resale, Vintage, or Retail, I think I have plenty of experience in Life and I’m leaning on that for my help in the new venture.  And a few other people who know what they’re doing. Every day is interesting and new, at least so far.

I almost called it Shirleyville, which I wasn’t too fond of for making it about me (it’s more about the vendors we’re getting in to me), but we ended up with Shop-o-Rama.  So, come visit when you can!

I do plan on resuming part-time iPhone development in the future.  But for now the hours I’m covering here only allow minimal effort in that regard.