Dreaming of a Retail Space

Dreaming of a Retail Space- Photography studio retail space
My dream to heal with photography has been quite a ride. It started a decade ago in Orlando, Florida. Then we moved to Colorado and I started over once again.

I moved to North Carolina a year ago and I am (once again!) starting over in a new place.

Throughout the years, I’ve made home studios WORK. I was planning for having kids and it made the most sense. But all along, I’ve always dreamed of having my very own space.

Here was my crazy-if-I-could-have-everything-wish list: a historic building, in a thriving and charming downtown, high ceilings, lots of light, lots of great architecture in the neighborhood to do outdoor shots, and if it could possibly be big enough I wanted to have a vintage store.

Recently, someone who believes in me, said that I would do well with a store front. At first I dismissed it out of hand.

I have a perfectly good studio on the farm where I live. But he has an incredible business-sense and his finger on the pulse of the local market. He kept telling me I could grow. I started to listen and ask questions.

For giggles I looked for spaces online. The entire time I told myself I was insane and that this was a ludicrous idea.

Then… I found THIS.

Dreaming of a Retail Space- Photography studio Built in 1919 as a bank.

Built in 1919 as a bank.

Built in 1919 as a bank, this historic building has been restored. In the heart of the downtown of Mebane, it’s surrounded by charming shops and eateries.

Our downtown is in a state of growth and everything from antiques to night life can be found here. Dreaming of a Retail Space - Corner view of my new photography studio and retail space And I found myself dreaming of a retail space. Something that would make an elegant and fun studio.

I’ve fallen in love with my town. The more I meet people who live here, the more I visit local businesses, the more I fall in love.

I spent a few days going over all the possible scenarios. I got counsel from photographer friends from around the world. I went to my friends and family.

Now here’s the part of the dream process that we don’t often talk about. Fear. I shared my fears and concerns. Some well-meaning people thought I would be smarter to be too afraid to try. And they ALMOST convinced me.

But my very smart supporter set me straight. He reminded me that I’ve proven myself in this business before. All businesses have to evolve over time. This is the perfect time to create the next evolution of my career.

As I thought of the risks I’ve taken over the years and the amazing things/people/places that resulted, I realized that I could totally rock this. If I show up every day and work my tail off, I’ll see results. I’m pretty good at working my tail off when I’m lit by an inspired fire.

So I’m choosing to push past the fear. I told myself that I was allowed to be afraid until the moment I signed for it.

After that, there was no room for fear. Only action.

And since then I’ve packed so much into the hours of the days, I know I’m on the right path. I feel the same joy of discovering how work turns into results as those blissful first few years of learning photography.

To my supporter and everyone who has said they believe in me, thank you so much. I couldn’t have taken the plunge without your support and encouragement. It’s not that I needed permission to do this. It’s that with the last few years I’d lost sight of my strengths. Thank you for reminding me.

And to the well-meaning cautioners: I can’t wait to prove myself. AGAIN.

In keeping with the evolution, I’m tweaking my brand. I’ll elaborate more on that in an upcoming blog. There are lots of details to be worked out. I’d love to find a complimentary business to share the beautiful space with. I’ll blog along the way.

Let me introduce you to my very first retail space.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - The view from the front doors looking across the street. I've loved this Coca-Cola sign since I moved here a year ago.

The view from the front doors looking across the street. I’ve loved this Coca-Cola sign since I moved here a year ago.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - The inside. This is a historic building that has been lovingly restored.

The inside. This is a historic building that has been lovingly restored.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - 3 of these glorious windows grace the space.

Three of these glorious windows grace the space.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - Look at the ceiling tiles and light fixtures!

Look at the ceiling tiles!

Dreaming of a Retail Space - Sigh. I love staring up.

Sigh. I love staring up.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - Floor details.

Floor details.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - My office upstairs is in the old "shooting gallery". It looks down upon the bank floor. Guys used to sit up there with guns so no one would steal money!

My office upstairs is in the old “shooting gallery”. It looks down upon the bank floor. Guys used to sit up there with guns so no one would steal money!

Dreaming of a Retail Space - Upstairs space in my new pinup therapeudic photography studio

Close up of the lovely windows.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - The shooting gallery opens out over the whole space.

The shooting gallery opens out over the whole space.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - New pinup therapeaudic photography studio for Iman Woods

The view.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - The vault! Dead center in the room is where the old vault used to be.

The vault! Dead center in the room is where the old vault used to be.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - Close up of the bricks in the vault.

Close up of the bricks in the vault.

Dreaming of a Retail Space - Iman and Bub approved.

Iman and Bub approved.

Iman

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. info@imanwoods.com Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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  • Jen

    I am so envious of your ability to push past the fear, to not be afraid of success. Wish I lived closer, for I’d love to come see your new place. :)

    • Jen! One of these days we’re going to meet and it will be EPIC. And I made it sound easier in the blog I guess… It’s one foot in front of the other. One little task at a time off my to do list. I knew that if I didn’t give this every last ounce of my strength, it would be a fool’s errand. So I have to choose to stay positive and choose to believe in myself. I believe in YOU lady! I’ve been following your writing for years.

  • wowza yowza! Many congrats! This is a whole new lifestyle – enjoy the ride!

    • Thanks Kerry! Yeah, gonna be a lot of late nights and jam packed days. I usually thrive better on high paced. The farm has been healing, but I got tired of working alone every day. We’ll see how it goes! Thank you!

  • Thank you Kelly! That’s just beautiful!