So How Did We Get Here?
So, it's open-day 2 and I'm sitting in the shop, doing some research (always on the hunt for new Canadian Artists and Makers - know any? Drop me a line) and it occurs to me this - this - is our new life.
Like many new attempts at reinvention, it's never a straight-line. We both came out of the non-profit sector in Toronto, went to Calgary for two years to work/run a performing arts centre, then wanted to head back to Ontario, missing kids, friends and family. Not wanting to go back into Toronto because of expensive real estate, and not wanting to work for other people any more, we had to come up with a plan.
Prince Edward County is steeped in history, food, art, wine and culture. It's got charm, an obvious and important relationship with the land, and while there are families who have been here for generations, there are newcomers, of all ages, also with the desire to do something new. To do something that contributes to the culture already present here. To live differently. It is a special place, with a real community and sense of belonging, and after a few visits it became a no-brainer for us. Here is where we wanted to be.
So we set about searching for a home with our fab realtor, Shannon. Our initial idea was to open a B&B, but from what we could see the County was saturated. But even the B&B plan included the handmade shop and workshop components. so we decided to focused on just that.
Funny, one of the first places Shannon showed us was the one, months later we ended up at. In the heart of Bloomfield, the property had a home with enough room for our family and friends to visit, and a coach house, once a gallery, where we could realize our plan of opening our own gallery shop. Great restaurants and shops were just down the road, yet it was still beautifully set within the landscape.
We unpacked our boxes in one space, renovated and shaped the other, at the same time. On a shoestring budget. But sitting here, with the open flag flapping in the breeze on the driveway, beautiful handmade objects all around, it was all worth it. This is life now and it is lovely. Pinch me.