What do all of these have in common? Well, we are all tenants in one small building here on Front Street in Issaquah. This is such a creative, reciprocal, fun environment to be in—people are pretty much always coming and going, and, they are people who value life enrichment—including tea. I don’t have a typical retail space for my Tea Studio—it is very much a studio, tucked inside the building. I took this space because of the diverse collection of tenants, students, teachers and artists.
My neighbor across the lobby to the north is Art by Fire, a glass-blowing studio (www.artbyfire.com) that has an incredible array of glass artists and students creating everything you can imagine in glass. They like to play 70’s music while working so we are frequently listening to Led Zeppelin interspersed with the sounds of an air compressor and a blow torch. It is amazing to sit at their observation window and watch a single glass creation take shape. They also have a retail store up front where I purchased a fabulous hand-blown tea scoop (which is being duplicated so I can sell them in my Tea Studio).
Upstairs is both Kaleidoscope Music and The Spanish Nest. Kaleidoscope Music (www.issaquahlessons.com) has 20 different full and part-time music teachers who share five or six studios and teach everything from drums to guitar to voice to every other type of instrument. They cater to people of all ages and many of their teachers and customers are also my customers. The music studios are above my Tea Studio and I get a variety of music to entertain me throughout the day. Occasionally one of my customers asks for a special Tea Class on Sundays and I have to check schedules with Charles, the owner, to make sure it is not a “rock band” Sunday (it can be a challenge to do a tea class with a rock band playing above).
The Spanish Nest is a Spanish-emersion pre-school (www.thespanishnest.com) teaching non-Spanish speaking children the Spanish language. Some of the “students” look as young as 12 months. The lobby is often filled with the engaging sound of kids singing a song in Spanish, and, parents greeting each other on their way in and out of the building.
There is rumor of a new tenant coming in to the vacant front retail space—a psychic . It will be fun to see how this person adds to the mix.
We all get along well and value teaching and sharing our passion with our students and customers. This is far more creative, fun and interesting than being in the mall.