a big moment: a new home in the pencil factory

by Grace Bonney

For the past eight years, I have been running Design*Sponge from the deeply recessed divot in my polka-dotted couch. It has happily been my own personal headquarters since the beginning, but just as I’m not the same girl I was when I started D*S, neither are my working needs. Slowly and organically, D*S has grown to encompass more than just my own design ramblings but also those of a small team of talented design enthusiasts who inspire and support each other with new ideas. As much as I love having a cat by my side all day, over the past few months, I’ve felt the urge to interact with actual human beings on a more regular basis, especially those I work with here at D*S. So it was a really exciting moment yesterday when I heard from our rental agent that our application for our very first Design*Sponge office had been approved.

It took me a really long time to get to a place where I understood and appreciated the value of an office (over saving that money to invest in bigger projects), but I realize now that there’s a reason I waited this long to hang my blogging hat somewhere other than my sofa’s arm. It’s taken me eight years to find a team of people that I really and truly want to work with every day (in person), and I’m so thankful that I’ve found that. So starting next year, we’ll be packing up and moving into a new office in one of my favorite buildings in the whole world: Greenpoint’s Pencil Factory. When I first moved to Brooklyn in 2003, I lived right around the corner, and I used to walk past the building and smile whenever I saw the little tiled pencils on the exterior. What was once the Faber Pencil Factory (which moved to Brooklyn in the late 1800s) is now a building full of some of my favorite artists, illustrators and creative people. I’ve been visiting it for years now to conduct interviews and check out new artwork, so to be able to call this our new home is truly, truly special.

I’ve always been so thankful to have a place to talk about what I love with people I love just as much, so I wanted to share this special moment with all of you. You are the reason we’re able to make this big step, and I wanted to thank you for your support over the past eight years.

This new space will not only serve as a hub for Amy and I (and Kate when she’s in town from SF), but also a place for us to collaborate, host visiting artists and hold classes, demos and celebrations of all kinds. I can’t wait to let you peek inside — it’s going to be one heck of a before & after. Until then, I wanted to share some images from the building’s exterior. I can’t wait to see those giant pencils every day. (Thanks to Kathleen for helping us find our new home.) xo, grace

*Images via Scouting NY and Scouting NY on Flickr

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