Monday, September 26, 2011

Moving Premises and Company Expansion

By Eizaz Azhar

Hi guys! Most of you may know me as a teacher in the music store Mama Treble Clef Studio and in-house musician (technician/admin guy/IT department/repairman/brute strength lifting dude/the guy you turn to when everything goes wrong and want things fixed in the shortest time possible without prior notice) among other things. I've been given the task of chronicling events that will be going on for the next good month or two. So here I am, writing this on my (infamous red-flamed decorated Toshiba Qosmio that weighs 7kg) notebook in a new, empty lot that we will be moving in shortly. Thing is, we've been talking about moving and all for quite some time now as some of my students might be able to attest to, and it's finally coming around. This, however exciting and fun it may seem - and actually is, I assure you - poses a bit of an issue to some members of the team (okay only two), particularly Ray Lee (right) and myself.

A bit about the company background; we started out as a small, miniature lot with practically 3 guitars, 2 pianos and around 50 students back in 2005-2006. Back then it was much simpler; a 300 square foot room that we basically furnished and renovated ourselves. A few years later we came up with the recording studio which we also furnished on our own, and the current 3 conjoined lots which, yes, we did ourselves. One reason was due to our budget (read; lack thereof) and simply because we didn't have much to do around the tiny store anyway, and also picked up a bunch of skills - mainly dangerous, tiring and monotonous - like installing partitions, wiring the ceiling and lighting, as well as sitting in an enclosed room with cancerous toxic fumes.

And now we're moving for a third and possibly final time to this monster of a venue, enough to house all divisions of the shop, inclusive of a recording studio, performance stage, showroom, cafe and music classes (natural disaster relief spot, emergency gathering area - who knows what else, really).

So anyway, we've had some experience in renovating and doing things on our own as you can see, but this is a whole different experience. It's a different thing furnishing a 400 square foot venue versus a 13,000 square foot venue. First of all, the cost involved is much larger, and there are some things you just can't do without spending half a year trying to pry open (i.e. the air-cond ventilation ducts which are drawn from the shopping complex's mains). Then there's the issue of decorating the space, purchasing enough stock to fill it up so that it doesn't look like the North/South Korea demilitarized zone, and finding reliable staff that show up on time and disappear when required (as opposed to random times and the worst possible moments where you feel like strangling the nearest form of intelligent life not unlike a Phua Chu Kang script).

To Be Continued....

No comments: