Believe it or not, this is actually one of my favorite spots in our new warehouse. Yes, oddly enough, this 10-by-10 box with a broken slab of concrete as the floor, a metal roll-up mirrored by dented security gates as walls, and deformed pipes with God-knows-what running through them for the other two, might very well be my favorite place in R8DTLA. This tiny 100 square foot box today, solely functions as one entrance to our 17,000 square foot warehouse. But back in 2003 through '05, 100 square feet was everything.
See, when I first started this brand, aside from having a mere $500 to do so, I lived at 833 Divisadero Street in San Francisco. 833, literally was a 10-by-10 studio apartment with its own gated entrance right off the street. I used this narrow alley to not only park my scooter, but to ship REBEL8 orders during the day. Each morning I would wake up, move the boxes from under, and sometimes from even on top of my bed, and set them up in a line parallel to this maybe 3-foot-wide corridor. Unfortunately, during the Fall/Winter 2005 shipping window, it rained heavily and some product got damaged. So shortly after shipping out the season, I felt I had no other choice but to begin looking for a warehouse with a roof! And finally move REBEL8 out of 833 Divisadero. 833 remained my place of residence until mid-2009.
This is pretty much where REBEL8 began. To the left was my make-shift desk/office. Posted on the wall above are the graphics from our first catalog, Spring/Summer 2005. I must have taken this photo that same year because right next to my monitor is a print-out of a Craigslist posting for an available warehouse space. That same print-out became my then-current goal, and by January 2006, REBEL8 moved into that exact warehouse. Below the desk, for those of you younger than 30, is a fax machine. The vast majority of boutique orders were sent via facsimile. If I came home from the bar next door and saw that an order came through, I would run right back and order a few shots. The image on the right shows my bicycle parking, loft bed, and inventory.
I have a few more photos of 833 that I'll share at another time. But for now, this is why that seemingly worthless little area at R8DTLA is so meaningful. Have a great rest of your Tuesday. And thanks for taking the time to read these words and visit my blog daily. See you tomorrow!