Finding a shop was even more difficult.
Victoria is a city running out of room. That does not bode well for new businesses. With the lack of room in Victoria comes higher rent, less movement among rental properties, and a general lack of small industrial spaces. Given the van-building project we were undertaking, it was necessary to find something around 1,000 square feet. That was enough space to safely park for our van and to have our collection of tools ready to use. We didn't think that was a tall order.
With high hopes we dove into the local classifieds. We drove around industrial parks looking for signs and we kept our ears to the ground. The weeks flew by and we had yet to even tour a space. Yikes. We weren't off to the greatest start. But surely something would be out there, right?
The best lead we got was from a local businessman renting a couple of bays in a larger industrial building. However, the high rent in Victoria was forcing him to sublet his space into smaller chunks. The one chunk that would have worked for us was in the back of a bay shared with a car detailer and an architect. Not only was this space expensive, but our van wouldn't be in the shop with us.
So on we searched. Again to no avail.
For a while we found nothing else. Sheer luck is what put us into our current shop. A friend was driving outside of Sidney and spotted a cardboard sign. Apparently a 30 x 30 shop was available in an old farmhouse-looking building. It was out of town, but at this point we figured any lead was better than nothing. The floor was level, it was dry, and the lights and plugs worked. So we took the shop on a handshake. It's not perfect, but it works. We are still searching for space, but for now we can focus on building vans.
It's funny how much luck can play a part of the process of building a business.