Many people have asked me why I set up shop in Dorchester. “why have your studio in Dorchester…I mean why not have a studio on Newbury Street or get a space in some funky artist building somewhere in Cambridge?” Then they come to my studio in Lower Mills. Then they get it.
Back in 2008 when my husband and I were house hunting we had a short list of where in the city we wanted to live and a long list of must haves. Here is just some items on the long list.
an old home but not a total fixer-upper
a yard small enough to mow in 20 minutes but big enough for a garden and a future puppy
located no more than 8 miles from the North End but still within city limits (hubby is on the BFD.)
walk up attic
Also on the list… safe streets, nice neighbors, sense of community, restaurants and shops within walking distance.
During the summer of 2008 we finally found a home that fulfilled both of my lists. This home was in Adams Village, Dorchester.
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know anything about Dorchester before I moved here, all I knew is that I found my home. Little did I know Dorchester would also become the new home of Katherine Jane Photography. That was not part of the plan or on any list.
That summer shortly after we closed on our home my husband mentioned to me that he saw a cute storefront space for rent about a mile from our new address. At the time I already had a great studio and so I wasn’t looking to move even though I had always wanted a storefront studio. I totally brushed him off…“a. I’m not paying storefront rent b. I’m not moving both home and studio at the same time and c. I’m not moving both home and studio at the same time in the middle of wedding season!” Fast forward 4 days later and we found ourselves in a part of Dorchester called Lower Mills. This is where everything changed. I totally and instantly fell in love with the vibe and energy of this cute neighborhood….what’s not to love… antique shops,boutiques,restaurants and the historic Baker Chocolate Factory. Lower Mills where have you been all my life! My husband pointed to this little vacant shop on the corner and said..“this is the space that I have been telling you about..” I peeked in the window and said to him and myself “hi cute space..I have to have you…you have to be mine.” It is not like the space was the most amazing studio that I had ever seen. Quite the opposite. The space was small, dull and blah. It had drab classroom blue carpeting, beige walls and a horrible gross white drop ceiling but I saw past all that ugly and focused more on the energy and feel of this slice of Lower Mills. I called the number listed on the for rent sign and 4 hours later I was signing the lease. It all happened so fast but there was just something special about Lower Mills and I just had to be a part of it.
Almost 4 years later and I have never been happier. I’m beyond thrilled to call Dorchester my home and very proud to have a Dorchester based business. We have put so much love into both the house and studio to make them both feel like home. I really like being
part of a community…which is kind of crazytown for this once upon-a-time gypsy. The fact that I can walk to work on the bike path along the Neponset River, go home for lunch and be really flexible when it comes to working around my clients schedule makes me OOXX my Lower Mills studio even more. I have been known to have a 7am wedding consult and a 9pm wedding consult. Having a storefront space means I get to meet all different types of people and pets who walk past my studio everyday. I can also take the T to my studio because the Milton stop is just across the street…how sweet is that! Oh and I have a window display that I change all the time. Fun stuff! I can also walk to the post office and bank…love that part!
I’m always learning something new about about this place called Dorchester. There is nothing I enjoy more than discovering my own backyard which is why I was over the moon when I heard about a Dorchester Blog called Dottie Hotties
. You might of seen them a few weeks ago featured in the Boston Herald
. These ladies write about everything that is hot in Dot…..so you imagine how thrilled I was when they contacted me asking if I would chat with them about not only my studio but my home and style. You can read my interview here
. Thanks Dottie Hotties for all the love!
Because blog posts without something to look at is b-or-i-n-g check out some images of my studio. As you can see I made some changes to the gross blue carpeting!