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People often ask about my inspirations and how I developed @the14thfactory. This is my story...
I was somewhat shellshocked, I had put it all in the line to try to build something wonderful and it was all collapsing around me. I had lost so much money on staff, PR, the venue, and all the pre-production but I still had the actual content and some money in the bank so I wasn't completely bankrupt. I had choices, so I pulled myself together and took action. I was down but not out.
I first went space hunting. Wall Street was more expensive than most venues as it's a high-security neighbourhood so I went looking for an alternative. I viewed maybe 20 buildings, from Bronx to Governers Island, Hoboken, Queens.... in a few days but all beyond my budget. Then a friend said, does it have to be in NY? I flew to LA and my saviour Justin dragged me round dozens of spaces within a week. All beyond our financial reach but the further we got away from Santa Monica and Downtown the more affordable things got.
And then we came across this scruffy old Chinese factory building in a neighbourhood called Lincoln Heights and after a couple of weeks of negotiation, some hasty layouts, hunting for team and contractors, I committed.
I knew I had very little money left but I figured I would just get my hands dirty, innovate and beg for help. So just a few months after being rejected by NY, work on the 14th Factory in LA began in earnest.
I couldn't hire high-level management or PR but I could for sure find some talented contractors and reasonably priced labour, often hanging out down the road at Home Depot. Anything extra would be cut, no-frills, budget equipment, second-hand AV, get stuck in with painting and cleaning, I slept upstairs on a mattress on the floor of the building as no budget for accommodation.
The first job, try to make the building presentable. Some before and after shots here. The awesome contractor called Mainstay Fabrication in LA gets a lot of credit, punk rocker motherfxxkers who kicked ass on the build.
The 14th Factory in LA - Before & After
The one bonus that made it all easier was the neighbourhood for sure. Mostly Hispanic so you know the food was fantastic and affordable and the people were very warm and welcoming and it really felt like home, living and working here for the next year.
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