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Tag Archives | Pattern + Motion

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

5 Questions: Pattern + Motion

Eric Botel-Barnard and Diana Barnard are the husband and wife duo who own Pattern and Motion design studio, which opened in the old Sweet Jane space at 1820 E. Passyunk. We sat down with them recently to see what prompted the move south from Center City, what they plan to do with their storefront and why they never leave the neighborhood.

Passyunk Post: What brings you to the hood, and why did you pick a storefront?
Eric Botel-Barnard:
For the last couple years our office was around 15th and Spruce and we really were expanding over the two-year period and needed more space, so we were looking for a while. We also love the idea of improving our day by working closer to where we live [near 11th and Mifflin]. … We really liked the idea of being on the ground floor and being able to interface with people to some degree even though we’re not a store that’s open to the public, but we wanted a presence. Also, the ground floor is easy for access as far as gear storage. We had really looked extensively in South Philly for an office space, and really, South Philly is not filled with second floor office space.

Diana Barnard: Or really any office space.
EBB: So that’s really the main issue, there just weren’t a lot of clean, high-tech, renovated office spaces that would be good for what we’re doing. … We’ve lived down here for about five years and the first three years, I was working out of the house, having clients come to the house, and we have a dog – the dog’s barking
DB: It very quickly became unsustainable.
EBB: So we moved out, went to our Center City office, thought the location would be a good thing for business and it turned out that a lot of the professionals that we work with actually live in this neighborhood.
DB:The greatest thing is just by being here the last few days, taking down the paper, people have just been stopping by. People we know, people we don’t know are just sort of been like, “What’s going on in there?” And we’ve gotten the chance to know the neighborhood a little better, which is also nice. … Although we had some apprehension about having storefront, like security issues, we see a huge advantage in that now, whereas before maybe we were a little tentative.

Eric and Diana. Say hi.

PP: What about working with Sam Sherman at PARC [which owns the building]?
EBB: Meeting Sam was fantastic. He was all for it. To his credit, he has a vision for a vibrant daytime community here. And I think that really struck a chord with us. I’ve traveled pretty extensively for work and I’ve seen main streets in different cities and there’s usually a good mix of storefront offices. You have architects, you have art galleries, and then you have your nighttime stuff. That mix seems like a really good mix, and I think that’s something that’s been missing down here.
DB: For a long time I lived on 9th and Reed and I never traveled south, or even made it over to the Avenue until we moved down here.
EBB: Now, we would rather not leave the neighborhood. We still get out, but on a day to day basis it’s really nice, and that’s part of the allure of working close to home.
DB: That was another problem with the Center City office, finding parking and basic day to day stuff just got really annoying.
EBB: Also, we’re both workaholics, so when we’re busy, it’s not unusual to be here past 10 o’clock at night, so to not have to go far is really nice.

PP: What are you going to be doing with the storefront windows?
Sam immediately thought we should put some video screens in the windows. I think we’re still trying to figure out an interesting way to make a daytime and an evening attractive-looking window. I’m not sure exactly. We’re figuring that out now. We’re definitely going to be dressing the windows.
DB: We’re just concerned that the monitor thing during the day isn’t going to read very well.
EBB: It could just looked washed out. Our style may be a little more subtle. But, we are going to do something really nice, and hopefully have something that looks fresher that we can change out. We’ve been throwing out ideas and we’re tackling that right now.
PP: What kind of ideas?
EBB: People have suggested some, including possibly a gallery space in this one window. We were thinking if that would be feasible given the kind of business that were are. Had an idea for more workspace, possibly even seasonal – well, not exactly seasonal…
PP: Like your Easter display… Flag day?
(laughing): More like a high-end conceptual department store window
DB: And just swap it out
EBB: Yeah, a few times a year. We wanted to get going and see what makes sense rather than do it in a vacuum

Remember when Sweet Jane used to be here?

PP: What about the work you actually do, other than display window design?
We do video production and we do design work – everything from print work to branding to web, so we’re integrating video services and web-video production with the design work so that we’re a full-service design agency now.
DB: We feel like “creative agency” best encompasses what we are. We’re not an ad agency but that’s the best explanation for describing our holistic approach.
PP: What sort of clients? You wanna name drop?
EBB: Albert Einstein Health Care, the Clay Studio, the Rock School for Dance Education, Astral Artists. Good mix right now of arts organizations and corporations. Popular Science Magazine, who else?
DB: That’s a good list. It’s a healthy sampling.

One of those “for the hell of it” pictures
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Design firm opens in old Sweet Jane space

The paper has come off the windows and husband and wife team Eric Botel-Barnard and Diana Barnard are now working full time in the PARC-owned storefront at 1820 E. Passyunk Ave.

See the teeny, tiny sign?
Their design and video-production firm Pattern + Motion, which we told you about early last month, was previously located on Walnut Street in Center City. The neighborhood residents gave that up, though, in exchange for an easy commute (three whole blocks, now).

We’ve already sat down with the design duo, and later this week, we’ll tell you a little more about them and their plans for their display windows. Sam Sherman at PARC said they were planning to install video screens to enliven the streetscape, but that idea is still evolving.

Meanwhile, it’s been a busy week for the office market around East Passyunk, with the news that a lawyer also pulled up stakes from Center City for an office on the avenue, South Philly’s first coworking space opened and the King of Jeans developer added office space to his plans.

Diversifying the retail mix on the avenue has been one of PARC’s goals, for at least two reasons: Passyunk needs street life during the day, too, and no one wants another South Street of all bars and restaurants. Stay tuned for even more office-related action to come.

What do you think about storefront office space? Yay or nay?

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Hollywood-ish comes to the Avenue

Earlier today we told you about the windows being covered at the PARC-owned former Sweet Jane Vintage space at 1820 E. Passyunk Ave. Just got a call back from Sam Sherman, executive director at PARC, and he says it’s being rented by a video-editing production company called Pattern and Motion.

Owned by a husband and wife team who lives in the neighborhood, Eric Botel-Barnard and Diana Barnard, the firm produces documentaries, commercials and other film projects. They’re relocating their office from Walnut Street in Center City in part because they wanted to be able to walk to work, Sherman said.Though an office space is a different kind of tenant than PARC has traditionally courted, Sherman stressed the importance of maintaining a diversity of businesses on the Avenue. That includes a mix of professional offices that can inject some life to the street during business hours. PAM will help to that end, he said, because they often work long hours, with clients coming and going at all times, and because they’ll maintain an open-concept office (no cubicles to block the view from the street). The window display will be dolled up with flat-screen TVs showing their work to light up the street at night.

Imagine some fancy TVs here
“They’re part of the creative class, so it seemed like a good fit,” Sherman said.
About Sweet Jane, Sherman said they ended up doing better business online than in the store, so it didn’t make sense for the owners to maintain a retail presence. That also means the store’s closure wasn’t necessarily a bad sign for retail on the street because PARC’s other retail tenants are thriving.
In fact, Sherman said it’s going to be an interesting Fall. Check back here next week for what’s coming from PARC in the next few months. There’s plenty to tell, we’re just waiting on some details.
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

What’s going into old Sweet Jane Vintage?

Man, the Avenue is on fire! Paper went up over the windows this week at 1820 East Passyunk, where Sweet Jane was before closing in April.

That was quick. New tenant only two months after Sweet Jane shuttered.
They have that paper taped up pretty tight, so you can’t get a look in edgewise. On top of the new Kings Music store opening up tomorrow plus remodeling and new breakfast service starting Monday, it’s quite a week in East Passyunk.

We’ve left a message with the folks at PARC, which owns the Sweet Jane building, but they haven’t gotten back to us right away. So, people, anyone have any information about what’s coming?

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