As our closing day of October 1 approaches, we are getting more and more excited about what we plan to do with the former church property in Cameron. It’s ideal that we can dream big and start small on the project, and still make some money, we hope.
As soon as we take possession, the building will be usable. We will be able to move our office into the downstairs rooms immediately, and then get moving on improvements.
What Comes First?
Well, in these days of social media, it will behoove us to set up a website, Facebook page, Instagram page, and Twitter feed. Oh my. We will also want business cards to share with local caterers, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.
Hmm, it does seem like something ought to come before that…oh yeah! We need a name for the darned thing! After going through lots and lots of ideas, it came to us that we already had a name; we just needed a tag line:
The Hermit Haus: A gathering place
We like this because:
- The main name covers our real estate businesses that will be headquartered in the basement.
- The tag line covers all the kinds of events we hope to host: meetings, seminars, conferences, weddings, parties, concerts, and more.
- We can keep using Hermann as our logo/mascot, since he is so strongly identified with us and memorable, as is the name. (As evidence for that, at the real estate seminar we went to on Sunday, three different people came up and said, “Oh, you’re Hermit Haus!”)
Nonetheless, we haven’t made any materials or purchased domains and all that yet, so we are happy to receive suggestions. There may be something better out there! We would want a potential name to apply for multiple uses of the property (not to imply it’s only for meetings, weddings, or whatever), and be memorable (so nothing generic).
We’ve figured out what phone number to use, and what web domain we want to get (pretty sure it’s not in use). We’ve been figuring out what our website and brochure need to say, at least to start out (when the interior and exterior look better, we’ll get better publicity materials).
The Facility Itself
Here are just some some of our current plans and ideas for the facility. Subject to change!
- Start out with a plastic sign in front to cover the current church sign, to be replaced with something more permanent later.
- Respectfully remove the crosses, and see if any former church members or another church would want them.
- Add a sign for Hermit Haus Redevelopment and Hermits’ Rest Enterprises to the back entrance, to show it’s the office entrance.
- Remove the pointy part of the steeple and replace it with a nice weather vane or other object. Not a statue of Hermann.
- Power wash the exterior, and decide whether to paint the yellow brick or not. We happen to know someone who’s just starting a power washing business, too. I’d like gray.
- Fix the stair rails out front to have bars on them.
- Put a fence around the property, a cute one.
- See if we can engage in local groups, like Master Gardeners or Master Naturalists to enhance the grounds with plants.
- Eventually add windows where there used to be windows downstairs and upstairs.
- Add upstairs restrooms in the former baptistry dressing rooms.
- Remove leaky baptism tub.
- Replace carpet upstairs with something that looks like wood.
- Paint everything, especially paneled walls.
- Upgrade downstairs bathrooms, perhaps adding a shower.
- Much later, upgrade kitchen.
- Modernize the decor. There are a lot of 80s fake flowers in there at the moment.
We also hope to consult with some of our friends and neighbors as we work to hone in on our business plan. As much as I’d like to run the place, I still have that day job in Austin that pays for our insurance, so we will have to figure out personnel and all that, too!