In just over five years the Pittsburgh-based handmade bag company, Moop
, has grown from a living room operation to a new 7,000-square-foot facility in Carnegie, adding employees and growing customer base.
Moop is owned by Wendy Downs and Jeremy Boyle. The couple moved to Crafton, where Boyle grew up, from New York City in 2009. They returned to the region to be near family, but also because Pittsburgh was affordable, and would allow them to grow their business at a faster pace, Downs says.
Once established in Crafton, the business began hiring employees, expanded its product offerings, and increased its ability to meeting customer demand.
Last year though it became clear that their business had outgrown its 700-square-foot facility in the West End, and they would need a new shop.
While exploring various neighborhoods for a new suitable space--by road and by Google Maps--Boyle remembered an old industrial facility where he had gone to skateboard as a kid. They tracked down the warehouse, and learned it was for rent.
Boyle, a former contractor, used his construction experience to renovate their space, which Downs says was an empty rectangle when they moved in. They subdivided and added a fully-enclosed woodworking shop, production areas, a lounge and kitchen for the staff, as well as offices and art studios.
The facility, located at 100 Rosslynn Road, is also close to their daughter’s high school. Downs says that as a small family business it was important for the entire family to be comfortable with the space, and to have an ease of mobility.
Downs says if Moop continues to grow at its current pace they’ll be looking to hire more employees in the coming months.
“Our growth is slow and steady, which means its manageable and its controllable and its predictable,” Downs says. “Which are all very healthy ways of running a business.”
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Wendy Downs