When I purchased Chelsea Clock in 2005 -- 120 years after the company’s original owner Joseph Eastman set up shop on the corner of Everett Avenue and 5th Street in Chelsea, Massachusetts -- I remember walking through the old building with an overwhelming feeling of wonder and awe. This old brick factory was built here in 1889, and we’ve been its only tenant over the years. Inside these walls there is a palpable sense of the history, people, and bustling activity that have occupied this space for over a century. Anyone who visits can feel it.
When we first considered the possibility of moving to an updated space, the notion was, at first, uncomfortable and unsettling. Those who know our company well know that our identity as an organization, a brand, and a collection of employees past and present, is deeply rooted to our richly historical home. Yet the longer we considered it, the more we found our focus shifting away from a treasured past and toward a brighter future.
Over the past century Chelsea Clock has withstood three name changes and more than twice as many changes in ownership -- it has survived good times and bad. So as the present-day gatekeeper, I feel a real sense of responsibility to be a thoughtful steward of this American heritage brand. Ultimately, a carefully plotted move to a new facility began to represent a wonderful opportunity for us to lay a new foundation for the next one hundred years of history making.
Of course there are some critical characteristics of our founding place that will be preserved in our new location: we’re renovating another 100+ year-old brick building and staying true to our roots by remaining in Chelsea (just a few blocks down from our current home). And yet, the improvements we are able to make by tailoring a space to our present-day needs will make manufacturing easier -- after all, the way we do business is similar but inevitably different than 100 years ago. And so we’re greatly looking forward to a modernized quality of work and manufacturing environment with a much more efficient layout of operations.
So stay tuned. Because in the coming weeks and months we will keep you apprised of our new home’s transformation, so that you can be a part of the making of Chelsea Clock’s proud new digs. We can’t wait to cut the ribbon with you in 2015.
JK Nicholas, CEO