The beginning of a new year and a new decade; a month of winter sniffles, best intentions and dark day blues; a month aptly named for the Roman God of transition, whose two faces reflect on the past but look forward to the future; January.
Our first three months have been a whirlwind; an opening weekend that went off with a bang, a host of author events, incredible start to bookclubs, a summer reading challenge, assemblies, story times...the list goes on.
All I know is – hand on heart – our first quarter has been the most incredible, fun and, at times, overwhelming start to our bookselling carrier, blowing any expectations we had totally out of the water.
Here’s three things I’ve learnt in our first 3 months…
1) Children LOVE books
They really do! I mean, obviously we hoped as much...but put something like this on their doorstep, and all of a sudden kids that didn’t like reading, love it.
2) Trust your community to support you and want you to succeed
The amount of customers we’ve had that genuinely care that our business does well has really warmed our hearts; the people of Mirfield really do want us to succeed – they are not only proud of their new high-street bookshop, but committed to supporting us and spreading the word. I hope that we continue to make you feel this way.
3) There are sooooo many books…
Seriously. MILLIONS. Our shop is tiny, and we do our best to stock a key core range, but there is no way we can offer every kind of book all the time, despite how much we’d like to. To get around this, we keep our stock minimal so that we can keep it refreshed and ever changing. In theory, every time you come in, you should see something new. For us, this means theming our stock to whatever is happening in the world around us so that we can (hopefully) always be ‘relevant’. This may mean that you may not always find what you’re looking for...but remember, we can order in virtually anything (including adult books) and get it to you within a reasonable time frame. We really appreciate everyone that chooses to do this with us instead of gong elsewhere – It’s this choice that keeps your local book shop going, so thank you!
So what’s in store for us now?
Well, I guess that all depends on you guys. We’ve had some mixed results with the events that we’ve held in store, but we won’t stop. Part of this business and why we love it, is the ever changing nature of what our customers and community needs and wants from us. We’ll keep offering you free and accessible events in the hope that we find something that really works. In the meantime, follow us, spread the word, and keep talking to us and telling us what you want! This is your bookshop just as much as ours, and we want you to love it!
The moment I saw that it was up to let, I knew I wanted it. I had always wanted it. It’s wonky walls, dusty windows and cracking paintwork might scream “too much work” to some, but to me I saw character; I saw possibility.
I didn’t hang around. Within days I had expressed an interest, gone for a nosey and started the application. How unlike me to dive so blindly but with such gusto into something so unknown and daunting...but how exciting?! With my sister on board, my husband holding my hand and family cheering support, this was it…
The decisions to take the lease and to turn the business into a children’s bookshop were, to me, one and the same. I felt, almost instinctively, that it would work perfectly. At this stage in my life I hadn’t set out to find a shop or start my own business. It was the dream, but with a preschooler (literally) running rings around me, few savings and little free time to even pick up a book a to read in peace, some would probably say that my timing is madness. But hey, with an opportunity like this up for grabs, I just couldn’t let it pass. At times we all need a little madness in our lives…
So, I guess this is my time, or should I say OUR time; my sister Sam is joining me on this little adventure (clearly she’s as mad as me) and my husband Rich is the artistic (and practical) force behind our shop design. Together, with no experience in bookselling, we are somehow striving to piece together our shop and breath life into our vision.
Work is underway on the shop, plans are in motion and creative muscles are being flexed. We’re not entirely sure that every decision we make is the correct one, but we are learning on our feet. We are sincerely and enthusiastically looking forward to getting to know our community, hearing your needs, and working with you to fulfil our dreams. We so hope that you will join us on our adventure…
If you see us working away on our little shop, do give us a smile, a little wave, or say hey. We can’t wait to get to know you. Stay tuned with our social media pages for regular updates on our progress and what to expect. I hope you are as excited about the future of 2 Nettleton Road as we are!