Let's celebrate Small Business Day!

 


It's been a minute, hasn't it? We're sorry for the radio silence, but we've been working crazy hard! So first, we're going to invite you to something bookish and local and fun, and THEN we're going to let you know what we've been up to.

First: We want to celebrate Small Business Saturday with all of you! What is Small Business Saturday? You've heard of Black Friday, right? Well, Small Business Saturday is the same thing, only you get to kick off the Holiday Season locally, with independent businesses that know you and your community.

On November 26th we hope that you will join us in celebrating and supporting a small business near you. Now, it's true we don't have a concrete location yet (more on that in a paragraph or two), but that won't stop us from being YOUR local bookstore!

We are partnering up with Cipollina's Gourmet Italian Market (116-09 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills) to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Stop by between 11am - 2pm to pick up delicious Italian treats AND a new inspiring book for yourself or as a gift. We will be there selling our most popular (pre-wrapped!) Blind Date Books, as well as a selection of new and used titles for you to choose from. And, to make the deal even sweeter, the first 25 people to visit us and buy a book will get a FREE small coffee from Cipollina's!
Make sure to RSVP here. We can't wait to see you there!

If you can't make it, there are so many other ways you can participate:

  • Skip Starbucks and get your morning coffee at a local cafe
  • Hit up that little children's boutique down the block for some unique gifts
  • Go to the small specialty market to get ingredients for your next holiday meal
  • Kick start your holiday shopping with some books purchased at your local independent bookstore! Find out what they have planned here!

Now, on to business.

KICKSTARTER

As of right now, if you've provided us with your mailing address, your physical Kickstarter reward should have already arrived or is on it's way to you via US Post. We hope you enjoy them, we've worked very hard making them for you. If your reward was less tangible than a book or a bag, be on the lookout for some surveys from Kickstarter as we start to ask for names for our mural and as we provide information for our Members Only Book Club. If you haven't gotten your physical reward yet, please let us know so that we can look into what happened.

A BRICK AND MORTAR SPACE

In regards to a physical location, man, have we been putting in legwork (literally... Holly has spent her days off walking from one neighborhood to another). We've viewed 10 potential locations since September (2 restaurants, 3 nail salons, a 99¢ store and a dojo, just to name a few) put in several Letters of Intent and continue to keep our eyes and ears open for other available spaces. We've narrowed our search down to Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, primarily along Queens Blvd or Metropolitan Ave. We've gotten pretty close with two spaces, but one of them became financially impossible when we uncovered how much work needed to be done to renovate the space and the second one was a case of bad timing, as we submitted our Letter of Intent the same week the owner agreed to negotiations with another business. Such is the reality of commercial real estate. But we're not giving up, and have high hopes for a few available spaces we've recently been shown. As always, thank you all for your patience, support, and input as we look for our permanent home. A few of you have even reached out to us in person or online when you see a For Rent sign, and we couldn't be happier or more humbled that you are also working so hard to help us make this bookshop a reality. Thank you!!

If you've made it to the end of this email, kudos!

A quick recap: Nov. 26th, let's make it our goal to celebrate and support a small business in our neighborhoods. We hope you enjoyed your Kickstarter reward, and we are still actively looking for a storefront!

Until next time, 
Vina, Natalie, Holly.

Progress report since reaching our Kickstarter goal!

We know we’ve been quiet for a while but that’s just because we’re hard at work putting together our Kickstarter rewards for our backers and looking into all the little details that will bring you the best bookstore possible!  

So, speaking of those rewards, we’ve started sending out surveys to collect your emails and mailing addresses. They might have hit your spam box, so definitely keep an eye out for them!  

Our search continues for our storefront. We hope to narrow them down soon!  In the meantime you can purchase books from us at: 

  • Cipollina in Forest Hills (116-09 Queens Blvd) - This location was recommended by so many of you as our next pop-up and we have delivered! Grab them while they last, every bit made will go towards the bookstore! 
  • Made in Queens store in LIC (27-24 Queens Plaza South). They feature an array of Queens made artisanal products, crafts, design goods, home accessories, food products, and now books written by Queens authors! 
  • Espresso 77 in Jackson Heights. They are the new hosts of First Tuesdays, a poetry open-mic reading series every first Tuesday of the month. You can learn more about the event and RSVP here
  • While this Saturday will be our last day at the LIC Flea Market, you can also stop by this Sunday at the Ridgewood Market and meet us! 

Last but not least, we are SO excited to be a part of Kew Gardens Community Arts Day. Join this celebration on September 25th from 11AM to 5PM. We will have an interactive storytime! Don't miss it! RSVP by clicking here. 

Until next time!
<3 

WE REACHED OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL!

Our Kickstarter journey has been absolutely amazing. We will be forever grateful for all your words of support, enthusiasm, and love. We can't wait to open a bookstore that Queens deserves. Thank you for sharing, donating, and believing in us. We embark on our next step together. United to bring books back to Queens!

To celebrate reaching our Kickstarter goal, join us at Red Pipe Cafe from 8-10pm. We would love to thank you in person for being so generous throughout this campaign. You can also find us every Saturday until September at LIC Flea

Moving forward we are going to use the funds we’ve earned through Kickstarter to open up accounts with publishers to start building our inventory. In addition, we will be looking into partnerships with other local businesses, like cafes and event spaces, to expand our pop-up presence throughout the borough until our store opens! 

As of this morning, we also made our podcast debut over on Writer's Bone! Have a listen and subscribe to them. They are the most fantastic folks! 

Again, thank YOU for your continued support.

With love and the utmost gratitude,
Vina, Nat, Holly

Less than two days to reach our Kickstarter goal!

It has been a fantastic weekend of connecting and Kickstarting... We saw an amazing jump on our Kickstarter from $33k to over $59k, so some of you out there are really pulling for us! This means we are 16% shy of reaching our goal WITH TWO DAYS LEFT (59 hours to be exact). The goal is in sight, and we believe we can make this happen, with your help, now more than ever! There’s an urgent need for more bookstores in Queens and your help up to this point reflects it 100%.  

We started off Saturday at our booth at the LIC Flea market. Some of you came by and gave us such comfort and words of support; it filled our hearts with so much joy. When Holly met someone who had donated and chose her bag in person, she was literally jumping up and down. We even had shoppers back the Kickstarter in person, right there in the booth! But our day was officially made when we met Jack. 

This tiny human embodies the REASON we are doing this. Before twisting his dad’s arm to buy him TWO books (NOT one, it had to be two) he flipped through every page of a Curious George collection, commenting on everything he saw and showing us the pictures as he went. He was full of so much joy and his passion for books totally matches ours! 

On Sunday, we had a blast hosting a story time at the Austin Playground in Forest Hills. Again, so many of you came by with your little ones to enjoy a Father’s Day themed coloring session. We met Betti, a local grandma and avid reader who dearly misses a bookstore to find a great read for her grandson, and we met Michelle, a bright little four-year-old girl who signed up to be our first employee (if we published her notebook of doodles!)  

Looking forward, this Wednesday (6/22) we will be at Red Pipe cafe from 8-10pm, anxiously refreshing the Kickstarter page but also hopefully meeting YOU. We invite you to join us because we would love to thank you in person for being SO supportive, SO excited, and SO generous throughout this campaign.  

Finally, we have a new exciting reward to finish off this campaign. Quirk Books, one of our absolute favorite publishers, has donated some of their amazing titles plus goodie totes with pins, posters, and more! This reward would make a GREAT gift! 

Obviously we still have tons of neat things to offer, so if you haven’t told your neighbor or best friend to donate, NOW is the time. Only TWO days left to go! We only have four totes left, you can still sponsor a shelf, attend our opening party or host YOUR OWN, or grab signed books by amazing authors!  

For now, we’re too excited to keep typing, so we hope to see as many of you as possible this Wednesday and we can’t wait to cross this finish line together! Hope to see you then!

With love,
Vina, Nat, Holly

We’re down to just TWO weeks to reach our Kickstarter goal.

The pressure is on and we’re pumped and ready – are you?! We are 41% funded, with your help we can do this! Donate if you can here, any and all help is appreciated! Every single penny will go towards building the ideal bookstore for our borough! 

We have been featured in a wonderfully heartfelt article in The Observer, NY1, and Forbes!! We have received so much love from our favorite authors on Twitter such as Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, Laini Taylor, Celeste Ng, Holly Black, Stephanie Perkins, and more! 

We also prepared for (and had a blast at) our first Saturday as part of the LIC Flea Market. Click here to see our booth! We will have a table at the flea market every Saturday through September, so please stop by, say hi and pick up your Blind-Date-With-a-Book or neat handmade goodies! We can’t wait to meet you! You can RSVP on Facebook or MeetUp

Since so many of you have been asking, we want to let you know that we’ve been poking our noses around some empty storefronts in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. We’ve found a potential space in Kew Gardens that just seems to feel right. It’s dynamic, spacious and it even has a stage for those author events and storytimes we can’t wait to host! Take a peek here. Seriously, isn't that wooden stage just perfect? 

We are so grateful for all of you! Let's finish up these two weeks with a bang! Queens deserves it! 

With love,
Vina, Nat, Holly

The race to (the remaining) $50,000 starts NOW!

We are kicking off the half point of our campaign with ZEST! ENTHUSIASM! ENERGY! GUSTO! ZEAL! LET’S DO THIS!

We are so excited to add QNS Made to our Kickstarter! Not only are they full of Queens love through and through, but they support our efforts and have generously donated cool beanies and (don’t mind if we grab some too) patches! You will get both of these for $35! This why QNSMade thinks bookstores matter (especially in Queens): 

"We personally feel books help us slow down to take a breather especially when we find ourselves consumed by social media and having all of this information available at our fingertips. It can get overwhelming for us as adults, so we can't imagine what it's like to be a pre-teen or teenager in today's world trying to process all the same information around them while going to school and trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be.

The times have changed since we were young and today's generation grow up in tech and having a phone as a part of their daily lives, but we still believe in the tangible (books) and physical spaces (bookstores, libraries, etc.). In spite of technology, we all still yearn for face to face interactions and conversations away from our screens. So if the newer generations seem out of touch, apathetic, or blasé to books and bookstores, maybe it's about changing the approach to peek their interests and bringing them into the conversation earlier—not as children, but as equals.

Bookstores and libraries were such a big part of our lives growing up. We remember our mother taking us every weekend to our local branch a few blocks away from home. That said, independent bookstores are vital in Queens. As a working class borough they are a place and source of education outside school walls. It is a safe space parents can bring their kids. Books nurture our well being, it transports us to different lands, we come to understand different walks of life, and we are able to empathize with others because of the characters we read about. So any place that houses books for the community is only a plus! Independent bookstores serves the community it is in, rallying the locals for events and daily pop-ins—so we definitely welcome the ladies of The Queens Bookshop Initiative!"
– QNSMADE


We have THREE new amazing authors donating signed copies of their work. We start off with the lovely illustrator Kate Gavino's Last Night's Reading. If audiobooks more your thing? No sweat! Lance Rubin has donated a signed copy of Denton Little's Deathdate, which he narrates himself! And finally, we are SO excited to have the great Beth Revis’s support! She has donated a signed hardback of Shades of Earth! 

Please know we appreciate each and every one of you. And we know that the entire borough of Queens will be grateful too once we’ve reached our goal and we start building up the bookstore we all deserve! 

Also, we really want you to be more involved on our social media (and your cute pets too, of course) so…. 



Email us (info@thequeensbookshop.com) an image of your pup/kitty/bunny/plant/etc with a quick handwritten note asking others to donate! Forward it to your friends too with our Kickstarter link www.kck.st/1pudsww.
We can reach our goal with your help! 


Hugs and love,
V, Nat, Holly. 

Our first Indie Bookstore Day Celebration was a resounding success!

Thanks to all of you who attended our Storytime at the Park event on April 30th. It was a joy to meet you in person and we hope you all had a blast because we sure did! 

We started off the beautiful sunny morning with the lovely Ashley Smith. Every little one (and parent) stretched their tiny limbs doing yoga while enjoying a very special story time. After that, we spent a whole hour coloring/face painting and discussing with you and the press how our mission is going along and sharing our Kickstarter! It warmed our hearts to hear your words of encouragement and excitement. We were so happy to finally meet Michael Geffner who is in charge of the Queens NYC Lit fest taking place July 16-17 in LIC. We partnered up with him on the spot and are happy to say you will see us at the fest! 

Audrey Dimola (who is FANTASTIC) wrapped up the event by reading one of our favorite books, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and her own childhood favorite too. We hope you loved our goodie bags and we aim to continue having events such as this one throughout our Kickstarter campaign and beyond! 

Where can you meet us next? We will be a part of Earth Citizens Club event on Mother’s day this Sunday at the Austin playground from 12PM-3:30PM. Click here for more details! 

Finally, enjoy a quick slideshow of all the fun we had with you!  

It's Official: Our Kickstarter is Live (and quite loved)

Today marks the very exciting first day of our Kickstarter campaign! Our hearts are full of joy and utter gratitude for all of you. We are thankful for our families and friends for being exceedingly supportive. We are thankful for our amazing community. We truly hope you enjoy being along this journey, the fun starts now. Our united voices will be heard and this effort could not have come this far without you. 

We hope you enjoy our Kickstarter rewards. We have very special plans for our author ($65) reward. So many fantastic writers (some of Queens) have donated signed copies of their books. We will be rotating them weekly, so catch them while they last! Our first author is Zoraida Cordova (The Vicious Deep and On the Verge) offering two boxes of her trilogies! 

As always, stay tuned/share our mission and Kickstarter/sit tight - it will be two very fun and exciting months.