Seems our little blue engine is stalling at the bottom of that proverbial hill. In our excitement over finding what we deemed the perfect location to move our little bookstore, 232 S Buchanan ST in Edwardsville ( just across the street from Annie’s Frozen Custard and a few doors down from Swing City Music) we naively assumed that because our address had previously housed two businesses, we would be in the green to set up shop. A huge deciding factor in choosing to move our location was to significantly reduce our overhead by creating a home on the upper level of the house and hosting the bookstore on the main level, as we were encouraged to do as the home is zoned both commercial and residential. Without hesitation, we packed up both our household and our bookstore and began the exhausting, albeit exhilarating process of feathering the new nest.
Regretfully, a recent meeting with Edwardsville city officials left us deflated with a long laundry list of demands in order to go forward. Though we understood we would have to make some necessary renovations in order to be ADA compliant, we did not anticipate the expense involved to do so (paving our parking lot, consulting with a licensed Illinois architect to draw up plans for accessibility to the building, contracting someone to build the structure, replacing doors) nor were we aware that we would be required to install emergency lighting or that it would be a problem that our home’s kitchen is housed on the main floor of the home rather than the second floor where we plan to reside. The latter requires us to somehow incorporate a kitchen on the upper level and to apply for a special use permit at the tune of $375 and appear before the zoning board of appeals to gain approval.
To say we are working within a modest budget is a gross understatement. We have little choice but to postpone our grand re-opening celebration, planned for May 4th, in order to satisfy the city’s criteria to get our store and residence up to code or to sadly give up on this location and start scouting for a new home for Afterwords Books. A few weeks ago we launched a project with http://www.rockethub.com/projects?query=afterwords+books, reaching out to our community to offer incentives to contribute toward the bells and whistles we hoped to share at our new location. In light of recent events, the bells and whistles are taking a back seat to just getting our doors back open to our customers!
We’ve all witnessed proof positive that crowdfunding works as we bask in the glow of phenomenal success with the Once Upon A Toy campaign! It was a no-brainer for the Afterwords Team to put our own campaign, launched just a few days before, on the back burner and join with our community on a mission to save our toy store. Though we don’t claim to be math whizzes, if each of our 700 facebook fans were to support the project with a contribution of just $10, we could chug on up that hill and find ourselves celebrating a grand re-opening of May 4th as originally planned! Find out what’s in it for you, well, besides the warm, fuzzy feeling that you will no doubt enjoy as your bookstore opens its doors once again, offering story times, both new and used books up to 90% off the list price, book clubs, documentary club, children’s programming, a Trade for Credit Program, local author readings/signings, book-themed birthday parties, grow-baby’s-library baby showers, journals, bookmarks, and gifts from local artisans, and a cozy, inviting space to curl up with something to sip and a good read!