Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The progress of The Big Comfy Bookshop

On Monday the tenants of Fargo Village including myself, invaded the place to start measuring up all the units. It was the first time we could all see our units with the partitions in them as before it was one large space. I could finally see what was in my head and start filling in all the gaps. Although only in for half an hour, I still manage to take 56 photos. I measured every bit of space imaginable so now can go back to the drawing board and properly see how to make a shop. I took along my sisters boyfriend Richard, who is a plasterer, van driver, handyman and all-round nice guy. With his expertise we discussed ways to treat walls, coat old beams, lay floors and basically be the most masculine I have ever been. Richard was also a hit with a few other tenants as they dragged him away to view their units! Below is a selection of photos from the visit.

I'm now scouting through various flooring departments (including secret ones known only to Rich!), plus trying to figure out the optimal layout. Alongside this I'm also looking into the catering licenses needed, the music licenses needed, the cost of X,Y and Z which have all been researched to high heaven but now it's coming to the final stretch I feel I need to familiarise myself with what I need once more.

My head is swimming with dozens of questions, and my to-do list, that I keep on my phone, is getting longer. Every time I cross something off, something else pops up.

I also last week met up with Alison Smart who will be, along with Claire Avery, making me cakes. Alison is a friend I've known for around 10 years and she's just started to venture into cakes and they taste delicious. I also contacted Claire as last week she had a baby! Cakes and babies don't mix so it's good there are a few months before she'll need to bake for the shop.

One major decision I have taken is to close the online shop. Although initially it made a great start, it did dwindle and the past few months it's been hard to find the time to keep adding stock. I was invited to try eBay free for a while and already it's been great so I'll be selling online through that for a while instead. If you now type in you'll find yourself straight back here on the blog although a new website will be coming soon. Have a browse of the eBay shop HERE.

Overall it is picking up pace and I don't think I have enough hours in the day. I'm now off to post a book order, buy some graph paper, get a haircut ready for a video, call my new bank...



Wednesday, 7 May 2014

My day at the Earlsdon Festival

On bank holiday Monday I took part once more in the Earlsdon Festival, Last year it was the best experience I'd had as a bookseller so this year had some way to go to beat it.
That's my wife it is
Did it beat it? Weather wise no. I came home bright red last year yet this year the sun only broke in sporadic outbursts, but it didn't rain! How about bookselling wise though? Well, YES! My stall was a little bit more organised and I could even show off my Big Comfy Bookshop banner. Once more I spent 6 hours the day before working on the set-up and creating bunting, whilst my wife cut out home made bookmarks, and it was all worth it. Even before the gates opened for the public I had sold half a dozen books to other stall holders and it continued none stop til around 1pm, where the lunchtime lull kicked in, for 10 minutes!
The afternoon heaved with people up until around 3.30, then it started to trail off. One mistake I made last year was I didn't bring enough replenishing stock, so this year I bought 4 boxes worth, and by the end of the day all that was gone! My wife Heidi came along for the ride and helped out and I'm so glad as it was ridiculously busy.

The highlight for me though was meeting so many new people who new about the shop. Every 10 minutes someone would say "I recognise that logo!" or "So when are you moving to Fargo then?" or "I saw you on twitter and have come to say hello". The whole experience filled me with even more optimism that the shop will be a success. 

I hope to attend next year too!