Abortive launch, but relaunch next Thursday!

treehouselogo-copy6.pngOK, so yesterday’s market stall was a disaster, and I’m sorry to say I wimped out before 11am.  The wind and rain made it all very difficult – the books were getting wet, apart from anything, and by the time I had lugged all the books from my flat to the market place (a very short distance, but a decent flight of stairs, and books are very heavy!) I had no energy to work out how to display the books in the rain.  It was freezing cold, the table looked rubbish, and I started to think I was just not cut out as a market trader.  Of course as soon as I started packing up, the sun came out, but by then I was too far gone and struggling to fight back the tears, not a good look when you’re trying to encourage people to look at your stall!  So I miserably came home and was in two minds about the whole thing.

However, a lovely friend brought me origami roses and homemade fudge for the stall, and we had a chat.  (I will post a photo later of the beautiful roses, made from the pages of a book that had fallen apart.)  She and a couple of other friends have offered to help next week.  And this morning I have had various ideas for making the stall better.  I have ordered a banner (hope it arrives in time!), the origami friend is going to help me with the display, I will take a little table and a couple of chairs if the weather is dry so that people can sit and read for a bit if they want to, or write the cards which I’ve made (ie stamped with the THB logo) for people to share a book they have enjoyed (will stick those up on the stall, and eventually in the shop…there’s faith!), and various things like this.  I think I will be able to store the books at the foot of the stairs, which will make a huge difference to me not being exhausted before I start!  And will get a trolley.  I just hadn’t had time for these things between booking the stall and the day itself, though I did try, but by next Thursday we should be rocking.

So…apologies to anyone who did come to the market yesterday expecting to see me.  Please call again!

It really is hard sometimes doing a venture like this on your own.  I am not a confident person, and this demands good resources of self-confidence, which I am trying to develop, but which don’t come naturally!  But I have got this far, and mostly through my own sense of determination (helped enormously by encouragement from others), and I’m not going to let a bad day ruin things.

GOAL!

treehouselogo-copy6.pngSadly not scored by Papiss Cisse or Hatem Ben Arfa…but The Tree House has reached its fundraising goal via the PleaseFund.Us campaign!  That’s £1000…unbelievable.  Such generosity – that sum was raised by just 35 people.  I am overwhelmed.  Sorry for another post in such short succession, but I had to share the news!

Wow.

Bread and roses

treehouselogo-copy6.pngToday is a day for rejoicing.

This project has been an extraordinary experience (and I am sure it will continue to be so – don’t mean to make it sound as though it’s over!).  The ups and downs are in themselves exhausting, but there have been far more ups than downs.  The stress at times is threatening to my wellbeing, and a lot of the time I feel very alone, despite encouragement from all quarters.  But the whole thing has now gathered a momentum of its own, thanks largely to all those encouragers, some of whom have been particularly faithful and generous in their personal support.

But today the fundraising total through the PleaseFund.Us campaign has reached £960 – that means just £40 to go to reach the target (if I don’t reach the target, I don’t get any of the money pledged).  I am a bit overwhelmed.

What really did reduce me to tears was that just after having seen that total, a friend posted a photograph on Facebook of some origami roses she has made from the pages of a fallen-apart paperback – made for me, to decorate my market stall on Thursday.  They are just beautiful…

So I have both bread and roses.  Both are essential to life, and I cannot ask for more!

[Postscript: as I’ve been writing this, the fundraising total has risen to £970…wow.]

Lovely new website

treehouselogo-copy6.pngThe Tree House Bookshop now has a website – you can find it here – groovy.

I will be working on it, adding and amending, maybe changing some colours as the mood takes me…new toy to play with!  Content will grow as the project develops.  This blog will continue, but I’ll probably migrate everything to the website eventually.  Or not…I’m quite attached to this blog!

If there is any particular sort of information or other content you’d like to see on the website, just let me know – here, by email or on the site itself (radical).  Hope you enjoy it!

The Tree House email address is now working again.  I am sure you have been bereft without it…

Email address update

The Tree House Bookshop email address doesn’t seem to be working at the moment – if you want to contact me, you can via victoria . mier @ conted . ox . ac . uk, without the spaces.  Or leave a message on this blog, of course.

I think it’s because I’m setting up a website and am trying to link that to my webhost, which is where the email address is located, and it should all be resolved in due course.  I’m not great on the techy stuff!

Update on funding

treehouselogo-copy6.pngJust a quick update: the PleaseFund.Us pledge fund is now up to an incredible £900!  Only £100 to go to reach the target, and 27 days to do it (I don’t get any of the money if we don’t reach the target).  I am humbled by the generosity of friends and strangers alike.  Do keep sharing if you can, I just need ten more donations of £10 to reach the target!  (People can of course pledge more if they want to!)

I am also working on a new website, which is very exciting – I love playing with things like that, and have finally found a website creator that is very easy to use and update and adapt to what I want.  Will publish it when it’s ready – not a huge amount to put on it at the moment, but will still be useful.  This blog will always have a place in my heart, though, it’s seen me through the ups and downs so far!

Still excited about the market stall next Thursday, though have not yet had confirmation and instructions that I was promised, so won’t quite rest easy until that arrives.  It will be a bit sporadic for a few weeks, as it clashes with a work commitment that I have been unable to change – typical that this falls on the same day of the week as the market, when all my other days are commitment-free!  But the work commitment will end in a few weeks’ time, and I will have three months over the summer to enjoy being a market stallholder.  Can’t wait to start engaging with people and getting the word out.

I have also applied for more permanent premises (with walls!), can’t say much about that at the moment, but not a regular high street shop; something more interesting and appealing really, though will just have to wait and see – there are other bids for the same site, but the good thing this time is that the decision will be made not so much in regard to commercial and financial matters as to suitability of purpose, and I like to think I have as good a chance as anyone with that, given the site and location.  Sorry to be a bit cryptic, just better to keep it quiet for a while!  It would be available from October, so it’s great to have the market stall over the summer.

Finally, if you are on Facebook, don’t forget to visit and ‘like’ the Facebook page for The Tree House; and you can follow on Twitter too – @TreeHouseBkshop.

Thanks for your interest and support, as ever – things are definitely moving forwards, which is very exciting!