A few days ago I mentioned some excellent people who have helped to keep the Tree House on track through recent wobbly times, and they are continuing to do so. I’m also hugely grateful for the suggestions from lots of people about ways to make things more viable – bombarded with ideas, now just need to put some of them into practice!
But there are a few others who have been behind the scenes for a while now and whose support has been invaluable. I have had the most wonderful business adviser in Karen Heap, who I contacted in the autumn as she was then an independent business adviser; not only has her business advice and encouragement been a major help, but she has put in lots of her own time in all sorts of practical ways, even roping her family in to sort, tidy and do odd jobs in the shop.
Geraldine Jones has been helping run the Facebook page for several months. The vast majority of those lovely quotes and pictures of bookish and book-related things are her work, and they have helped to make the Facebook page a lot livelier and drawn in a lot more people. We now have over 500 likes and regular activity, and that is largely due to Geraldine’s efforts. She’s also been a great supporter of our events and a constant source of encouragement!
Karen and Geraldine have also been great at spreading the word about the bookshop, which is always invaluable – word of mouth remains the most important publicity tool we have!
And I would also like to mention Andy Jones of Town & Country Furniture, my business neighbour, who has been amazing since before the shop opened. He is always on hand to give advice as a fellow small business owner and is brilliant at doing various jobs such as replacing strip lighting, repairing cupboard doors, lending the tables for the books outside the shop and all sorts of other important practical things. He visits regularly, always cheers us up and frequently brings Daim bars, so we like him.
It’s still too soon to say what is happening to the shop, but there is so much positivity around – I couldn’t hope for more in the way of determination to keep it going! I just need to find a way that makes my own lifestyle feasible – the bookshop itself is now pretty well established and has created its own community of regulars as well as constantly drawing in new customers and making new connections with other groups and businesses in the area.
Thank you to everyone who is involved! From the people who drop in a couple of books as they are passing to those who have invested financially and in terms of time, and a host of contributions in between, this is what makes such a venture a success, and that, more than financial security, is both the reason and the motivation to try to keep going.
One thing that will need attention if we do stay open is the programme of events. We would love to keep offering some really good live events which surely can only be of benefit to our town. There is lots of potential, and lots of ideas, so that’s the next thing to look at carefully in terms of practicalities and the best way to do things. More of that in a later post!
In the meantime, keep checking our Events page here for what’s happening, and thank you to everyone for the wonderful support we receive constantly and in various ways.
Community is amazing but vulnerable, relationships are amazing but vulnerable, life is amazing but fragile – something Nick Cave understands better than most.