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Plan to open a second-hand bookshop - The Tree House

Not sure where to put this, but this will do!  I have decided to face my midlife crisis and my lack of employment head on, and with the huge encouragement of a good friend have decided to try to set up a not-for-profit secondhand bookshop in my local town, with a strong emphasis on community - to be a sort of community hub, but with the clear focus on providing a quality-driven bookshop.

I have set up a blog, The Tree House, for anyone interested - the more people who look at it the better, in terms of getting it recognised by Google, etc.  It is still in the planning stage, but I have fabulous support from the local council, as well as friends all over the place.

Just wanted to share this with you all - I'm quite excited!


What a fantastic idea!! Your website looks great and I will be following your adventures in The Tree House with interest (superb name by the way!)

Although I don't live in the Kennilworth area (I do still have family about an hour away), I would certainly be interested in buying some shares so will look out for your updates for that.

I wish you all the very best!!!

Evie that does sound exciting. I look forward to hearing more and should you be open this summer expect visitors. cheers
Joe McWilliams

Oooh, that is exciting, Evie! Good for you! I certainly wish you all the best. Perhaps I'll pop by the next time I'm in town (wishful thinking).

Wow. Best Wishes for that Evie. It sounds a brilliant idea.

Thank you all so much!  Encouragement means a lot to me, it's quite daunting as well as exciting!  I am getting just brilliant support from the local council, who are currently working hard to set up a free space for me to start off, until I can find suitable permanent premises - have another meeting with them on Friday morning.

Sounds great, Evie.  I considered a second-hand bookshop in my little town once with a friend, but the economics didn't stack up really.  I haven't checked your blog yet, but will soon.

If it is not-for-profit, how does that give you an income?  Perhaps it is the same as my husband, who works for a nfp organisation - part of his job is to bring in funding, at least enough to pay his and another staff member's salaries.  His job is in jeopardy now though since the council has set up an organisation which in part takes over his, and have taken away their funding for it.  So things are in limbo at the moment.  

You will be the right person for enthusing people with good and not necessarily known quality books, Evie.  And it sounds as if you have done your homework with this, getting council support etc.  Good luck.

I include my salary in the overheads, Caro - so anything on top of that is considered profit.  I am not expecting very much in the way of profit!  But there will be events in the shop as well as books, and raffles, etc, as a means of earning more income - continuing to work on how to maximise income.  Eventually I'd like a cafe, but need to start small.

Good luck with the project. I wish I lived nearer to shop there.

How lovely!  Good luck.  Where abouts in Kenilworth will it be?  I used to live near the now-defunct cinema.

I didn't know you lived in Kenilworth, Sandra - did I?  Maybe you've mentioned it before! I don't have a site yet, though I have my eye on one - the council are going to give me a room, though, without charge where I can make a start.  I have a meeting on Friday morning, will know more then.

I had forgotten about the old cinema!  I don't live too far from there.

Coming late to the discussion as usual, not been around for a few days and have a lot to catch up on.

This sounds a brilliant idea Evie, and I hope it works out for you and I spend a lot of time in that part of the world, its not far from us and we tend to visit Kenilworth Castle quite a bit when they have events on, so you must let us all know when you get a site so we can drop in!

Thank you for this, Apple - it's all moving on a-pace, have found a vacant shop I really want to rent (it's perfect in so many ways!) and have a meeting this week with a local property person who thinks he can help me get it, and is keen to chat and offer advice generally.  People are being so friendly and helpful - people I wouldn't expect to be! - councillors, business people, etc - people with influence as well, which is great.

So it's all getting closer - just need money!!

I am updating the blog regularly, if people want to look:

There will also be a chance for people to buy a £20 share - you don't get much back, but a sense of supporting something good!   Very Happy

Evie glad things are moving forward. I think hubby would be very pleased to get rid of the children's stuff in our attic. I'll get him sorting after his present project painting ceilings and walls is done.  Wink
Green Jay

I didn't have time to post before but meant to - to say what a totally brilliant idea and I wish you every success! It sounds as if lots of locals also feel very positive and excited, so let hope it gathers a good head of steam. How lovely to have found a home for it, too. A bright light in dark times!!

Thanks Green Jay!  And I see one or two people here are now following my blog, which is nice!   Very Happy

Just to update - things are now moving forwards.  I have seen an accountant, who has registered the business and is now forming the company for me, I am seeing a solicitor on Friday about all the legal stuff, a property negotiator is hoping to get me a good deal on the property I have set my heart on.  All of this has come about through the interest on the part of the VC of the district council, who has put me in touch with all the right people, and good people.  The property negotiator is giving me a huge discount on his usual rates, and if he can get the rent he thinks the property I have my eye on is worth, it will be brilliant value for money in terms of his fee.

So I will very soon be a company director...maybe even by the end of today, but within the next few days at least.  Then I can open a business account at the bank and start gathering in my funds.

I have not gone for the co-operative that I originally thought about, it will be a limited company but still offering the chance for people to invest by way of shares, so once everything is set up legally I can start publicising the venture properly among local people and see if I can get some interest going and raise some funds that way.

Exciting times!

I am following it, but using a feed aggregator rather than by email notifications.

That sounds very sophisticated!  Are you becoming a geek?  Wink

What's great is that it counts all my FB friends and Twitter followers, as posts automatically get published in both places, so technically I have 277 followers.  Groovy.

Evie wrote:
That sounds very sophisticated!  Are you becoming a geek?  Wink

1. (That's yes in binary.)
Jen M

Evie, that is brilliant news - I wish you every success.  I will certainly buy a share when these are available.

I love this place:  The Last Word  which is a cafe with books rather than primarily a bookshop, but it has a good feel.

I shall watch with interest!

How exciting and how brave of you Evie, I wish you every success and hope you will be very happy in your new venture.

Thanks so much for the encouragement.  It's still going well, though pretty tough at the moment - all the horrid legal and financial things being sorted out!  But am close to securing premises, fingers crossed for that, and once I have an actual physical shop, it will all begin to happen.  Very scary, very exciting!

I have hardly been reading lately, which is awful, and partly explains why I've been feeling a bit rubbish, I'm sure!  Must make time for it.  It also explains why I am hardly ever on this board these days...must do something about that too.  Just a very busy few weeks, but beginning to get more organised.

I now have another project for raising funds - I am not asking for money from you good people, but if anyone feels able to pass this link on to anyone and everyone, just to get the word out as far as possible, that would be great.  Crowdfunding is a way of funding projects by offering small rewards for people's pledges, and a way of people giving to projects that they feel are worthwhile but that struggle to get funding from other sources.  Please do have a look at this link, and if you feel able to forward it to anyone you can think of, I would be very grateful!

The Tree House Bookshop

I have just heard that I have been unsuccessful in acquiring the premises I was really hoping for, so am still looking, but have some ideas for temporary solutions until then - the reason I lost the site was because someone else had stronger financial backing, so all funds I can raise are so useful in getting started!  Thanks so much.

I have been shamefully neglectful of this site recently, and I do apologise.  I do look in and read the posts regularly, just haven't posted much in a while.  I haven't been reading much, which is the main reason, but also have lots going on.  And here I am talking about myself now I am here...

But it's a big day for me, as while I still don't have shop premises, I am starting on a stall in Kenilworth market today - so this is really the launch of my Tree House Bookshop.  Exciting.  It's the first chance I've had to talk to people in Kenilworth, and it's a popular little market, so I am hoping to engage a few people in conversation, hand out flyers, etc, and hopefully sell enough books to cover my costs for the day.

I also have a website now -

I hope it goes well, Evie. Is it an indoor market? If not, I sincerely hope that you have better weather than we have here - I fear the high winds might blow your stall and your stock completely away.

I think it is a wonderful way to start and perhaps get a small amount of money coming in as you search for a more permanent base.

Best wishes

Best of luck Evie I sincerely hope it all goes well for you!  Smile
Joe McWilliams

Best from me too, Evie. Dammit, I wish I could just visit Kenilworth, now that I know it exists. One has to search pretty hard to find anything resembling a decent market in this part of the world.

Good luck and all that.
Joe McWilliams

Evie, how is it going? No news on your project for over a year, I notice, unless I missed something.

The best place for news is the website, Joe:

It's still going, a year on. I regret that I haven't got around to visiting it yet, but I know that some people on the board have been. (Well, I say on the board, but I'm not sure if they are or not; as you observe, things are quiet. But friends of the board have visited and reported back in glowing terms.)

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