First Author Event AND First In-Store Storytime!

Over the past few days, we have so many reasons to be grateful: 
#1 - Our first author event on Thursday, Sept. 14th was such a special evening for us and we hope it was for those who attended. We can't thank Daniel Ford (whose book Sid Sanford Lives! is out today!), Alex Segura, and Radha Vatsal enough for being such a great panel and for sharing such insightful details into their lives as writers. The Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery - "Where History Comes Alive" astounded us with all their hard work while preparing and during this event. Thank you for letting us share this stepping stone with you! Also, thank you to the Brooklyn Book Festival for having us as a Book End event!

If you missed this evening, don't fret! Thanks to Writer's Bone podcast, you can give it a listen here: http://www.writersbone.com/…/episode-222-live-with-authors-…

#2 - Our last storytime of the summer at Socrates Sculpture Park was on Saturday, Sept. 16th and we've enjoyed so much collaborating with this amazing park. Special thanks to Audrey Wildfire Dimola for inviting us and being so supportive since the very start!

& #3 - Sunday, Sept. 17th completely blew us away! Thank you to all those who attended our very first in-store Storytime day. It was our second year joining the Kew Gardens Community Art Day, and it's a tradition we hope to continue being a part of for years to come! At the beginning of every hour we had groups of your kiddos join us (and a couple even assisted!) to read so many of our favorite picture books. We had so much fun!

We also shared very exciting news for those who stopped by...

Starting Oct. 7th, we will be opening every weekend! On Saturdays from 11-7PM and on Sundays from 11-5PM. It will be a soft open of sorts so we can gradually see what books our community is interested in and that way tailor our hours and stock to your liking. Eventually we will open on weekdays, but for now we are excited to see you on a more constant basis.

As always, thank you so much for being so supportive and amazing! We will see you all again very soon!

We invite you to a sneak preview of our new home!

Hello there!

We hope you are having a fantastic summer!

As you probably know, our bookstore renovation is underway (shout out to Vina's pop for all his amazing hard work). Shelves are going up, doors are being painted, and our kids mural is just about to be illustrated by a local author/artist... 

We can't wait for everyone to finally walk into our doors, at least to see a tiny bit of it... And so we thought, what if we did just that? We've decided to open our doors for two weekends and you can take a sneak peek until our store is 100% ready!

Kew Gardens, as the home of our bookshop, has welcomed and supported us since the start and we try our best to return the love. They are, for the very first time, hosting an independent film festival, which starts August 4th until the 13th (click here for more details on that).

Our plan is to open August 5th-6th and 12th-13th from 12PM-8PM.

Besides a sneak peek, we will have a book sale! You will find our new shelves (!) filled with our new and favorite books, we are bringing back our blind date books, slightly used yet loved discounted books, handmade journals by Holly (!!), bookish totes/mugs/and more!

We really hope to see you there, and while the peek is a tiny one - we hope you love our store too!
 

xoxo, 
Vina, Natalie, Holly

Exciting Announcement! We have found our storefront!

All throughout the last year, we have been so grateful for our community’s endless encouragement and patience while we worked tirelessly to bring another bookstore to Queens. We are BEYOND excited to finally be able to share this announcement:

After an extensive, and at times grueling, search... we have finally found the storefront for our bookstore! We are so excited to call KEW GARDENS our new home away from home. All of you have been so supportive and encouraging and we couldn't have gotten this far without you.  

 

We have fallen completely in love with our cozy new place on 81-63 Lefferts Blvd and we hope you will love it just as much. We are located near the beloved Kew Gardens Cinema and Potter's Wheel (they’re awesome!). We’ll be easily accessible by bus, train, or LIRR so we are thrilled we’ll get to meet you all in person when you stop by! We are anxious and excited to begin the renovations, which will start very soon.

So, what's the next step?

  • If you backed our Kickstarter and you selected a reward that required our storefront: Keep your eyes peeled. We will be sending surveys your way!
  • We will be looking out for someone to design our new logo with our store's name, and a mural for our kids section! So if you or someone you know from Queens who can help us with this, please email us (info@thequeensbookshop.com) with a few samples! 
  • We will start working on our first huge book order, so if you have always dreamed of being a bookseller for a day and would like to volunteer once we get closer to our opening day, again email us! We love hearing from you :) 

 

As always, we will keep you updated on all our social media. We will share our progress with the renovation and all the little pieces that need to come together for us to finally open this bookstore that has always been for the community. :D 


Again, THANK YOU - 
Vina, Natalie, Holly.

Let's celebrate Small Business Day!

 


It's been a minute, hasn't it? We're sorry for the radio silence, but we've been working crazy hard! So first, we're going to invite you to something bookish and local and fun, and THEN we're going to let you know what we've been up to.

First: We want to celebrate Small Business Saturday with all of you! What is Small Business Saturday? You've heard of Black Friday, right? Well, Small Business Saturday is the same thing, only you get to kick off the Holiday Season locally, with independent businesses that know you and your community.

On November 26th we hope that you will join us in celebrating and supporting a small business near you. Now, it's true we don't have a concrete location yet (more on that in a paragraph or two), but that won't stop us from being YOUR local bookstore!

We are partnering up with Cipollina's Gourmet Italian Market (116-09 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills) to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Stop by between 11am - 2pm to pick up delicious Italian treats AND a new inspiring book for yourself or as a gift. We will be there selling our most popular (pre-wrapped!) Blind Date Books, as well as a selection of new and used titles for you to choose from. And, to make the deal even sweeter, the first 25 people to visit us and buy a book will get a FREE small coffee from Cipollina's!
Make sure to RSVP here. We can't wait to see you there!

If you can't make it, there are so many other ways you can participate:

  • Skip Starbucks and get your morning coffee at a local cafe
  • Hit up that little children's boutique down the block for some unique gifts
  • Go to the small specialty market to get ingredients for your next holiday meal
  • Kick start your holiday shopping with some books purchased at your local independent bookstore! Find out what they have planned here!

Now, on to business.

KICKSTARTER

As of right now, if you've provided us with your mailing address, your physical Kickstarter reward should have already arrived or is on it's way to you via US Post. We hope you enjoy them, we've worked very hard making them for you. If your reward was less tangible than a book or a bag, be on the lookout for some surveys from Kickstarter as we start to ask for names for our mural and as we provide information for our Members Only Book Club. If you haven't gotten your physical reward yet, please let us know so that we can look into what happened.

A BRICK AND MORTAR SPACE

In regards to a physical location, man, have we been putting in legwork (literally... Holly has spent her days off walking from one neighborhood to another). We've viewed 10 potential locations since September (2 restaurants, 3 nail salons, a 99¢ store and a dojo, just to name a few) put in several Letters of Intent and continue to keep our eyes and ears open for other available spaces. We've narrowed our search down to Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, primarily along Queens Blvd or Metropolitan Ave. We've gotten pretty close with two spaces, but one of them became financially impossible when we uncovered how much work needed to be done to renovate the space and the second one was a case of bad timing, as we submitted our Letter of Intent the same week the owner agreed to negotiations with another business. Such is the reality of commercial real estate. But we're not giving up, and have high hopes for a few available spaces we've recently been shown. As always, thank you all for your patience, support, and input as we look for our permanent home. A few of you have even reached out to us in person or online when you see a For Rent sign, and we couldn't be happier or more humbled that you are also working so hard to help us make this bookshop a reality. Thank you!!

If you've made it to the end of this email, kudos!

A quick recap: Nov. 26th, let's make it our goal to celebrate and support a small business in our neighborhoods. We hope you enjoyed your Kickstarter reward, and we are still actively looking for a storefront!

Until next time, 
Vina, Natalie, Holly.

Progress report since reaching our Kickstarter goal!

We know we’ve been quiet for a while but that’s just because we’re hard at work putting together our Kickstarter rewards for our backers and looking into all the little details that will bring you the best bookstore possible!  

So, speaking of those rewards, we’ve started sending out surveys to collect your emails and mailing addresses. They might have hit your spam box, so definitely keep an eye out for them!  

Our search continues for our storefront. We hope to narrow them down soon!  In the meantime you can purchase books from us at: 

  • Cipollina in Forest Hills (116-09 Queens Blvd) - This location was recommended by so many of you as our next pop-up and we have delivered! Grab them while they last, every bit made will go towards the bookstore! 
  • Made in Queens store in LIC (27-24 Queens Plaza South). They feature an array of Queens made artisanal products, crafts, design goods, home accessories, food products, and now books written by Queens authors! 
  • Espresso 77 in Jackson Heights. They are the new hosts of First Tuesdays, a poetry open-mic reading series every first Tuesday of the month. You can learn more about the event and RSVP here
  • While this Saturday will be our last day at the LIC Flea Market, you can also stop by this Sunday at the Ridgewood Market and meet us! 

Last but not least, we are SO excited to be a part of Kew Gardens Community Arts Day. Join this celebration on September 25th from 11AM to 5PM. We will have an interactive storytime! Don't miss it! RSVP by clicking here. 

Until next time!
<3 

WE REACHED OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL!

Our Kickstarter journey has been absolutely amazing. We will be forever grateful for all your words of support, enthusiasm, and love. We can't wait to open a bookstore that Queens deserves. Thank you for sharing, donating, and believing in us. We embark on our next step together. United to bring books back to Queens!

To celebrate reaching our Kickstarter goal, join us at Red Pipe Cafe from 8-10pm. We would love to thank you in person for being so generous throughout this campaign. You can also find us every Saturday until September at LIC Flea

Moving forward we are going to use the funds we’ve earned through Kickstarter to open up accounts with publishers to start building our inventory. In addition, we will be looking into partnerships with other local businesses, like cafes and event spaces, to expand our pop-up presence throughout the borough until our store opens! 

As of this morning, we also made our podcast debut over on Writer's Bone! Have a listen and subscribe to them. They are the most fantastic folks! 

Again, thank YOU for your continued support.

With love and the utmost gratitude,
Vina, Nat, Holly

Less than two days to reach our Kickstarter goal!

It has been a fantastic weekend of connecting and Kickstarting... We saw an amazing jump on our Kickstarter from $33k to over $59k, so some of you out there are really pulling for us! This means we are 16% shy of reaching our goal WITH TWO DAYS LEFT (59 hours to be exact). The goal is in sight, and we believe we can make this happen, with your help, now more than ever! There’s an urgent need for more bookstores in Queens and your help up to this point reflects it 100%.  

We started off Saturday at our booth at the LIC Flea market. Some of you came by and gave us such comfort and words of support; it filled our hearts with so much joy. When Holly met someone who had donated and chose her bag in person, she was literally jumping up and down. We even had shoppers back the Kickstarter in person, right there in the booth! But our day was officially made when we met Jack. 

This tiny human embodies the REASON we are doing this. Before twisting his dad’s arm to buy him TWO books (NOT one, it had to be two) he flipped through every page of a Curious George collection, commenting on everything he saw and showing us the pictures as he went. He was full of so much joy and his passion for books totally matches ours! 

On Sunday, we had a blast hosting a story time at the Austin Playground in Forest Hills. Again, so many of you came by with your little ones to enjoy a Father’s Day themed coloring session. We met Betti, a local grandma and avid reader who dearly misses a bookstore to find a great read for her grandson, and we met Michelle, a bright little four-year-old girl who signed up to be our first employee (if we published her notebook of doodles!)  

Looking forward, this Wednesday (6/22) we will be at Red Pipe cafe from 8-10pm, anxiously refreshing the Kickstarter page but also hopefully meeting YOU. We invite you to join us because we would love to thank you in person for being SO supportive, SO excited, and SO generous throughout this campaign.  

Finally, we have a new exciting reward to finish off this campaign. Quirk Books, one of our absolute favorite publishers, has donated some of their amazing titles plus goodie totes with pins, posters, and more! This reward would make a GREAT gift! 

Obviously we still have tons of neat things to offer, so if you haven’t told your neighbor or best friend to donate, NOW is the time. Only TWO days left to go! We only have four totes left, you can still sponsor a shelf, attend our opening party or host YOUR OWN, or grab signed books by amazing authors!  

For now, we’re too excited to keep typing, so we hope to see as many of you as possible this Wednesday and we can’t wait to cross this finish line together! Hope to see you then!

With love,
Vina, Nat, Holly

We’re down to just TWO weeks to reach our Kickstarter goal.

The pressure is on and we’re pumped and ready – are you?! We are 41% funded, with your help we can do this! Donate if you can here, any and all help is appreciated! Every single penny will go towards building the ideal bookstore for our borough! 

We have been featured in a wonderfully heartfelt article in The Observer, NY1, and Forbes!! We have received so much love from our favorite authors on Twitter such as Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, Laini Taylor, Celeste Ng, Holly Black, Stephanie Perkins, and more! 

We also prepared for (and had a blast at) our first Saturday as part of the LIC Flea Market. Click here to see our booth! We will have a table at the flea market every Saturday through September, so please stop by, say hi and pick up your Blind-Date-With-a-Book or neat handmade goodies! We can’t wait to meet you! You can RSVP on Facebook or MeetUp

Since so many of you have been asking, we want to let you know that we’ve been poking our noses around some empty storefronts in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. We’ve found a potential space in Kew Gardens that just seems to feel right. It’s dynamic, spacious and it even has a stage for those author events and storytimes we can’t wait to host! Take a peek here. Seriously, isn't that wooden stage just perfect? 

We are so grateful for all of you! Let's finish up these two weeks with a bang! Queens deserves it! 

With love,
Vina, Nat, Holly