Sunday, March 08, 2009

Oui r won

Hurrah and hurroo. Our First Birthday turned out to be a huge success. There were a few hairy moments, but this is what we did...
  • We made up load of Goody Bags with a little help from some great kids' publishers.
  • Katie and Julie made a ton of biscuits in the shape of 1s.
  • Maisy the mouse turned up on Friday ready for her big outing
  • Made a big poster for the window.
  • The Mayor kindly agreed to come and say a few words
  • We advertised in the local paper, gumtree, all the local libraries that didn't charge two quid for the privelige (even though we put up advertising for their events for free), the local nurseries, our facebook group of 596 people(Come on, let's get it to 600). We mailed out reminders to all our mailing list, although a few of these only got their emails on Friday. And there may have ben one or two posters put up around Wood Green.
  • Katie made a marvellous cake.
  • We decided on making some new bookcase signs, so people had a bit more idea where sections in the shop were
  • We re-arranged the kids section and ordered a stack load of non fiction books.
  • we put up a new table for all the biscuits, cakes etc
  • We ordered some extra bags
  • We got extra change
  • We dug out the bunting from last years opening and covered the shop with it
  • We made a sign for the window that changed from 'World Book Day' (it was world book day on Thursday, and we happily accept your vouchers, and have lots of copies of the £1 books)to 'Happy Birthday'.
  • we bought lots of green balloons, and Tim blew most of them up
  • we made a little sign to put at the end of the road (just for the day, of course)
  • we had some wonderful stuff like home made brownies and cupcakes (thanks Beth and Shell), as well as lots of biscuits and a bottle or two of booze given to us to enjoy the day with.
  • We ordered extra copies of our recommended books.
  • bought party poppers and streamers (which we forgot about until about 4pm)
  • cleared all those little piles books that have been lying around on the shopfloor, which i'm sure every bookshop has.

and waited.

The Mayor Alan Dobbie and Maisy were both due to arrive at around 1.00pm, and as 12.40 arrived, there was just Tim, Katie, Freya and me in the shop, and I was a little nervous. At around 12.50 the Mayor arrived (as had Maisy and her helper), and slowly a small trickle of people started to come up the road, and into the shop. By 1.00pm the shop was jammed, and there were two long rows of pushchairs parked outside the front.

As Maisy prepared herself behind a sheet in the kid's section, Alan said some lovely things about the shop. He then gave a Mayoral decree that everything in the shop was 5% off for the rest of the day The nervous laughter was followed by us deciding to double it to 10% off. We hadn't even touched the wine.
Alan then suggested that perhaps there was someone else that the younger members of the audience were waiting for even more than him (and Haruki). We did a countdown and suddenly as if by some form of crazy magic, Maisy Mouse appeared...
much to the delight of everyone. After two or three minutes of photo oportunities, Maisy headed outside with Claire ,her helper. As Alan suggested that now would be a good time to cut the cake, you could see the dilemma facing the children.
'Cake or Maisy?, Maisy or Cake?'
The crowd split in two as the hungrier ones stayed inside for some yummy cake and the mouse fans followed Maisy as she headed to wards the High Road. Before the cake was cut and devoured, we managed to take a picture of it.. I'm only going to mention this once more, but thanks to Katie for making it. It was brilliant.

The next hour or so was a bit of a blur, as Tim and Cally (illustrator to the stars) worked tirelessly behind the counter selling books, and I cut cake and helped with pointing people in the right direction, and generally nattered with people.
Maisy, by now had gone up the High Road and into CEX, a computer game exchange shop! to get more people up to the shop. Can I say that Maisy went above and beyond the call of duty for the shop, and so much thanks must go to Raina for making this possible.

As 2.30 approached, Alan had to head off, but not without buying a book of course. Maisy was getting a bit tired by now and came back to the shop for some cheese. There were still lots of people, although no more biscuits or cake (and a lot less books!).

As our wonderful customers left and the day ended, I was left with the feeling that we are actually achieving something in Wood Green, and as long as we continue to listen to the people who come into the shop, and offer a good service and the right selection of books, and as long as we keep putting on interesting and different events in the shop, and as long as we keep on keepin on, then we might just be able to enjoy a good few more birthdays at the Big Green Bookshop.

Thanks to everyone who turned up (sorry if I didn't get a chance to say hello), and all of you who've helped us through the year.
See you soon I hope. And don't forget to tell your friends....


Jude said...

Sounds like a fantastically successful day! Congratulations and Happy Birthday

Judy x

Book Nerd said...

Congrats, guys! Sounds like a fabulous day, and a great reflection of a year and more's hard work. You're an inspiration to all of us booklovers AND aspiring entrepreneurs. Here's looking forward to year two!

Vanessa said...

Congrats belated happy birth day!!! Sounds like a mythological day. It is a great expression of this year. Good job……………And all booklover will inspire from you.