On Febraury 24th 2011, I wrote this post. We were struggling pretty badly to pay the bills at the time and things were not very jolly at the shop. I also put our plea on Twitter and on Facebook.
The result was absolutely phenomenal. Over the next few weeks the outpouring of generosity towards the shop was quite simply incredible. As the story of our plight went global, amazing things started happening. We had donations from all over the world from people who hadn't even visited the shop but empathised with our position, we suddenly had hundreds of new customers coming through the door, our online sales were staggering, and events were organised by other people to help raise money for us.
It was blinking bonkers brilliant.
But something else happened too. Something rather special. We realised that there were lots and lots of people; our customers and now our friends, who had always come in to the shop and bought their books from us rather than anywhere else, who totally believed in us. Who cared so much about the shop that they would go out of their way to make sure that we survived.
We heard stories of a woman standing outside Boots, further up the road from us, shouting about our shop and telling people how important it was that people bought a book from us. Local Residents Associations shared our tale of woe to their members. We had visits from people every day who said that "lovely loyal customer' insisted that I come in and buy a book from you".
What happened was that we got our belief back. More accurately, we were given our belief back. The 9 months before our appeal had been hard. Very hard. We worked our socks off to keep things going but it didn't seem to be working. We began to think that maybe, what we were doing wasn't what Wood Green wanted. That maybe the Big Green Bookshop wasn't what people wanted.
But it seems that you wanted us to stick around.
Before we opened we took out a £60,000 bank loan. Last week we paid the final instalment of that loan off.
Thank you. Thank you so so much.
I know that without a doubt we have the greatest customers in the world.
We will be 4 years old in a couple of weeks and we thought that we should really throw a massive all day party in the shop to celebrate getting to this milestone. So keep your diary free on Saturday March 10th cos we're gonna whoop it up. x