I know I’ve been MIA and there is a really good reason why :))
A couple of weeks ago I opened the doors to The Booktique in Abbeville, SC – the only bookstore in town – and it was the most fabulous feeling EVER! I can’t begin to describe what I felt, but know it was one of the best feelings in the world. Unfortunately, my excitement didn’t last long when two days later I had to shut them. Everything that could possibly go wrong, has, and now I have a store filled with all these amazing books just sitting there.
I made the heartbreaking decision that I was going to have to close the store because the cost of repairing everything was more than I have. I know some of you may be wondering how I thought I was going to run a bookstore with no money, but I promise you, I had saved money to keep the store open for six months that didn’t include any profit from the store’s earnings. But in the process of my sister and nephew moving to SC, her car broke down leaving her, my nephew, my husband, and brother stranded in Oklahoma. With all the expenses of moving down here on her part, I was more than willing to use the money I had saved to get them the rest of the way out here safely.
I’d been setting up the bookstore for a few months, filling it with books, and reaching out to authors to donate anything they could, I figured I would still open and hoped for the best. I knew the rent for the store was paid up until the end of this month and I would only have to worry about the electric and internet. Two days after opening we had some issues with the air unit and it went out, with it reaching 100 degrees some days, there was no way we could keep the doors open and expect people to want to spend time browsing books when you could hardly breathe in the store.
I was too embarrassed to ask for help or say anything to anyone and so I figured my only option was too close the store before I even got to fully open it. I started talking to some author friends of mine and my amazing assistant and they convinced me there was a lot to lose if I didn’t at least reach out and ask for help. The worst thing has already happened, right?? I was still on the fence about setting up a GOFUND me account until today when the most amazing thing happened… I made my very first sale!
I was taking four boxes filled with books from the amazing Tara Brown down to the bookstore and waiting for a customer of my husbands (he fixes electronics in his spare time) to drop off an ipod. It had to be at least 120 degrees and I felt horrible when I saw she had her children with her. If the heat bothered them, they didn’t act like it one bit and I wanted to hug them all for that. Her youngest daughter continued to tell me how pretty my store was and how much she liked it, while her oldest daughter sweetly suggested I get a table and chairs, which I had planned to, haha. Her youngest son brought an armful of books to me so he could show me his favorites and her oldest son picked out an alien comic book. They were so excited about the books and to learn that you could actually keep the books if you bought them. Their mom let them pick out two books each and I helped her daughter pick out her two favorite princess books and promised to save the other three for her, I even promised to tell the others customers that they cost $10,000 dollars so they wouldn’t want them haha. They were adorable first customers and they left the store excited over their new books and I left the store feeling like my year had been made. I went home cried, happy tears, and texted my husband that I had four of the cutest first customers and that I couldn’t close the bookstore down.
It was decided that I was going to reach out to the amazing writing community and ask for their help. If in the end, I can’t keep the bookstore open, I at least know I tried to do everything I can and please know that I am!! I’m not expecting anything outrageous and even if only $20 dollars is made, I will be beyond thankful.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and thank you so much for all your love and support!!
Sincerely, Melissa Andrea
The Booktique Facebook page
Here is the link if you’d like to donate to The Booktique :)) Thank you so much!!