It’s 10:00 pm and I’m still in my Tribeca office consumed in my business plan. I know I played myself, but please pray for me that I don’t run into any crazies on the train ride home; I have my pepper spray, but still. Anyway, my plan is due to the New York Public Library: Science Industry and Business Library on June 6th. Their business plan competition has been a long process (since November 2015) consisting of an orientation, 4 workshops, and continuous meetings with business advisers (I’m on team Baruch College)… all in a quest to win the $15,000 grand prize and be the rebel bookseller I am meant to be. I’m the 1st Noëlle, so I’m not concerned with the other prize levels, lol.
I’m working on the Company Description section of my plan and it bought me to tears. I’ve worked so f*cking hard on this dream and haven’t realized the strides I’ve made, while also juggling my full-time career and millennial-hood, until I had to actually put it into words. In my mind, I’m a failure until the doors open, but I am damn proud of me today.
I thought sharing this would be a cool opportunity to share my progress with you and document my milestones here. Oh, and your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The name of the store changed from Lit. BookBar to The Lit. Bar. (Long story for later… a happy and funny one.)
DEVELOPMENT STAGE AND MILESTONES ACHIEVED TO DATE
The Lit. Bar was conceptualized in October of 2014 by South Bronx native and resident, Noëlle Santos. Ms. Santos recognized a need for a bookstore after joining 3,097 Bronx petitioners imploring landlords to renew the lease of what is the only bookstore in the borough, Barnes & Noble. The outcry resulted in the property owners extending the lease through 2016 and its future beyond that is unknown.Tired of traveling ten miles just to patron the mediocre chain-bookstore–whose future is periodically in jeopardy–Ms. Santos set out to open an alternative bookshop; one in touch with the people and needs of the Bronx with a twist that would enliven the traditional bookstore business model. Within the week of conception, Ms. Santos secured the domain www.thelitbar.com and username handles across the social media platforms frequented by what would be The Lit. Bar’s target market.
As the result of cold-calling in January of 2015, Ms. Santos enlisted Nicole Sullivan, the owner of BookBar (a bookstore/wine bar in Denver, Colorado) to demonstrate proof of concept and mentor her in best practices. In the same month, Ms. Santos invested in a Prospective Membership with the American Bookseller’s Association (ABA) and has since immersed in their resources and blueprints for opening an independent bookstore.
In April of 2015, Ms. Santos traveled to Amelia Island, Florida to meet the leading bookstore consultants in the industry, Paz & Associates, for an intensive, week-long workshop for prospective bookstore owners. After a skills assessment prompted by the retreat, Ms. Santos acquired a part-time job at the Housing Works Bookstore Café to gain hands-on experience in bookstore operations and bar management.
The Lit. Bar is a seed company pending a property to call home. Ms. Santos has strategically partnered with —-, to represent The Lit. Bar in lease negotiations and help keep an eye on local demographic shifts.
In an effort to offer immediate value to The Lit. Bar’s target market, solicit interest, and collect market data, Ms. Santos founded the hybrid book club Readers & Shakers (www.meetup.com/readersandshakers) in February of 2016 and blogs on her reading experiences and her journey to opening the store at www.1stnoelle.com.
LEGAL STRUCTURE & LEADERSHIP
On January 15, 2015, The Lit. Bar, LLC became a limited liability company registered in the state of New York. Noëlle Santos is the company’s sole member and will serve as the general manager of The Lit. Bar supported by the advisory board and personnel detailed in the Management section of this plan.
I’m broke, baby! Ok, it doesn’t really say that, but I that’s what I’m thinking, lol.
Thank you for supporting me by reading and in all the ways that you do.