Just about one year ago, on August 6, 2021, we opened the door to Booksweet for the first time and hoped for the best.
Did we know what we were doing? Not really. Did we put our faith in our community and let them show us the way? Absolutely.
Because of our readers, our community partners, and our team, we were able to grow our little family business during a year rife with significant business challenges (pandemic surges, a national paper shortage, global shipping delays, Plymouth Road construction, just to skim the surface).
Because of you, we were able to persevere, serve our community, and plant seeds of change together with you. In our book, that’s called thriving.
So, what does the future look like?
Co-liberation involves a redistribution of wealth and change requires resources. Together, we’re planting the seeds to make that happen.
With your help readers, here are some of the seeds we’ve been able to plant in our first year of business:
- ACLU – we are currently saving 10% of all sales from our Banned Book Club reading list to make a big donation to the ACLU as part of Banned Books Week this September. To date (8/7/22), we’ve raised $160.10. Join us in this effort!
- African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County – our $50 donation was made possible through the donation of 10% of all pre-orders for The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.
- Apiary – 10% of sales from our Feminist Reads for Now + Next list supports this non-profit national hub for direct service organizations. To date (8/7/22), we’ve raised $43.36 for Apiary. Join us in this effort!
- APISA/A – we collaborated with Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center on a book drive to add 320 books starring Asian characters to AAPS through a book drive in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Additionally, Booksweet donated 10% of the book drive purchases to support APISA/A, a $232.94 donation.
- Black Men Read – to date, Booksweet readers have purchased 44 books for the BMR Team through their Booksweet wishlist and our holiday Giving Tree to distribute throughout schools and libraries in Washtenaw County. Join us in this effort!
- Community Action Network – we’re currently working with the American Booksellers Association, Candlewick Press, and General Motors to provide CAN with 120 special edition copies of the high-seas middle-grade adventure read, The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat, ensuring that each and every child in the loving and amazing CAN community has a copy of this great book for their home library.
- Clague Middle School – through our Library Love Day in Fall 2021, we were able to donate $284.31 to help resource this public AAPS middle school’s library.
- Humane Society of Huron Valley – in celebration of Clifford The Big Red Dog’s b-day in February, we hosted an in-shop HSHV wishlist drive. It was so wonderful to see kids connecting and lending a hand during some of the darkest pandemic days of winter 2022. Soon, we’ll be announcing another fun effort with HSHV at Booksweet during Small Business Saturday (11/26/22).
- Native Justice Coalition – with the support of our readers, we donated $50 during Indigenous People’s Week in October 2021 through our Indigenous Reading List. (We’re working to freshen the list with all of the great NEW titles released since then, so please stay tuned for another effort with this great org!)
- Stand With Trans – we raised $60 for Stand With Trans during the month of March in honor of Trans Visibility Day.
- STEAM @ Northside – through our Library Love Day last fall, we were able to donate $270.21 to help resource the library at STEAM @ Northside, a public K-8 AAPS school.
- Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy – in celebration of National Disability Independence Day this July, we donated $50 with the support of sales from our Disability Pride list.
All told, that’s $1,200.92 and 485 books in Booksweet’s community donation efforts since we opened our doors a year ago.
This is only the beginning.
As our business grows and our partnerships deepen, we can’t wait to see what happens next.
We are because you are. And that’s the real future we’re trying to nurture.
Happy Booksweet Birthday to YOU, readers. You are the best.
–The Booksweet Family (Shaun, Truly, and Raymond)