We've recently turned 3. I'm delighted that we've managed to struggle through 3 turbulent year. From the outside it may look rosy, but from inside, running a business is HAAAARD. But I want to say I love it. I love it! From the seed that was planted back in 2011 through to the creation and experience of opening and running the shop, I've learned so much and it's still evolving. Grow, Share, Experience.
One of the main reasons for setting up the shop was I wanted a place to relax, be inspired and take time out of a busy life. It's one reason why still to this day, I don't serve any fancy coffees. It may sound trite, but I like to be plain, simple and easy. Basic, Homely, Comfy.
The music we share and host has really surprised me. I did always plan to house music, and actually fell into the acoustic 'folk' scene by accident. After several people played, it simply snowballed. I'd have music on here every night if I could, but the audience in Coventry simply wouldn't support it, and my wife would miss me (probably). It has been a delight to host so many fantastic undiscovered gems. In the past 3 months there have been 3 separate musicians all say something similar, along the lines of "It's a right of passage to play here" and "Everyone in London speaks about the place". To hear this, from touring acts who play all over the UK, and Europe, was one of the best feelings, and still, I've got room to grow (not physically, not doing that again!). Feel, Move, Inspire.
I've loved the music so much that I decided in April to focus some non-bookshop time on a new outlet for me, Burnt Leaves Folk. I've been helping a few local musicians with management, something I would not have dreamed of doing 3 years ago. As well as the shop being 3, it's also my own journey of being my own boss and to take a look at why I do what I do. Helping others along a path that could aid their future and make them believe more in themselves and inspire. The management side of things has been fantastic, I'm learning all the time. I've booked gigs, and am currently booking a UK tour plus scheduling details for a single and album release, built a website and help with social media. I've loved it and this is where my focus has been and will be in the near future. Learn, Build, Talk
I've been blessed with support from my family and friends, have had wonderful staff, whether they've worked for a day or have been here for a long time, and I guess the next year won't see an expansion (no chance!) or a literary festival (STRESS!) but rather an organic growth. The hardest part of running the shop, and any business, is letting people know about you. Sharing via social media, talking about us, visiting us. Every 'like' help grows us and shares us. Every visit encourages us. I want you to experience all that has gone into the shop from day one so thank you.
Thank you all.
The Big Comfy Bookshop
Discuss, Learn, Play, Create