Since closing our doors in March, our collective has hardly slowed down to catch a breath, let alone write a newsletter. We’ve traveled to conferences, sold books at trade shows, restructured our governance model, completed a very encouraging feasibility study, spoken with lenders, cleared out our old storefront, scouted potential new spaces, and learned a lot about what it takes to open a neighborhood bookstore in an era of e-books and free two-day shipping. Through this process our excitement for launching the next chapter of our project in West Asheville has only grown, in spite of frustrations with the area’s developing real estate market.
We now have a clear picture of what the new Firestorm will look like and, as a result, we know that without making undesirable compromises, we won’t be re-opening on our originally stated timeline of “late summer.” Good things take time, it would seem.
Meanwhile, we are patient but not stagnant! Among other endeavors, we’ve participated in the formation of two exciting new groups, a solidarity economy network and a cooperative peer circle. In March we attended the Organic Growers School Spring Conference and the Home Garden and Green Living Show. In April we presented two workshops on participatory decision-making at the Cooperation Amongst Cooperatives Convergence in Greensboro, NC and got rained out at the FBFC’s 2nd Annual Urban Homesteading Fair.
Much appreciation to everyone who has lent a hand, shared a resource or offered advice over the last two months. Your support has kept us energized and on track. If you have crowdfunding or digital media skills, we want to talk to you! If you have the capacity to buy commercial property, we want to talk to you! And if you miss seeing us on Commerce Street, we definitely want to talk to you, too! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.