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$11,095 pledged of $205,900 goal
backers
$11,095 pledged of $205,900 goal
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About this project

Let's bring the first African-American owned independent Children's/YA Bookstore to South Bend, Indiana!

The Brain Lair Bookstore will primarily focus on diverse Children's and Young Adult books and will work with schools and other community organizations to bring those books to everyone. 

"Access to books is the single biggest barrier to literacy..."(https://www.firstbook.org/images/pdf/Statistics-on-Literacy.pdf) 

Opening this bookstore is the first step to break down that barrier. We will also bring in a variety of book creators, develop a teen literature festival, initiate a reading wellness program for children, and become the place to get books to read globally and connect locally.

The Brain Lair Bookstore will actively pursue ways to get involved in and give back to the community of South Bend/Mishawaka, Indiana. 

Kids Rock! They will

  • Interact with children and young adult book creators
  • Write their own stories with bookstore staff/volunteer help
  • Attend book release parties
  • Receive a discount on purchases (HS and College students)

Parents Rock! They will

  • Receive guidance to help match books to readers
  • Attend storytime characters and crafting days for the youngest customers
  • Attend workshops on growing lifelong readers

Teachers Rock! They will

  • Learn to build evolving and responsive classroom libraries 
  • Receive a discount on all purchases 
  •  Attend special Educator Nights and Literacy Workshops

 The Brain Lair Bookstore will donate books to underfunded youth organizations in our area. 

Our goal will be to make sure everyone has the opportunity to own a book.

Kathy M Burnette - AKA The Brain Lair (@thebrainlair)

I'm a teacher librarian in the South Bend/Mishawaka, IN area with 12+ years experience in the school library. Prior to moving to the library, I taught Kdg-2nd. I've worked as a middle school librarian and now work for an elementary school.  I've served on our state Middle Grades Award (Young Hoosier) and Young Adult Award (Eliot Rosewater) committees and am currently serving on the ALA 2018 Michael L Printz Award Committee (for Young Adult books).

I've worked with children and teens and books for a long time. I read blogs, publisher newsletters, review magazines, and talk to students about what they like and don't like. I go to trade shows and I've cultivated a PLN of people who are seriously passionate about all things children and books. I do not go into this lightly.

I've presented on reading programs at the local, state, national, and international level.  I know my sh*t.

Presenting at SIBF/ALA conf
Presenting at SIBF/ALA conf

I know the power of books. Reading books not only helped me escape from the everyday drudgery and violence growing up, but books opened my eyes to the possibility of a better life.  I want to offer that access to future generations.

Solace and Joy NerdTalk - opens in new window
Solace and Joy NerdTalk - opens in new window

 

Solace and Joy NerdTalk for NerdCampMI, 2016 

 

Startup costs (all costs approx.):

Furniture and Fixtures - The Brain Lair will be outfitted with a combination of custom furniture from a vendor and a local artisan. An architect/designer will help turn the place into a destination space. $36,000

Inventory - Carefully curated Children’s and Young Adult books, some specially selected adult titles, and great sidelines including STEM items, clothing, bookmarks, mugs, notebooks, and an assortment of handmade items from community artists. $135,000 

 Other Necessary Items - Point of Sale system, signage, WiFi, utilities, licenses, permits, training, Kickstarter fees, rewards, taxes,and other items. $34,900 

 Grand Total - $205,900

 

 

Designs are not final. 

 

 

Risks and challenges

What We Need to Overcome

We are here because we don't believe the book is dead. We know that people are turning off their computers and exploring their communities. That books build empathy and save lives.

That being said - It’s a tough, competitive world out there.

We have a Barnes and Noble as well as Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, the local grocery store, and don’t forget Amazon. All of these places sell books.

It will be hard for an independent bookstore to compete.

An independent bookstore has to have more to offer. I think the Brain Lair Bookstore will offer more! My expertise in the school system, both public and private, as well as extensive knowledge of kids and teen books will set our store apart. Working directly with youth-oriented organizations will also help us support the community.

The challenge will lie in making sure we are marketing and promoting the store to bring in customers and turn them into lifelong readers and owners of books.

We will build a strong and inviting online presence that matches our physical store. This will allow us to reach beyond our boundaries and help more customers.

I've done my research and I hope it pays off. I have gone over the numbers (thanks NIU for that degree in accounting) but it is more than likely I've missed something. Any amount over my goal will help me get things up and running faster and smoother.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Booklist!

    I am grateful. You receive my undying love.

    Includes:
    • A personalized thank you email.
    • Diversity Book List - you pick the level
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Hug and A Bag!

    I will be more grateful. The hug will be delivered when I see you in person at our opening!

    Includes:
    • A hug
    • A personalized thank you email.
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
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    Ships to Only United States
    29 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Hug and a Mug!

    So grateful. The hug will be delivered in person

    Includes:
    • A hug
    • A personalized thank you email.
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • The Brain Lair Coffee Mug
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    21 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A Smile, A Hug, and A Book!

    I am even more grateful.

    The hug will be delivered when I see you at our opening.

    A book will be chosen especially for you (or someone you designate). Details to come.

    Includes:
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    • Book - Children's or Young Adult picked for you.
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    16 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Some Books and A Bag!

    The Brain Lair branded Tote Bag.

    2 Children's or Young Adult books chosen especially for you. Can be mixed. Details to come.

    Includes:
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    • 2 Books - Children's or Young Adult books
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    Ships to Only United States
    11 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Some Books and A Mug!

    The Brain Lair branded Mug.

    2 Children's or Young Adult books chosen especially for you. Can be mixed. Details to come.

    Includes:
    • The Brain Lair Coffee Mug
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    • 2 Books - Children's or Young Adult books
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    Ships to Only United States
    8 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your name in lights! (not really)

    Each donor will have a nameplate attached to a shelf in the store! For all to see! I will make you famous!

    And I will hug you with something approaching delight.

    Includes:
    • Name plate attached to a shelf.
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    • Your picture in our Backer Back (you provide, keep appropriate)
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 7 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Six Months of Books

    Each month, for six months, the sponsor will receive a personally curated book and other book related items. These will be a mix of Young Adult and Middle Grade titles. There will also be a tote bag in the first shipment. Details to come.

    Definitely a picture. And a hug.

    Includes:
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    • 6 mo Book Subscription
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    A Year of Books

    Each month the sponsor will receive a personally curated book and other book related items. These will be a mix of Young Adult and Middle Grade titles. There will also be a tote bag in the first shipment. Details to come.

    Definitely a picture. And a hug.

    Includes:
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    • 1 yr Book Subscription
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Quotables

    Each donor will have their favorite Children's or Young Adult book-related quote included in the decor. Also includes a tote bag and other goodies! Donors names will be listed on plaque in prominent place in store.

    Includes:
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • Your favorite kidlit quote displayed in the store.
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    • Name on Founder's Plaque
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Party at The Brain Lair!

    An evening's use of The Brain Lair! Host your event on the premises on a mutually agreed upon evening. Details to come!

    Includes:
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • A hug
    Less
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    Limited 1 backer
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Level 1 Founder's Day

    Each donor will receive a Level 1 Founder's Day - promoted by The Brain Lair Bookstore. Name on a prominently displayed plaque. A tote bag and other goodies.

    Includes:
    • Level 1 Founder's Day
    • Name on Founder's Plaque
    • Diversity Book List - you pick the level
    • 6 mo Book Subscription
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Level 2 Founder's Day

    Each donor will receive a Level 2 Founder's Day - promoted by The Brain Lair Bookstore. Founder's names on a prominently displayed plaque. A tote bag and other goodies.

    Includes:
    • Level 2 Founder's Day
    • Name on Founder's Plaque
    • Diversity Book List - you pick the level
    • 1 yr Book Subscription
    • Stickers and buttons!
    • The Brain Lair Tote Bag
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (60 days)