Bluestockings Bookstore Raises More Than $37K to Stay on LES; Renovation to Follow Next Month

Posted on: October 29th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Bluestockings is one of the last “feminist bookstores” in the country (there are 13). In fact, it’s pretty much the only bookstore on the Lower East Side. The sixteen-year-old, left-leaning institution is committed to staying in the neighborhood, having recently re-upped the lease at 172 Allen Street.

But costs of maintaining the business have skyrocketed. As previously reported, Bluestockings assembled a crowdfunding campaign to help ensure the radical shop’s relevance as the area continues to change. Proceeds go toward a three-pronged makeover initiative: remodeling the storefront (new awning, signage, new wiring), updating the point-of-sale software and cafe equipment, and expanding overall inventory with new acquisitions. “Bluestockings believes that physical renovations to our storefront are vital to meeting demands of an ever-changing publishing industry and expanding our customer base,” reads a public statement on its struggle.

In the last month of fundraising, both direct and online, the activist hub was able to amass $37,630, equating to 75% of the stated $50,000 goal. The Indiegogo push, meanwhile, will continue for another two weeks.

This image has been archived or removed.

“We have begun purchasing new computers and moving to a updated database/POS system,” co-owner Sarah Olle tells us. “We will begin the facility repairs and awning renovation process likely in November!”

To celebrate the recent success and excitement for the future, Bluestockings is holding a “Survive and Thrive” party Friday evening (7pm). The pre-Halloween event carries the byline, “gentrification and precarity are spooky.”

We’re inviting rad folks from all over the city to come hear about our plans for the store’s future, and to chat about what we can all do to keep radical spaces alive in NYC!
Costumes / facepaint encouraged but not required
To another 5 years of Bluestockings!

Breakdown of fund spending:

  • $2,500 – License for new point of sale system
  • $3,000 – Transfer to new point of sale system
  • $5,400 – 12 months of new point of sale system software
  • $3,000 – New computers and monitors
  • $4,300 – Basic electrical repair
  • $500 – Repair coffee machine
  • $300 – Replace broken sound equipment
  • $4,000 – Design, production, and installation of a new awning
  • $21,000 – Labor and materials to redo flooring
  • $6,000 – Loss of revenue when closed for flooring construction
  • TOTAL: $50,000

Recent Stories

Developer Begins Demolition of Rutgers Street Playground for Temporary Parking Lot

Demolition work began this week on a Lower East Side park that is a focal point in the tension between the community and developers on the waterfront. The backhoes are out and job now underway at Rutgers Park, the small public space beside the Lands End II residential development. Removal of the playground began yesterday, including […]

The 3 Lower East Side Walk-ups that Sold for $35M

Earlier this month, we reported that SMA Equities, the Long Island real estate firm with controversial history on the Lower East Side, sold a portfolio of its area properties. SMA unloaded three tenement walk-ups to Daniel Fishman of GAIA Real Estate – 102 Norfolk Street, 177 Ludlow Street, and 99 Allen Street – for an […]

H&M Debuts Pop-up Hotel on the Bowery this Weekend

Fashion retailer, H&M, is headed to the Lower East Side this week with a pop-up hotel concept. Starting tomorrow, prospective guests can access the so-called Hotel Hennes via the eponymous 3 Freeman Alley. The three-day publicity stunt will be open through Saturday, from 2 to 9pm. Guests will be able to check in for an […]

Sneakerhead Arrested for Knifing Customer at Hypebeast ‘HBX’ Opening on Division Street

A watershed moment for Hypebeast transformed into a melee on the Lower East Side last week. The Hong Kong-based fashion and lifestyle publication on Friday officially debuted in the seven-story commercial loft building at 41-43 Division Street. Its ground-level store – dubbed HBX – attracted a queue of sneaker heads waiting for a limited edition Nike […]

Arsonist Torches Eldridge Street Beauty Parlor

Two people were injured yesterday evening after an arsonist set ablaze a beauty parlor on Eldridge Street, according to several published reports. The incident transpired shortly before 5:00pm at the Sa Sa II Beauty Salon, located at 129 Eldridge Street. Cops said the suspect poured gasoline inside the store and set it on fire. (Initial […]