Help ‘Bluestockings Bookstore’ Stay on the Lower East Side

Posted on: September 23rd, 2015 at 5:16 am by
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Bluestockings Bookstore is one of the few eclectic businesses left that manages to tread water during this tidal wave of hyper-gentrification. It’s operated on the Lower East Side for nearly two decades – 16 years, to be precise – pushing left-leaning literature on topics such as feminism, queer and gender studies, global capitalism, climate & environment, police and prisons, and radical education.

In fact, Bluestockings is reportedly designated one of only 13 remaining feminist-identified bookstores in North America.

And now it’s threatened. Blame the landlord, at least partially. The bookstore and activist center re-upped their lease at 172 Allen Street this past June for another five years at great cost. Plus, a fresh makeover is planned to keep the business going.

“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. “Bluestockings has only brought in enough money to cover the cost of keeping our doors open. In fact, no one at Bluestockings is even compensated for their work – our team of over 80 people (including our collective co-owners) donate their time to make Bluestockings run because they so strongly believe in our mission.”

So, in an effort to further cement its place in the neighborhood, Bluestockings sounded the clarion call this week, and is currently crowdfunding via Indiegogo. The campaign carries a goal of $50,000, with proceeds going 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.

The more detailed budget is as follows…

  • $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

Head to the campaign page here to donate.

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