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


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.

bluestockings open

“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

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