I am finally recuperated from a whirlwind weekend. As readers of this blog already know, last weekend was our #FBCReadathon and I thought it would be brilliant to host a grand opening event at the same time. It was… a lot. But so worthwhile.
Last year’s readathon was an epic weekend where I personally handled all social media interaction. I didn’t get a chance to read, like, at all. I was hesitant to do it again because I have a tendency to stretch myself way too thin and overcommit (ya think?). But after months of fielding the same question “When’s the next readathon?!” I caved. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it alone again.
Feminist Book Club is a small operation. I am the only full-time employee. This summer, Claudia and Kathleen are assisting part-time in the office while Lucy is on leave. Natalia is part-time as well, and though her official title is Editor in Chief of this blog, she steps up to do so much more than blog stuff. So yeah, a big 3-day online event for this team would be a lot. But our illustrious team of blog and podcast contributors were up to the challenge.
A huge thank you goes out to our readathon planning team Christine, Claudia, Natalia, Nina, Rashmila, Steph, and Yasi. Our Slack channel was lit for a few weeks and everyone was full of incredible ideas and energy.
More thank yous have to go to our Instagram and Twitter hosts Steph, Nina, Ashley, Erin, Christine, Paulina, Piper, and Carrie. You were all magical unicorns who fielded questions, requests, giveaways, and more like CHAMPS. Bless you all for making sense of our absurdly complicated spreadsheet for the weekend. You are the reason I was able to tackle my own TBR last weekend!
Once again, the readathon became a happy circus of new friends, great books, silly prompts, and a ton of fun. I am once again blown away by how many people joined us and how much interaction occurred over the weekend! If you were part of the readathon, even for just a little while, THANK YOU. I hope you made some new book-loving feminist friends and were able to unwind. We’ll do it again, don’t worry 🙂
The Grand Opening
Our grand opening was a true community effort. About a week before, I had slid into the DMs of Flava Cafe, a coffeeshop that will be opening this fall in St. Paul. Shaunie, the founder, was an absolute wizard while we made arrangements via email, text, voicemails, and DMs! She met me Saturday morning right as I was pulling up to setup for our event and unloaded airpots of hot coffee and gorgeous pitchers of cold brew and all the fixins. I’m telling you, her coffee will change your life (contribute to their GoFundMe!). Next to the coffee, I set out the samples of Isadore Nuts that Tasya graciously donated and discovered a note from our muralist Hibaaq who had finished painting at 5am! Meanwhile, Kathleen and her family arrived early with Sift Gluten-Free treats in hand. She helped set up our snack table while her husband Tyler and toddler set out the cornhole set, on loan from my friend Hannah. Then my friend Aimee arrived with containers of homemade hand pies that she just whipped up out of the goodness of her heart before setting off for her roadtrip home to LA later that afternoon. At some point my niece Zinnia tipped over my full cup of cold brew, so while I was mopping that up, Cameron arrived to sell candles and provide free sniffs to all and Amanda arrived to volunteer her morning overseeing the in-store shopping. We opened the big garage doors at 9am and began the day with yoga in the warehouse, led by Kathleen.
It was an absolute joy meeting so many members and friends of this community but what melted my heart was the folks who settled in, made themselves comfortable, and made friends. THIS is the meaning of community. This is why I started FBC. This is what we’re here for.
Thank you to everyone who made this entire weekend a success and delight. I can’t believe how far we’ve come and can’t wait to see where we go next as a community.