Hello Everyone! We have reached the magic day and this online fund raiser is over. Although we did not reach our $50,000 goal, we are 100% further along than when we started. Due to feedback I have received from the community around the Owl I will continue my fund raising at the local level. If you know anyone still interested in donating they can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org, through the Owl’s Next Chapter facebook page, or find me at the store. I have no thoughts of throwing in the towel and I am currently working on my business plan. I will consult with my business advisors again and begin talking to banks over the next few weeks. Thanks to all of you we are finished with the first draft of the Owl’s next chapter and ready to start the second. I will continue to send updates as everything progresses. I hope you know how much all of your support and donations mean to me. I will never be able to thank you enough for your kindness and generosity.
The Learned Owl Book Shop has a long and rich history of outstanding service to its patrons and community which began in 1968 when Hudson resident Jean Isabel and her husband Bob founded the shop. On October 15, 1983, Liz Murphy and Elaine Ober purchased the shop and Murphy became sole proprietor in 1990. In the past 29 years, the shop has grown from 1500 square feet at street level with one phone, a cash register, two employees, open six days a week, to 2300 square feet (on three floors), five networked computers, four phone lines, a web page, email, facebook, a fax, 21 staff members (including Ruby the book shop dog), open seven days a week and six evenings.
Over the years, the Learned Owl has hosted hundreds of book and author events. Some of the most memorable include Jan Brett, Brian Jacques, Lady Soames (Winston Churchill's daughter), Eric Carle, former Cleveland Indian Bob Feller, Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu, Jennifer Chiaverinni, and Cinda Chima. Children have been enchanted by dozens of book character appearances over the years, including the Cat in the Hat, Clifford, Curious George, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and the Grinch.
By changing with the times, and thanks to many very loyal customers, the Learned Owl has beaten the odds and remains a thriving business. After so many successful years, Liz has decided it is time to pass the torch. She is currently interviewing people interested in “adopting” the bookstore and carrying on the legacy she has worked so hard to build. I believe I am the perfect person to carry the torch through the next 29 years.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to own a bookshop. Upon graduating from the College of Wooster, I started on my career path at Dubois, a college text book shop in Kent, OH. After a wonderful year and a half there, I learned that Borders was opening a store in Cuyahoga Falls. Realizing I was nowhere close to being able to start my own shop, I decided joining a growing company and learning from the ground up was my next best option. I spent 7 years working for Borders in all aspects of the job and in multiple stores. At this point I had gained a large amount of business knowledge, but decided that I had been ground through the big box retail mill for long enough. So I moved to South Korea to gain some world perspective and refocus on my goals. After 5 years of teaching English to Korean kindergarteners, I moved back to the U.S. energized and ready to continue on the book path. The first place I applied was the Learned Owl Book Shop. I had grown up in the area and always loved the store and community. For almost two years now I have worked at the Owl getting to know fellow employees, loyal customers, authors, and industry professionals.
I started this campaign to raise the funds needed to secure a business loan to buy the Learned Owl and all of the funds raised will go directly to that goal. I understand that not everyone is in a position to contribute monetarily. If that is the case you can help in a way that is equally important by spreading the word about the campaign and my goal to your family, friends, and fellow book lovers.
I truly understand the importance of the role the Owl plays in the thriving community that surrounds it as well as the in the community of independent book shops working to spread a love of books and reading all over the world. With that in mind, I hope I can count on you to be a part of writing the Owl’s next chapter with me.
**Soon to be frequently asked questions**
1. When you adopt the Owl will there still be a book shop dog?
Yes, the store would not be the same otherwise. It will not be Ruby, however I'm sure we will be able to persuade her to make guest appearances as her retirement schedule allows.
2. What happens to the money you have raised if for some unfathomable reason your plan doesn't work?
As impossible as it may seem, there is always a chance that things won't work out as you plan. If that is the case all money raised will be donated to various Hudson community charities as well as national literacy advocacy organizations such as First Book, which has a local chapter in Akron.
I'm sure more questions than this will arise and I will keep this section updated as the campaign progresses.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit the store I encourage you to do so. If you are too far away for a visit please check out our website, www.learnedowl.com and facebook page. Thanks again for your support!!