Mr B's Emporium in Bath has raised almost £64,000 to expand its premises since launching its crowdfunder last month.
Since launching on 9th October to raise £45,000, the original target was smashed within weeks with a ‘stretch target’ subsequently introduced of £70,000 to help reduce its reliance on "conventional and expensive" bank funding still needed for the project. When the fundraising campaign closed on Monday afternoon (5th November), the shop had raised “reached a whopping £63,765” which is 90% of its stretch target from 847 supporters within 28 days.
The initial project was conceived to create an "indoor woodland of books" for children, called The Wood Between the Words; a special area celebrating the crafts of writing and illustration available for authors and artists to hire, called The Imaginarium; and "a labyrinthine unashamedly bookish space for everyone".
The cash from the stretch target will mean Mr B's is able to take on the second lease in the shop's adjacent premises and create the inspiring new spaces entirely through internal investment, campaign pledges and the shop's existing cash-flow facilities, as explained on its crowdfunding page.
The additional money will help provide for a new window display area, improved signage throughout the shop, additional mural work by local artist Alex Lucas and an upgrade to more durable and environmentally friendly materials for shelving, as well as "massively improving the efficiency of Mr B’s behind the scenes by making the very best of our much-needed new additional off-shop floor space in the basement of the new premises, where we will receive books, package books for dispatch and look after our customer orders".
Speaking to The Bookseller last month on extending the original target, co-owner Nick Bottomley, also BA president, said he had been "completely surprised" by the speed with which pledges had rolled in to support the shop's expansion plans.
On 5th November when the campaign closed, the shop’s team posted the following update to the crowdfunding website: “We are immensely grateful and glowing with warmth at all of the truly touching comments. It has given our new plans such a boost just to know how much Mr B's means to so many of you and that you are all just as excited as we are about the new expansion plans.
“We will be in touch with every one of you shortly about reward details. In the meantime, our to-do list just got a whole lot bigger! It is now upon us to work along with our project team to help create a new space that is truly fabulous for you all to enjoy.”