What’s interesting about Ancestry Books, a crowdsourced bookstore setting up shop in North Minneapolis this month, is not the funding mechanism but how the store supports a specific community need.
Chaun Webster and partner Verna Wong say they are elated about surpassing a $10,000 Kickstarter goal, but are more thrilled about how the store will provide a connection point for the community and will open a space that would engage the literary arts with a particular focus on indigenous authors and authors of color.
“One of the more common things community members have communicated to us over these last few months of preparation is that they are thrilled that there will be a space near their homes where they can see themselves in the literature that will be available. Ancestry Books more than anything was born out of the belief that our stories are one of our greatest natural resources,” he said in a Daily Planet blogpost.
The store will be opening in a retail cluster of other art and literature organizations.
While recognizing the challenges of online and big-box competition, the partners see the value of a bookstore as a way to engage community through a particular lens.
This approach may have lessons for other indie retailers. As a major topical theme at June’s International Christian Retail Show, store-of-the-future conversations and presentations will offer ways Christian-store retailers can discuss the changing consumer and reader environment and what to do about it.