On Friday, I had some time left over after working and before picking Olive up for kindergarten. I decided to pop into our neighbourhood kid’s bookstore to browse around a little bit before I headed over to Olive’s school.
The store is called Monkeyshines and it’s the cutest little place – I often shopped there for stocking stuffers for Olive because around the holiday season they stock some of the most awesome plastic-free toys for little ones. They carry incredible books for all ages and some great toys too – plastic-free, open-ended and endlessly entertaining.
One of Olive’s favourite toys ever came from MonkeyShines. It was a set of unbelievably simple cardboard stacking cups. They’re just simple nesting cups with cute designs, and I actually remember feeling vaguely silly paying $20 for them at the time.
Guys, these cups have been more consistently played with than almost anything else she owns. They served as a cake for Squash Baby’s goodbye party, houses for a variety of stuffed animals, tables, chairs, hats, gift boxes…they’re incredible. Contrast this to her Hatchimal, (five times the price) which she saved up for months and has barely touched since it hatched.
Anyway, the point of all this is that it’s a really fantastic little bookstore.
The thing is, I am guilty, as I’m sure are many of you, of sometimes following the path of least resistance when it comes to shopping. As our lives have gotten busier and busier, with kindergarten for her and more work for me, taekwondo, birthday parties, chores, holidays, etc. it’s become really easy to shop at bigger stores or even online at Amazon, simply because it’s so easy.
I feel terrible for buying Olive’s Christmas book at a big chain bookstore this year. I didn’t even think about this little neighbourhood shop, but I know that I could have bought it there and I know that if they didn’t have it in stock they would have happily ordered it in. And more importantly, I know how much of a difference it could have made.
You see, Olive’s dad owned a small business for many years. I have an intimate understanding of how challenging it can be to look at the books each month and see a negative number; how innovative business owners can become when searching for ways to reduce expenses and cut costs; and how heartbreaking it can be to think about losing the store you’ve poured your heart, soul, and all your free time into.
I’m writing this post because I think that this little bookstore may be struggling in the same way, and I’d like to help if I can.
So, for those of you who live in Calgary or surrounding areas, I’m hosting a little giveaway to MonkeyShines Children’s Bookstore.
This is not sponsored in any way, I’ll be paying for it myself. I’m doing this because I love independent bookstores and believe in independent bookstores, especially ones for children. Because I love small businesses and believe in small businesses, especially ones as wonderful and thoughtful as this. And because when I lived in Squamish, BC, our only independent bookstore shut down shortly after a WalMart opened, and I remember feeling such anger and sadness and disappointment.
I don’t want to feel that again.
So, let’s show this little bookstore some love! To enter to win a $20 gift card to MonkeyShines Books you have to do three things:
- Share this post on Facebook or Instagram
- Go follow@MonkeyShinesbks on Instagram and like their Facebook page
- Leave a comment below about what book you’d buy if you won!
A winner will be drawn on Friday, Feb 9. Please share this post with your local mom’s groups, parents, grandparents, and Calgary residents!
(And even if you don’t win, go check them out! They have wonderful books, gorgeous toys, and the cutest baby leggings you’ve ever seen – made by a local single mom! They’re also planning a sweet Valentines day party for your little ones! They’re located in Marda Loop, 2215 33 Ave SW 🙂 )