The Latest Change is The Hardest Yet
Tuesday, April 14th, 2020
Nothing about this pandemic has been easy to cope with, but the news we received today has felt like a bit of a sucker punch. We're writing not only to tell you what happened, but also to ask for your help to get through it.
If you've been following our regular updates, you know that our store has been closed to the public since before Governor Whitmer's first Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order was announced. Since then, we have eliminated any customer contact and limited staff in-store to three essential people working in separate spaces. It made things tough, but we had systems in place to allow remote work and keep going in a way that was safe, compliant, and effective for our staff and customers. In fact, we were even featured by Up North Live and on 9&10 News as a local business making things work and taking care of our customers despite the difficulties.
These news stories, however, may have made it appear that the store was open. This morning, we received a warning from the health department that we would need to "cease our current activities." We're confident that our in-store system was operating within both the spirit and letter of the governor's Executive Order, but we know our health department has more important things to do than to debate that with us. These mandates are in place to protect our community, and we take that very seriously, so we will, of course, be complying. As of this afternoon, we no longer have an in-store staff presence.
That doesn't mean that Brilliant Books is completely closed! Our physical location is closed, but we are still shipping! The only change is we'll now ship 100% from our warehouse partners. We're also still handling customer service phone calls, emails, and social media queries. We now have to do every part of that from outside the bookstore, remotely and apart from each other.
We are committed to remaining your Long Distance Local Bookstore for as long as we possibly can, and we are so grateful for all your support—without you, we wouldn't have made it this far. We must admit, though, that this change is particularly tough for us. This new development makes the tightrope we walk that much more unstable, and so we need you beside us more than ever.
We are lucky in that we already had systems in place that allow us to accomplish much of our work remotely. Other businesses without our infrastructure have closed and are relying on fundraising efforts to keep their staff employed. We're not to the point of setting up a GoFundMe just yet. We still have the ability to ship books just about anywhere thanks to our offsite warehouses, and we will still be shipping to our Brilliant Books Monthly subscribers as well.
The best way you can help us right now is to take that $20, $50, $100 you would have donated to our GoFundMe and instead buy some one you love a gift certificate or a Brilliant Books Monthly subscription
All you need to send a gift certificate is an email address! Send one to your friends or your teachers or your students. Send one to the relatives you can't visit right now. Send one to yourself! Your future self with thank you, and so will we.
We're going to come through this as long as we stick together, even if only at a distance. We've always been your Long Distance Local Bookstore, and now, when we're needed more than ever, we're going to do whatever we can to make sure that doesn't change.