At the end of February saw The Bookish Mindset celebrate their first birthday so we caught up with them to find out what this last year has been like for owner Nikki.
Firstly, Happy Birthday! How does it feel being a year in?
Wow, thank you! It’s amazing! But also terrifying, exciting, totally nervous.. All the emotions! It’s a wonderful place to be – still standing after a year is certainly something I had hoped for but I never took it for granted. I know how lucky I’ve been to be able to do this.
But in all seriousness, the overriding emotion is gratitude. Without all my incredible customers this wouldn’t be possible. It’s been such a pleasure having wonderful people that interact and love talking about books too. But it’s not just the customers, I’m grateful to anyone that’s read an article, watched a reel or liked a post. I couldn’t have done it without you all.
A big thank you to you at Southsea Folk too for letting me write for you for so long too!
We’re glad to have been part of it! So take us back, what started it all off?
I’ve always been a reader and loved escaping into books from a young age. I used to read just fiction but in the past five(ish) years I branched into non-fiction too. Once I’ve read a book I’ve loved I can’t help but share it with anyone who will listen. And so The Bookish Mindset Instagram page was born.
This was also around the time I was learning a lot about allyship and privilege, closely followed by the realisation of just how white my bookshelf was. I wanted to do something about this and so I started with my reading habits. Reading can be a great start to allyship and it absolutely shouldn’t be the end. It kickstarted my journey and continues to be a part of it. When you’re reading about someone else’s life, you can’t help but be taken in by that, you can’t help but empathise and try to understand. Reading can really speak to our emotional sides and it absolutely does for me.
On top of that, I love to support small businesses, it really does bring me a lot of joy. At the point I’d decided to begin creating subscription boxes, I knew I wanted the box to be an experience. I wanted my customers to have not only an incredible book and tea to settle down with, but also some beautiful work from small businesses too. Supporting Pigeon Books was a no brainer, I’ve always said I feel at home in bookshops and Pigeon Books was no different. I love that I can celebrate them in each box.
What a background! What has been your favourite part of the process?
It’s so difficult to choose because I really have loved every step of the way. There have definitely been some testing times but it’s all part of the learning. Picking the books has never felt like work because I’m reading them for purely selfish reasons too, but I think that if you twisted my arm I would have to say that working with the small businesses (and Pigeon Books) is my favourite part.
I have met some incredible people over the past year and it really has been an honour working with them. Each and every one of the small businesses I work with are so passionate and so hard working, they inspire me again and again. I’m even lucky enough to call some of them my friends.
It’s one of the reasons I love Southsea Folk, I love that you celebrate all the wonderful businesses we have in Southsea.
We love that too, there’s such a great range of talent right here on our doorsteps! Here’s another hard one for you – can you pick a favourite box?
Ha ha! You knew it was hard and you asked anyway! I feel like this is what it would feel like to pick between your children. I can’t and won’t choose, I love each box for its own uniqueness. They are curated with so much love and thought, I really do put a bit of me in each box. It feels so special being able to share that.
Okay, okay. A slightly easier question then: What can we expect from this coming year?
The plan for 2022 is to grow. I have big plans for some incredible bookish content on my website and already have some beautiful boxes lined up. I want to reach more people and help them find or re-kindle their love for reading.
Sounds great! Anything else you can tell us?
Look out for March’s box which is a great selection!
Amazing, heading there right now! Thank you so much for dedicating time to SF and Happy Birthday!
Thank you again for all your support over the last year and more Southsea Folk!