Welcome to The Wise Owl Books and Music!
We've been in business for almost 1 year as an indie online and pop-up book and record store. Check out our Instagram page (@thewiseowlbooksandmusic). Being a pop-up indie bookstore in Seattle has been an adventure in that we've been able to visit different neighborhoods and bring our books and records to our customers, all while checking out where we would best serve a community by joining it.
The Wise Owl Books and Music will be opening its very first brick and mortar store in a neighborhood that is lovingly referred to as Nora. Nora is center point of 4 individual neighborhoods that intersect at Aurora Ave North....aka North Aurora.....or...Nora.
We've partnered with Pilgrim Coffeehouse to bring our bookstore to the neighborhood and are getting to know our neighbors through pop-ups every Saturday. We have also partnered with Lantern Brewing to start popping up on Sundays until we can open our store.
We are firm believers that neighborhoods are defined by the businesses that chose to partner with the community to bring a common vision to reality.
We are raising funds to help find a location to call home.
• You believe in the power of bookstores and community spaces.
• Nora has nothing like us. We bring a book and record store, a safe space, celebration of all identities, a future hub for community events, an independently owned business, a place to shop for thoughtful gifts, and a partner/advocate for the community
• Funding options in normal years are very limited for new businesses, and while we were impacted significantly by covid, we also don't qualify for covid relief because we went into business in 2020.
• You value small business. Your support of us, means we can, in turn, support other local small businesses. For example, our sideline items (enamel pins, candles, stickers, etc) are all from small businesses that operate in the PNW or more specifically operate in Seattle.
• This is far more than one person’s dream. This is a community. This is a movement, and you can be part of this from the beginning.
The Wise Owl Books and Music was born out of an already existing idea. Christina initially wanted to open a record store and had gone as far as creating a blog to just get her voice out there. It never really went anywhere. However, in 2019, Christina’s mother passed away from complications from her 14-year battle with multiple myeloma. Christina learned that her mother had always wanted to open a used bookstore and had started to collect books for this store but never got the chance to see it realized. Christina inherited her mother’s collection (about 40 boxes of used books) and merged her record store idea with the bookstore. Thus, The Wise Owl Books and Music was born. It serves to bring books and music from diverse and underrepresented perspectives to the community while also fulfilling the legacy and preserving the memory of Christina’s mother.
Christina Gilbreath is the owner/book and music enthusiast of The Wise Owl Books and Music. She has been a nurse for over 15 years, helping the sick and vulnerable in all different types of roles. Now she wants to pivot to help people in a different way. She is also, a photographer and cinematographer who has worked on independent film projects, landscape, portrait and real estate photography.
When Christina is not working at the bookstore, she continues to work as a nurse at an area cancer clinic or is off shooting real estate photos. On her down time, she can be found spending time with her partner, Daniel and their fur children, Josephine (AKA Jo) and Yuki (AKA Kiki) and attempting to address the never ending TBR piles floating around the house.
What we’ve done already
The Wise Owl Book and Music was started online in October of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. Christina added the pop-up component in April 2021, when she found the Micro Venue in Ballard through PeerSpace and rented it out. The Wise Owl Books and Music met it’s Ballard public on April 25th. The Wise Owl Books and Music then partnered with Pilgrim Coffeehouse to bring pop-ups to the Nora neighborhood, and it will continue to pop up there until the brick and mortar is opened. The Wise Owl Books and Music has recently partnered with Lantern Brewing to bring even more pop-ups to Nora until the storefront is opened and will end its partnership with the Micro Venue at the end of September.
As a pop-up and online bookstore, we’ve brought our ideals and vision to a developing community in north Seattle, lovingly known as Nora. In our short time doing pop-ups in this area, we have introduced Nora to new concepts and created community excitement around our vision of creating a space where our community can grow and connect. Our pop-ups have led us to partner with businesses such as Pilgrim Coffeehouse and Lantern Brewing to bring excitement for a continuing community revival.
What comes next:
Nora’s residents do not have a local bookstore. With covid flipping our world upside down and remote work now a “thing” residents of Nora are looking for safe spaces that allow them to not feel so isolated.
In our physical space, we will meet crucial unmet needs in Nora. We will be a place for:
• New ideas that bring growth to a developing neighborhood.
• Residents and travelers to shop for books and music in person.
• Community residents and businesses to connect with each other.
• Marginalized groups to gather and feel celebrated.
• Allies to learn.
• Nonprofits to raise funds.
• Remote workers, students, and others to have a refuge to visit when the world becomes too isolating.
Your help matters
Brick-and-mortar stores are expensive to establish and operate, so to make this incredible vision a reality, we need your support.
• The first $20,000 we raise will help us purchase bookshelves, purchase a listening station for music, and add additional inventory to what we already have.
• The next $15,000 will allow us to build out the space
• The final $15,000 will cover our first month's expenses for rent, staffing, and operations.
Independent bookstores provide a unique value, identity, and sense of place to their communities. As Nora’s only bookstore we will meet a wide range of needs and become part of the community hub where our city’s residents can feel a strong sense of belonging, unity, and meaning. With your help, we can bring this vision into reality.
We are beyond grateful for the love and support we have received since The Wise Owl Books and Music opened and we are excited to start this new journey with you!
We know times are difficult and no amount is too small. If you can't give now, that's ok. Just sharing this campaign helps us get the word out and is very much appreciated.
As a Thank You to our donors - we will be offering a 15% off discount to use on your online orders at The Wise Owl Books and Music . Donors will be able to use this discount two times.