KCBS interviewed Anna this morning! Did we mention that we were one of five finalists for the Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Retailer Award? And that's really incredible because this is the first year we've been nominated? Did we tell you? Well, now we told the media, too!
Suggested Soundtrack for this Post: November
Did you know that the dandy folks what decide which days are Days have decreed that the first Friday in November every year is Fountain Pen Day? It's time to curl up with everyone's favorite writing instrument and celebrate putting ink on paper in the sexiest way possible.
Don't have a fountain pen to call your own? These online retailers are a good source, but Illusive's Own CIO Mark is quite a penthusiast and would probably let you try out one the many, many, many pens in his collection. Maybe. If you ask nice. Did you wash your hands?
But whether it's a fountain pen, a biro, a brush, or a good old fashioned electronic tablet, you need a good comfortable word slinger, because November is the most writingest month of the year. We're here to help!
National Novel Writing Month is a great way to kick your creativity into gear. It's already a few days into the month, but we know you can do it! Rah! Rah! We'll even put Mark in a cheerleader outfit!!
Anyway, Mark has also done a few NaNoWriMo marathons himself, so we know how important it is to have advice, encouragement, and support while you create. Come on down to Illusive for all that! The Oddizens are hosting weekly NaNoWriMo Workshops in our new classroom space.
Every Saturday in November from 1-4PM.
If you can't make it to swap stories, share commiserations, learn strategies, and otherwise avoid staring at the screen blankly while the clock ticks away the whole entire month because you can't think of a single, solitary word, here are
Mark's Top Five NaNo Tips:
Ian, the nicest guy on staff, pointed out that this page is woefully out of date. I blame no one but myself. Wait... no. I blame Father Time! Yes. Not enough hours in a day. Oh! And Mother Nature! Yes, getting tired is her fault. So, as usual, I blame parents.
Alrighty then. So, we moved in the weekend of August 6th. It went fairly smoothly, even considering there was a City dance RIGHT NEXT TO the shop. Literally. One of our windows was immediately behind the band. But, it got done. And all of the Illusive crew have been busting their butts getting the store more and more put together. Here's photos, or check out the new video!
The Kickstarter campaign reached its goal and beyond! Our backers raised $17,171 to move and remodel Illusive Comics' new home.
Everybody dance now!
You can see lots of photos of our progress in our Kickstarter updates.
We plan to move to the new location completely over the weekend of August 6-7. It's really happening, you guys! The thing is happening!
This Illusive Kickstarter has a short duration - just 18 days - so get in quick to support the store and grab the best rewards!
Boss Lady Anna takes us around the new location and paints the picture of what is soon to come.
After many years of tremendous success and love on El Camino Real, Illusive is changing locations. Lock, stock, and monkey barrel. This is not our choice, but we accept the challenge.
In January of this year, we started negotiating for our next 5-year Lease Option. Negotiations started downhill, and soon went into the sewer. I was encouraged to delay negotiations until May. I was told my proposed rent pricing was way too low. All supporting documentation I had was rejected by the landlord for spurious reasons.
Our lease clearly lays out the process for Option negotiations. We followed the process exactly. The landlord did not and he objected to the appraiser we hired. He then threatened to sue us if we hired an arbitrator to appoint a third appraiser. And he told us we had to agree to their new rent pricing, which would double our present rent.
Our attorney advised that a lawsuit would cost $30,00-50,000 and then, if we won, we'd be stuck with a landlord that clearly doesn't value us or treat us well.
Then the landlord started remodeling our shopping center. Relations got much, much worse with him. He clearly showed he wanted us gone. He said that our line of customers on Free Comic Book Day broke our lease by "staging an event outside the premises". We were told to vacate the premises by December 31.
So we were forced to make the very difficult decision to leave our home at 2725 El Camino Real, Suites 104 and 105. The search began.
I looked from Sunnyvale to San Jose, from Los Gatos and Campbell and back to Santa Clara for an affordable space that is at least as large as our current site. I didn't want to step on the toes of any of our competitors. Because we Don't Do That. I did not want to abandon my customers, with whom I have worked so hard to build a thriving community in Santa Clara.
Negotiations with a few different locations failed to work out for various reasons. I was getting increasingly stressed out and worried.
Then fate intervened, as she often does.
June 1st, the day of our 9th Anniversary, I got a call from a friendly realtor, Lisa Gillmor, who also happens to be the current Mayor of Santa Clara. Her office had been doing me a favor by looking at one of the leases I wanted to negotiate. Then Lisa told me of a vacancy in her business park. I raced over to see it.
Two miles down El Camino, towards San Jose, between Benton and Homestead is Franklin Square. One side is Monroe and the other is Jackson, where the city's Farmer's Market is held every Saturday.
Our current location has around 2000 square feet.
This new space at 1270 Franklin Mall has 3720 square feet. Yeah.
It used to be a beauty school, so a lot of remodeling is needed. We have estimates from contractors, and they can begin work at the end of June.
The new space will have a large and small rooms for Art Classes, Meetups, Gaming, and the like. We already have two art teachers who want to run classes and a model for live-art sessions. If you have meetups, classes or things like that you want us to consider for September and beyond, do let me know.
And here's the kicker: the present landlord's construction came to a halt because they need physical access to the interior of our store to continue the remodel. We told them in order to violate the lease like that they'd have to pay us a settlement for how bad the construction has been for business, reduce our rent, AND let us out of our lease early without penalty.
They didn't give us exactly what we asked for, but they gave enough. The shop will be moving mid-end of August.
We will run a Kickstarter soon to help pay for the remodeling costs.