The Lev: a community bookstore for women

A bookstore founded to build a community around women & books in Los Angeles, CA.

Miriam
Lifestyle
$4,136
pledged of $76,500 goal
54
Backers
13
Days Left
Support now
Project Ends on October 1, 2018

Project Description

Hi there! My name is Miriam Chan, founder of The Lev, a pop up community bookstore in Los Angeles. I created The Lev to build a community for women around books, and to promote women and people of color writers. I need your help to make The Lev a long-term establishment!

Note: The Lev's crowdfund initially started on Indiegogo where we raised $3.5K. Given the mission of iFundWomen—empowering and creating a community around women entrepreneurs, it was no brainer for us to switch platforms.

Opened in February 2018, The Lev is a pop-up community bookstore for women and children located in Venice, Los Angeles. I founded The Lev for two main reasons:

  1. A community space for women: Without specifically intending to, most businesses are patriarchal. It is more important than ever that women have a community space for comfort and security.
  2. Promote women and people of color writers: Reading other peoples’ stories helps build empathy and understanding.

The Lev has brought together an amazing community of readers, connected online communities such as Girls at Library (GAL) and Mend by hosting over 20 author readings, talks, storytime & art hours, book swaps, workshops, monthly book clubs and other community events in only four months.

We’ve had the great pleasure of hosting artists, makers and writers such as Roda AhmedMari Andrew, Trish Baden (Flores Lane), Katelynn Bartiromo, Danielle Birrittella (The Intuitive Voice),  Zinzi Clemmons, Lisa Cole (Hungry Right Meow), Yrsa Daley-WardMagdalena EdwardsErin FalconerThe Fullest, Amy Harrison (The Little Studio LA), Aishwarya Iyer (Brightland), Mira T. LeeShira LenchewskiMariNaomi, Laura Rubin (AllSwell), Yumi SakugawaEmily StroiaDydine Umunyana, Ally Walsh & Casey Wojtalewicz (Canyon Coffee), Jen WangShinay Watts (Ellie and Sass), Stephanie WaxmanMeredith WestgateMaude WhiteWomen's National Book Association Los Angeles, and Fran Yang (Incandescent Bloom).

See our upcoming events here!

To prepare for opening The Lev pop up, I spoke with many booksellers across the country and even flew to a bookstore in Oklahoma City, Commonplace Books, to shadow owner Ben Nockels (to whom I am incredibly grateful) to learn about the journey of a community-focused bookstore. Many thanks to American Booksellers Association,  Books are MagicBrazos BookstoreThe Dial BookshopDuende DistrictThe Ripped Bodice, and Women & Children First for your generous advice ranging from the mundane to the magic of hosting our favorite writers. 

The Lev has served 600+ customers and processed more than 800 transactions but without the support of you and our community, The Lev will not flourish. Here are three main challenges we’re facing:

  1. Real estate in LA is extremely expensive. To open, The Lev shared spaces with amazing brands (many thanks to Linus Bike and boy+girl for supporting The Lev). However, for The Lev to fulfill its mission of serving as a community bookstore, we need our own space. As such, we’re opening the search for a long term home to include all of LA. Our hope is to still stay in Venice or the surrounding area.
  2. Financial solvency. Since rent will be high, The Lev will have tight sales goals. With The Lev membership program, we hope that our community will be loyal customers. However, The Lev plans to invest in a strategic marketing plan.
  3. The unexpected.  A part of the funds being raised is dedicated to having an operations reserve.

With your support, I am committed to making The Lev a long-term establishment. My goal is to open a new storefront by September. I already have author events planned for the fall.

“Without specifically intending to, most businesses are patriarchal, and as such, some bookstores are. For me, reading books is a comfort — I wanted to create a bookstore for women so that we have a place for comfort and security.” - Miriam Chan, Ideal Woman

Miriam Chan is the owner and founder of The Lev. She knows what it takes for a business to succeed. Prior to The Lev, Miriam helped grow operations at startup company Civis Analytics from 13 employees to 140+, and led western state operations on President Barack Obama's reelection campaign in 2012.  Miriam’s love for books started at an early age. Her fondest memories are of her parents taking her to the county library and local bookstore as a child. Her absolute favorite writers are Maggie Nelson and Jean Rhys but is currently crushing on Elaine Castillo and Lisa Halliday. When not in the bookstore, visiting local bookstores or supporting local LA businesses, Miriam practices yoga and is a certified yoga instructor from her training at Venice's Love Yoga.

 

 

 

Our Venice pop up closed on Wednesday, June 27. As I campaign to raise funds, find The Lev at pop ups and markets around the city starting in July.

Thank you so much for checking out The Lev's crowdfunding page! Please support The Lev in building a community around women and books, and raising awareness of women and people of color writers helping them have a platform to educate and influence the younger generation in a powerful way!

If you have any questions, don't hestitate to email me miriam@thelev.co

With love and heart,

Miriam Chan

The Project FAQs

 

 

Sandra Ann Miller
08/30/2018
The Lev Community Membership + Tote
$45
08/26/2018
Monetary Contribution
$250
Zena Y Wozniak
08/13/2018
The Lev Community Membership
$26
Angelina Del Balzo
07/31/2018
Monetary Contribution
$15
Brit Tucker
07/30/2018
The Lev Community Membership
$30
07/25/2018
The Lev Community Membership
$26
Ila
07/24/2018
The Lev Founding Membership
$150
07/24/2018
The Lev Community Membership
$26
07/23/2018
Monetary Contribution
$30
07/23/2018
Monetary Contribution
$25
Monetary Contribution

Because I would like to promote women and people of color writers. 

11 Supporters
Contribute
$11
The Lev Bookmark

We read a ton. As such, we've used a lot of bookmarks over the years, and many of them tend to be too wide or too long.  Our bookmark at 1.5" x 7" is the perfect size to save your spot in any sized book.

Shipping included in the price.

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$20
Mari Andrew's "The Joys of Reading" 8x10 Print

Writer & illustrator Mari Andrew graciously donated her illustration "The Joys of Reading" to The Lev's crowdfund. Initially drawn for BookCon2018. Our print is on 100% cotton soft and heavy Crane's Lettera. 

Shipping included in price.

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$26
The Lev Community Membership

Officially, become a part of our community by donating to get one-year access to monthly member-only events and discounts including our opening party! You'll also get your very own community membership card.  Community memberships are non-transferable.

Shipping included in the price.

7 Supporters
Select this reward
$30
The Lev Reusable Tote Bag

Our canvas tote bag is designed for readers in mind.  Unlike your typical branded canvas tote bag, ours comes with 5" gusset--giving you a ton of room to haul around books and more around town! Made from biodegradable recycled cotton.

Shipping included in the price.

8 Supporters
Select this reward
$45
The Lev Community Membership + Tote

Get The Lev Community membership with a special member canvas tote made from biodegradable recycled cotton! By choosing this perk, you save $10.

Shipping included in the price.

7 Supporters
Select this reward
$130
The Lev Founding Membership

Be a founding member of The Lev! Access to monthly member-only events and discounts for a lifetime. You'll also get one of our reusable member canvas tote bags made out of biodegradable cotton. Founding memberships are non-transferable.

Shipping included in the price.

9 Supporters
Select this reward
$158
A signed "An American Marriage" + Founding Membership

There's a reason why Oprah selected "An American Marriage" as her 2018 book club pick--it's one of our must reads too. Your signed copy of "An American Marriage" comes with The Lev's founding membership and a special member tote bag.

Shipping included in the price.

1 Supporter
None available
$158
A signed "Everything Here is Beautiful" + Founding Membership

Mira T. Lee’s debut novel "Everything Here is Beautiful" is one of The Lev's must reads. It is about the dynamics of mental illness and the unconditional love between sisters. Your signed copy comes with The Lev's founding membership and a special member tote bag.

Shipping included in the price.

1 Supporter
None available
$250
Sponsor a shelf!

Your name will forever be a part of The Lev's founding community! By also sponsoring one of The Lev's bookshelves, you'll receive one founding membership along with a member tote bag. Your generous donation will help The Lev further its mission of bringing together a community of women and books.

Shipping included in the price.

18 Left
3 Supporters
Select this reward
$300
Storytime + Art Hour

Host your little one's birthday with The Lev! The Lev in partnership with early childhood art educator, Amy Harrison of The Little Studio LA, will host a special themed storytime and art hour on a mutually agreed upon date and time. Any age between 20 month - 5 year olds. Up to 10 kids. The paints are semi-washable and non-toxic.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$500
Flores Lane Candle Workshop

Host a candle workshop for you and your friends (up to 19)! Makes the perfect activity for a birthday, bachelorette or a weekend evening. Trish Baden of Flores Lane, a woman-owned business will host on a mutually agreed upon date and time. Each participate will get to make their own custom candle made from eco-friendly ingredients.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
Sponsor a bookcase!

Your name will forever be a part of The Lev's founding community! By also sponsoring one of The Lev's bookcases, you'll receive one founding membership along with a member tote bag. Your generous donation will help The Lev further its mission of bringing together a community of women and books.

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$5,000
Host your event at The Lev!

The Lev will be the perfect place for your next celebration/event! On a mutually agreed upon date and evening, our space will be all yours.  A few ideas: birthday party, book launch, wedding, engagement party, bridal shower, product launch, graduation party, employee appreciation party, book-themed party and many more!

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Because I would like to promote women and people of color writers. 

11 Supporters
Contribute
$11
The Lev Bookmark

We read a ton. As such, we've used a lot of bookmarks over the years, and many of them tend to be too wide or too long.  Our bookmark at 1.5" x 7" is the perfect size to save your spot in any sized book.

Shipping included in the price.

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$20
Mari Andrew's "The Joys of Reading" 8x10 Print

Writer & illustrator Mari Andrew graciously donated her illustration "The Joys of Reading" to The Lev's crowdfund. Initially drawn for BookCon2018. Our print is on 100% cotton soft and heavy Crane's Lettera. 

Shipping included in price.

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$26
The Lev Community Membership

Officially, become a part of our community by donating to get one-year access to monthly member-only events and discounts including our opening party! You'll also get your very own community membership card.  Community memberships are non-transferable.

Shipping included in the price.

7 Supporters
Select this reward
$30
The Lev Reusable Tote Bag

Our canvas tote bag is designed for readers in mind.  Unlike your typical branded canvas tote bag, ours comes with 5" gusset--giving you a ton of room to haul around books and more around town! Made from biodegradable recycled cotton.

Shipping included in the price.

8 Supporters
Select this reward
$45
The Lev Community Membership + Tote

Get The Lev Community membership with a special member canvas tote made from biodegradable recycled cotton! By choosing this perk, you save $10.

Shipping included in the price.

7 Supporters
Select this reward
$130
The Lev Founding Membership

Be a founding member of The Lev! Access to monthly member-only events and discounts for a lifetime. You'll also get one of our reusable member canvas tote bags made out of biodegradable cotton. Founding memberships are non-transferable.

Shipping included in the price.

9 Supporters
Select this reward
$158
A signed "An American Marriage" + Founding Membership

There's a reason why Oprah selected "An American Marriage" as her 2018 book club pick--it's one of our must reads too. Your signed copy of "An American Marriage" comes with The Lev's founding membership and a special member tote bag.

Shipping included in the price.

1 Supporter
None available
$158
A signed "Everything Here is Beautiful" + Founding Membership

Mira T. Lee’s debut novel "Everything Here is Beautiful" is one of The Lev's must reads. It is about the dynamics of mental illness and the unconditional love between sisters. Your signed copy comes with The Lev's founding membership and a special member tote bag.

Shipping included in the price.

1 Supporter
None available
$250
Sponsor a shelf!

Your name will forever be a part of The Lev's founding community! By also sponsoring one of The Lev's bookshelves, you'll receive one founding membership along with a member tote bag. Your generous donation will help The Lev further its mission of bringing together a community of women and books.

Shipping included in the price.

18 Left
3 Supporters
Select this reward
$300
Storytime + Art Hour

Host your little one's birthday with The Lev! The Lev in partnership with early childhood art educator, Amy Harrison of The Little Studio LA, will host a special themed storytime and art hour on a mutually agreed upon date and time. Any age between 20 month - 5 year olds. Up to 10 kids. The paints are semi-washable and non-toxic.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$500
Flores Lane Candle Workshop

Host a candle workshop for you and your friends (up to 19)! Makes the perfect activity for a birthday, bachelorette or a weekend evening. Trish Baden of Flores Lane, a woman-owned business will host on a mutually agreed upon date and time. Each participate will get to make their own custom candle made from eco-friendly ingredients.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
Sponsor a bookcase!

Your name will forever be a part of The Lev's founding community! By also sponsoring one of The Lev's bookcases, you'll receive one founding membership along with a member tote bag. Your generous donation will help The Lev further its mission of bringing together a community of women and books.

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$5,000
Host your event at The Lev!

The Lev will be the perfect place for your next celebration/event! On a mutually agreed upon date and evening, our space will be all yours.  A few ideas: birthday party, book launch, wedding, engagement party, bridal shower, product launch, graduation party, employee appreciation party, book-themed party and many more!

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward