When Emily Ross carried out a small survey in a local Facebook group to ask whether North Street needed a bookshop, she was only expecting a handful of responses.
Four people said no, but 396 people said yes – a ringing endorsement of her decision to open Storysmith, hopefully in time for the upcoming October half-term.
Emily has worked in children’s book publishing for the last decade, including at Usborne and Bloomsbury, but has always harboured an ambition to open her own bookshop one day.
Storysmith will have a large children’s section but also, according to Emily, “a mixture of everything”, as well as hosting events, workshops and book clubs.
“There’s going to be a real selection of handpicked fiction and non-fiction titles, and art books and cookery books,” 32-year-old Emily told Bristol24/7.
“There will also be a lot of recommendations, things that we have enjoyed.
“The aim is for people to come in and find something that they would not be able to find in a high street bookshop or online.”
Emily’s husband Dan, and her mum and dad, Liz and Stuart Smith, are currently helping her fit out the shop, that will be opened in former graffiti art gallery Hangfire next to the Leveret pub.
As well as the books, there will be tea and coffee available for customers, with Stuart building the bar in the window of 49 North Street.
Emily grew up in Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire and one of the reasons for opening her bookshop in Bristol was to be closer to her family, with her and Ross moving from London to a new home in Southville.
“I think that Bristol is a great city for literature and arts and culture,” Emily added. “And North Street is a place where people are so supportive of independent businesses.
“The reaction so far to the news that we are opening has been incredible. We have had so much support. I cannot wait to get going now and meet everybody who has been in touch.”