A beloved bookstore is banking on the support of its community to remain open.

As AFROTECH™ previously told you, Nikki High, who had dedicated more than a decade to managing communications at Trader Joe’s, made history for opening the first Black-owned bookstore in Pasadena, CA, in 2023.

High received over $22,000 in donations through GoFundMe to launch the store honoring author Octavia Butler after she shared her intentions for the business on X, formerly Twitter. The post went viral with nearly 5.1 million views and 10,000 retweets at the time, according to The Guardian.

“I wanted [my bookstore] to be completely independent so that I would not have to compromise my values,” High said, per the outlet.

Now, the beloved bookstore is in need of funding to stay in business. High reveals on Instagram that she has reopened the GoFundMe for the bookstore and cites lower resources as well as the complexities of the book selling industry as the reasoning.

“We need a lifeline,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am reopening our GoFundMe campaign in hopes of raising enough money to keep us going and get healthy. The situation is dire so I am asking for your support in the form of a donation and/or a share.”

She continued, “The book selling industry is tricky on its own. Adding the layer of being an underresourced Black woman makes it even that more challenging. But thanks to all of your support, we made it happen. We opened to long lines of cheering and enthusiastic customers. I will forever be grateful for how y’all showed up and out for me.”

High also explains she made a decision to move into a larger space soon after opening shop to benefit the community through the addition of more programs and accommodations. However, the foot traction of the business has taken a hit and remains slow.

“I don’t have the connects to get donors, an investor wouldn’t be wise as they would likely not see much of a profit (margins are insanely small) and after applying for grants upon grants I find myself here,” she shared.

High is currently in contact with the property manager about moving back to the smaller space and says she feels optimistic in the interaction.

For now, she is relying on community support. Per Pasadena Now, nearly $70,000 has already been raised.

“Y’all!! Thank you so much for coming through for us! I’m blown away at your kindness, generosity and support,” High expressed on Instagram in response. “Just when I thought my problems were too big you showed me that our community is bigger.”