Yesterday, I celebrated 5 years of "Bookstagram". It occurred to me that where I'm at right now in my career is entirely dependent on the fact that 5 years ago, I chose to turn my personal Instagram account into a "Bookstagram" account.
If you didn't know, the hashtag #bookstagram is a little corner of the bookish universe hosted on the photo-driven app Instagram. If you click on the hashtag, you'll learn that there are over 54M photos. Basically, Instagram accounts created by book nerds dedicated to reading, reviewing, and photographing books.
It's where I met my business partner, Ashley @spookishmommy. We became fast friends by first commenting on each other's photos every day but also developing that into private conversations about anything and everything. I lived in California and she lived in Washington. At the end of 2017, my family left California and we moved to the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and I met for the first time in person at some point and started talking about the potential to go into business together on something horror related. I think a pretty early serious plan was bath bombs and soaps but neither one of us were very passionate about those.
One thing we are both very passionate about is horror fiction. We also both were influencers for a horror subscription service that ultimately imploded after failing to deliver packages to their customers and stealing thousands of dollars. Having repped for that company, we shared this inside perspective on the subscription business model so we ultimately decided we could try our hand at filling that niche market with a new, better, reliable horror subscription service that focused more on the books and less on the extra goodies. Night Worms was born on October 2018 when we took our first 100 Pre-Orders!
I think overall, the thing we are the most proud of is that we do everything ourselves. We don't outsource anything. We handle our own PR, social media profiles, financials, customer service, package curation, networking, running the website, and all of the manual/physical labor of storing, managing, packaging, and shipping the books. Other subscription services ultimately turn to fulfillment centers but Ashley and I are sticklers for quality control and we feel strongly about having eyes on everything that goes into each package. So we pack all of our orders ourselves (we do have family members who volunteer their time once in awhile to help us, thank you to them!!).
We've moved our operation to the garage!
Printing shipping labels takes up a large part of Ashley's day!
Putting our logo sticker on each black mailer takes a lot of time but I like to use those hours to catch up on favorite TV shows
Today, we're packing January 2021 orders. Our books were delayed as mail, shipping, and freight all over the nation has been impacted by COVID. 50+ boxes of books came on a 1,000lb pallet that I unpacked by hand with the freight driver and stored in my garage. Today, we'll pack everything and when we finish, USPS will pick up around 3pm and we'll load all the packages into the trucks with the mail carrier. I don't need any other work outs on shipping days! Ha!
Here's a look at goodie bag day-when we stuff goodie bags for the package.
We lay everything out in an assembly line and then go through and pack each bag, seal with a sticker and fill up our bins. Then, each bag goes into a package with the 2-3 books.
We typically treat ourselves to coffee and a little pastry to get us motivated early in the morning for a long 4-5 hour stretch. During COVID, we've been 6ft apart wearing our masks and sanitizing frequently.
We love owning our own business. We have a lot of ideas and enjoy being our own bosses. Ashley and I have different skillsets that compliment each other and we work really well as a team. We're both so excited for 2021 and continuing to deliver quality horror to our loyal Night Worms customers.
Horror is our Happy Place!
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OUR FANS & CUSTOMERS!!