On October 5, after nearly four years of serving as the first (and only) LGBTQ+ focused lingerie store in the United States, Bluestockings will close its doors.
Bluestockings is, and has always been, a one-woman show. I started Bluestockings when I was still a PhD student in Boston, desperate to get out of academia but not confident in my own pursuits and passions and talents. Writing did not seem like something I could pursue professionally - not really. Starting a business that served my community seemed like a better use of my time, and I was passionate about the idea that seemingly sprang out of nowhere one hot August night in 2014.
Over the years, I've written extensively about the hardships of running a small business with no funding or family money. I've made Bluestockings work on a shoestring of a shoestring budget for nearly four years now. There isn't money, but then, there never was. Money (or a lack of) isn't the primary issue.
When I started Bluestockings, I was 26. I'm 30 now, fast approaching 31. I've done a lot of growing (and had a Saturn Return). I've moved to New York, worked full-time jobs alongside running this business, and started taking my own writing much more seriously. Bluestockings no longer aligns with what feeds me or pushes me professionally or creatively, and to be honest, it hasn't in a long time.
So I'm finally saying goodbye. It's time to close, but to me, that doesn't mean the business is a failure. Far from it. I have learned so much from this experience - far more than I can begin to expound on here - and from those who I have met along the way.
The best part of Bluestockings is - and has always been - the people. Professional colleagues and customers I now call friends. Folks I met on Twitter who have hosted me when I visited their city. The people I've randomly talked with in Cubbyhole who had purchased their first binder here; the folks at Autostraddle's A-Camp 2018 who wore my bras to the Under the Sea dance. Every person who ever took the time to write a personal note of encouragement on an order. The community around the store is always what made my heart sing, and those relationships will continue to carry on long after this is gone. (My personal twitter handle is @jeannakadlec - let's keep in touch.)
So, a bit of business:
- Everything is on clearance from now until October 5th. 40% off your entire order with code THANKYOU18.
- Whatever inventory is left over on October 5th will be donated to Bottomless Closet here in New York City (we have previously made a donation of 1K+ worth of inventory to them - keep the goodwill going!)
- The store will go dark on October 5th. I will, however, be archiving the blog and will make an announcement on social media about where it is hosted as soon as possible.
And a few thank yous to folks without whom Bluestockings never would have got this far:
My dear friend Melissa-Leigh Gore, doubly talented poet and engineer, who built the first Bluestockings website.
Cora Harrington, founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Lingerie Addict: a fellow queer woman who immediately championed the concept before Bluestockings even opened.
Jodie Layne, the first freelance writer to pick up Bluestockings for a publication with a mainstream audience.
My colleagues in the lingerie industry who became fast friends and have provided more advice and emotional support than I could begin to express here: Abby Sugar, Sweet Nothings, Quinne Myers, Caroline Elenowitz-Hess, and Karolina Laskowska.
And, last but not least, you. Every person who ever bought anything from this store, shared anything on social media, sent a sweet note of encouragement.
Thank you for being a part of Bluestockings' journey.