In November of 2010, I headed to the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair as a bookseller for Bauman Rare Books. I stayed with my old friend Meredith, effortlessly capable Harvard Business School grad, and her family in Cambridge.
After dinner, at the kitchen table, I talked about dealing for myself one day, a goal that seemed laughably distant. “How much money will you need to start?” No idea: I’d never made a budget or read a balance sheet. I had to ask Meredith to define “revenue.” She poured us some more wine, opened a worksheet, and knocked out a business plan in two hours: a foundational document (Meredith’sModel.xlsx) I will never, ever delete from my hard drive.
The next November I came back to Boston, and Meredith’s kitchen table, having just left my position at BRB, with a temporary checkbook and a stack of “coming soon” Honey & Wax business cards to hand out at the fair.
Every fall I’ve returned, with real checks and business cards now, exhibiting at the Boston shadow show and logging the four years of independent operation required to apply for membership in the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Tomorrow night, I’ll be back at Meredith’s kitchen table, and the ABAA will vote on Honey & Wax. On Saturday, I’ll be exhibiting at the shadow show at the Back Bay Events Center (booth D49), maybe the last shadow show for a while.
It’s been an incredible four years. Thanks to everyone who made Honey & Wax possible . . . but especially, this weekend, give it up for Meredith.