Variant Edition’s New Location & The Importance Of Community

I’ve been meaning to share this for a while and the original post appears here on Variant Edition’s website (they’re now open in their new location by the way…). Read a tale of movement, exhaustion and a lot of appreciation for their customers (and also cats).

It’s been a while since our last full business update, so we figured we’d send out a sleepy communication through our exhausted collection of limbs and features. That’s a way normal humans communicate things, yes? Yes.

A look at the space in the very early days of painting.

Sunday, Aug 28th

After a long night of conducting a quick inventory (which spilled into Sunday morning) the store was packed and ready to move. We put the word out to the community in hopes that folks would be around to help a bit with the moving process – and we were quite surprised and touched to see the level of response we received. This is actually a recurring theme for the last month or so in general.

Since a little before we made the official moving announcement, people have been offering their skills and services to help make the whole process quite a bit smoother. From those who helped us by purchasing books during the sale, to those who helped us by moving those that were left, to those who helped paint, who helped build, and helped destroy… and those who listened patiently to our words as a lack of sleep slowly sapped away coherent sentence structure and nodded as though we made perfect sense.

In the past few days, as we’ve taken a bit of time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going, we’ve been increasingly humbled by the outpouring of help from our friends. Many of you might consider yourself as customers, but to us, you are far more than that. You’re the reason why we do all of this. You’re the community we’ve always wanted to have and are surprised, has actually started to build. You are the future of pop culture discourse – kind, gentle souls who would rather help than hinder. You are our friends, and part of a weird makeshift family… and we absolutely couldn’t do any of this without you.

Monday, Aug 29th & Tuesday, Aug 30th

With everything moved into the new space, we started to put items into place. The new space is huge (come by and check it out – 10132, 151st St!) and we have quite a bit to work with – more space than we really have things for if we’re being perfectly honest, but that was also the case when we first opened a year and a half ago.

The walls aren’t painted yet, and the floor and ceiling could use a lot of touch ups. Telus hasn’t provided us with internet, nor have we received our new point of sale system, promised to us last week. It’s not perfect, but… but it’s ours. Completely ours. And it already feels more like home.

Over the next few weeks and months and… well, let’s face it, years, we’re going to be continually improving the space. At first, we’re going to be doing some touch ups to what you can see, and once we get all of that done, we’re going to start shifting things around and adding to the space, making it more ours by inches. Of course, we’re going to share the progress with you as we go. We’re always at our most comfortable when we can share what’s happening with all of you.

Two "very helpful" interns.

Wednesday Aug 31st – Now

And so we opened. As we mentioned previously, not everything is quite in place, but almost everyone has been really cool about it. After the past month, we started losing track of days from fatigue, so until the 7thwe’re not doing any big projects – just tidying up small things as we reclaim our sanity. It’s been working, as we can feel energy slowly returning to us little by little each day. Some of that is the rest… and some of that has been seeing everyone react to the new space.

We’re so happy when people walk in and marvel at what’s been done… and what could be. We’re always more than happy to talk about our plans for the future and sharing that has been a lot of fun. We’ve also been seeing a lot of new faces who are really excited to have a comic shop in the community. The west end of Edmonton has been hungry for a comic shop, and we’re more than happy to be that place for them – and I’m sure all of you will be more than happy to welcome more people into this great community.

The Future

We’ve got so much to do, and so much planned. Next weekend, we’re holding our first community clothing swap in the new space, which will be great. Then after that? We’ll start announcing what happens after this coming week. There’s some pretty cool stuff on the way in addition to all the space improvements as we continue to do the work we started in our old space.

Thanks again to everyone who helped us get to this point – we’re excited to be a part of your pop culture experiences for a long time to come, and welcome you all to come along the journey with us.

We’ll see you soon.

-Brandon and Danica