JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — For nearly a decade, Mark and Nancy Oakley have owned the Book Cottage.
It’s been an impactful part of their lives that’s taken them by surprise.
“It’s become its own creation. You know we thought we were opening up a bookstore,” Nancy Oakley said. “We didn’t know we were opening up a place that was a meet and greet for so many people.”
People like Danielle Allore-Taylor and her daughter Lyla can attest to the Book Cottage’s impact.
“It’s not like any other bookstore you walk into really it’s quite different,” said 6th grader Lyla, Brodock.
They say the bookstore has a kind of magic you don’t often see anymore.
“The Book Cottage is always a place that you can go to and have fun and I don’t feel like there’s that many places bring that much joy to you and the Book Cottage does,” said Allore-Taylor.
But like many other small businesses, the pandemic brought a challenge the Oakleys didn’t see coming.
They have until January first to pay off thousands they owe or the store will be forced to close. Lyla says that can’t happen.
“I feel like if it closes for good that magic will be gone,” said Brodock.
Now, the entire Book Cottage community is coming together with ad campaigns and a Go-Fund-Me.
“We’re hoping for a Christmas miracle. We’re hoping that they can remain in business you know even just a little bit longer to continue providing value to the community,” said frequent shopper, Christine MacIntyre.
The support the Oakleys have received is overwhelming, the couple said.
“You know you make a difference to some people because people tell you,” Oakley said. “But I didn’t know that we made such a difference to so many people. It’s been unbelievably heartwarming and humbling.”
In the past two days, they’ve sold hundreds of books.
They say they don’t know how this story ends, but the support is something they will always remember.
“They are family. Everybody is family,” said Nancy Oakley.