Total loan: $10,000


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Chicago, IL, United States / Retail

Tanner's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped build out a new event and co-working space, replace broken fixtures, and fund a major expansion of the bookstore.

Tanner's story

I was raised on a chicken farm in rural North Carolina. With a farmer father and English teacher mother, I learned the values of hard work, honesty, creativity, independence and imagination. In 2008, I moved to Chicago after college with no job prospects and one friend. I worked in massage therapy, publishing, and fiction writing, but ultimately I was able to take those values I learned from my parents to open Uncharted Books in 2012. It's an adventure-themed bookstore inspired by the swashbuckling tales I've always adored, and it features many secrets and surprises for the customer, including treasure chests, haunted portraits, and (with the upcoming renovation) a hidden bookcase door. I've tried to run my business with a progressive, community-oriented ethic that has often led to compromises between doing what's best for my neighbors and making a profit. We hold many free events at Uncharted, ranging from poetry readings to stand-up comedy to charity fundraisers. We've participated in many local movements from the fun (arts festivals, farmers markets) to the critical (fighting for fair housing in a gentrifying neighborhood). I have always considered myself successful if I could continue having the job and bookstore I love. But in the past few years, I have experienced some wonderful events like marriage and pet adoption, and some difficult luck like health problems and financial struggles. My wife is returning to college to finish her degree while working full time. My definition for success now has to expand to include supporting my family and making sure the bookstore is profitable enough to justify the amount of time, money, and energy my family, friends, and employees pour into it. With the help of a Kiva loan, I can build out the bookstore's infrastructure to be more magical and more sustainable than ever before.