My name is Anna, I am 38 years old and I own a comic book store in Italy, in Monza. The shop name is Tau Beta.
First of all, I apologize for my English, but I haven't written for a long time.
Why am I writing to you? Because I'm desperate and I'm looking for help that I can't find here. Yes, I want to try this route too. Yes, all this for a comic book store.
But this shop represents my life.
If you are still willing to read, I will explain you better.
I am alone since the age of 16. My mother died when I was 15 and I couldn't stay with my father. In fact, my father is not a good person, let's say so.
At 16, thanks to the juvenile court, I was able to get away from my father, but from that moment I was alone, without any financial or other assistance.
I have done many different jobs for over 15 years, 4 jobs a day for several years, I was able to get my high-school diploma and I tried to go to university, but I couldn't finish it for financial reasons and because my father left my grandfather alone in hospital (his father). And I used all the money aside to give my grandfather the necessary care and to accompany him to his death in a dignified way.
I have always sacrificed myself.
The only place where I felt at home, the only place that allowed me to breathe and get out of the hell I lived in, was the Tau Beta comic book store.
Seven years ago I was out of work and the shop owner offered me to buy a small share of the Tau Beta to have a minimum income that would allow me to live. I was grateful to him and I was immensely happy. Finally what I called home really became a little mine.
In addition to working in the store, I worked as a sales clerk in the stands of comic conventions (I worked about 40 weekends a year, traveling from Milan to Naples, from Rome to Lucca). Thanks to this experience, I have acquired greater skills in managing the store and making my customers appreciate me.
I don't know how it works where you live, but here in Italy it is difficult for a woman to be considered good in the sector of the comic book trade. Women are just salesgirls or simple pretty girls who help sales thanks to their appearance. But they don't understand anything about the comic book, so at least many think.
Happy with my small achievements, I thought I had achieved some serenity. Finally what was my refuge from all the evil that surrounded me had become my home, I had found the Love of my life and I was expecting a child.
Unfortunately, however, shortly before the birth, my business partner decided to leave me suddenly because he was in crisis with himself. My husband had lost his job and I couldn't afford to lose the shop, I was expecting a baby and I had to support my family.
I was forced to accept the conditions set by my business partner to acquire the entire store. I was forced to return to work 20 days after giving birth (during which I had a heart attack), without being able to rest as the doctors wanted and with the child in the shop with me.
Despite this, in just one year I managed to triple the profit of the financial statement of the shop, I bought many new customers and I managed to retain older customers, even if I am a woman.
But now, actually since January, many debts with the bank have come up created by my ex-business partner to leave the store. And I became responsible for it.
To pay for all this, however, the store went into crisis and I can no longer satisfy all customer needs, because I cannot afford to pay suppliers as I should.
For this I ask you for help.
The bank, although it also has a share of guilt, does not help me in any way. The debt left with my bank by my business partner does not allow me to receive help from other banks. Other financial institutions do not help me because they do not believe that we can live by selling comics, despite all being complimented on the turnover and the profit on the balance sheet.
Now I am 38 years old and here in Italy, a 38-year-old woman with a 2-year-old child has no chance of finding a job, not even as a cleaning lady.
But above all, I can't and won't lose Tau Beta.
I gave up everything in my life, but I can't give up the only home, the only refuge and the only place where I have always felt free, where I was allowed to understand that maybe I something worth, that I am not simple cannon fodder as my father and mother made me believe when I was little.
This is why I allow myself to ask you for help, because I want to continue fighting, even though I am very tired by now and I know that soon, if this continues, I will have to close or sell the store. I'll have to say goodbye to Tau Beta.
As much as I love my husband, who finally found a job, as much as I love my son, I know I can't explain it and I can't find anyone who understands me, but losing Tau Beta would kill me, it would be the straw that broke the camel's back.
Help my business to celebraty 25 years of actvity (February 2020), help me to smile again and believe that there is something good in this world.
Help me to believe that I too can have something and keep it, without always having to sacrifice everything.
I know it's an impossible mission, that many of you won't even answer me, but I had to try, I had to try to save the place that saved me from despair and depression many times in my life. I owe it to Tau Beta.
Here are the links to verify that Tau Beta is a real store and not an invented scam.
Tau Beta snc
via Pavoni 5 - 20900 Monza (Italy)
For those who wish, I can also send the financial statement of the store.
Thanks again to those who will read this letter. I hope that someone will help me and my family