Last year when my business partner, Peggy, and I attended BookExpo at the Javits Center in New York, we went as prospective bookstore owners. At the time, we had no specific location, no signed lease and many unknowns. I wrote about some of my concerns in owning an independent bookstore here.
After I had posted that blog, I was contacted by a strong support team and Peggy and I joined the American Booksellers Association and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. We attended their meetings, talked to other bookstore owners, and applied for a loan with the help of the Small Business Development Center. We also raised funds from a Crowdfunding campaign to help us in our initial efforts. When we told people we were planning on opening a bookstore, some expressed surprise due to the ubiquitous eBook presence while others familiar with the upswing in independent bookstores were thrilled. However, everyone responded favorably when they also found out that we were going to get a tavern license so that we could offer wine and beer, along with coffee and tea, as well as other refreshments in our café.
We even got some press in some Long Island papers. One comment that followed one of the articles covering our story was from a man who said that Peggy and I were nothing more than two bored housewives trying to make owning a bookstore our hobby and quite likely it would never come to fruition. Obviously, he knew nothing about us.
Well, since then, we plowed through all the roadblocks, didn't let discouragement win, and attended this year's BookExpo with a specific location for our store and a signed lease, and were prepared to order the books! It is our intention to open Turn of the Corkscrew, Books & Wine by August of this year. We will be located in a charming 100-year old house with a fireplace for those cold winter evenings and a patio for the warm summer breezes. Without a doubt, there will be times that Peggy and I will take a moment from shelving books, meeting customers' needs, and reading the latest children's book to our young guests, to absorb all that we went through to make this desire a reality. Two bored housewives? I think not.