My husband, Ross, and I have been chomping at the bit to announce the opening of our bookstore in downtown Sacramento for three months now. I guess that negotiating a retail lease takes longer than one might think.
I am glad that I took liberties to do a number of things in anticipation that a lease would actually come to fruition. I had hoped that all of the hours I spent designing our logo, setting up the website and social media accounts, looking at store design elements, like tile, flooring, and paint, wasn’t just a giant waste of my time. Today, we had the final meeting with the building owner to finalize the lease.
It feels like we’re at the starting block of the Indie 500, and the lights just went from red to yellow to GREEN, pedal to the metal.
So, I’m having to remind myself, after announcing it first to our family and friends (who I think didn’t believe us months ago when we said, “We’re going to open a bookstore”) and then over social media, to B-R-E-A-T-H-E and take all of this in. My husband has 15 years of retail experience (pre-me), so this is not new to him, but it certainly is to me. Blogging about opening a bookstore in 3 short months will be my way of taking it all in.
We are not new to entrepreneurship, though. This will be our third business in 10 years. And I guess we tend to specialize in going against the grain. In 2008, we started a book review company at our kitchen table. That was a time when the literary/arts section of newspapers was being eliminated or downsized. Yet, here we were putting our shingle out. Well, we grew and thrived in a really crappy economy back then. The second business we started in 2010 was for the technology industry — GoLocalApps. And, yeah, we’ve spent 24/7 together for 10+ years and haven’t killed each other yet, so we got this. Our skill sets complement each other.
Aren’t Bookstores a Dying Breed?
On the contrary.
Like many people, we were frustrated by the lack of bookstores in Sacramento that were selling new books. As a book review company that also works with indie authors, we were super frustrated at how little Amazon values books.
We have tossed around opening up a retail location for many years, but always came back to not wanting to be tied to a store. But something sparked in both of us just before the holidays when we saw a FOR LEASE sign in a space next to one of Sacramento’s most iconic locations: The Crest Theater. We both fell in love with the possibility of complementing the Crest with our books and author events. It’s going to be the perfect combination. We just could not say no. And the more we talked with the downtown community and other retailers, we discovered just how starved Sacramento is for a bookstore.
So, follow us along on this exciting journey.
Let’s do this!