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It Takes a Village to Raise a Bookstore

Coastal Bookstore online has been live for two weeks, and so many people encouraged and helped me through the process of taking it from a dream in my imagination to an existing business. Thanks a MILLION to these folks!

♡ As soon as I announced I was going to open a bookstore, my good friends Luke and Karen invited me out for tacos and encouragement. They are both such supportive friends all the time, but then Luke, who is tremendously creative, also jumped in and volunteered to make me a website and even designed the Coastal Bookstore logos for me. What a boost! 

When she found out what I was up to, Meghan, the owner of Vancouver Fashion Truck, offered to let me pick her brain. She was so wonderful to talk to, and I frequently remember her advice to follow what feels good. I have loved every single item I've bought from VFT. And, as someone who is somewhat style-challenged, I find her Try on Thursdays on Instagram so helpful!

♡ The bookselling community is wonderful and has made me feel so welcome. First, Heather Read, of Read & Co. Books generously gave of her time, explaining the complicated web of distributors, warehouses, and sales reps that I would need to navigate, and connected me with many other booksellers. I was most nervous to meet the owners of Western Sky Books in Port Coquitlam because they are the independent bookstore geographically closest to where I intend to locate. Tamara reached out to me before I worked up the nerve and has been incredibly kind and helpful, even giving me an amazing deal on some bookcases that she and co-owner Dianne didn't need anymore. Western Sky is such a great place, specializing in used books and supporting local authors. 

♡ My friend Tristan who offered his big truck and brawny muscles to pick up some used display furniture I bought back in February - my very first financial investment in the bookstore, and such an exciting moment. I also thank my friends Paul and Karis for letting me store the largest piece in their basement, as well as my delightful pal Johanna who was with me when I stumbled upon the furniture (we had gone to Art Knapp after church one day to look at plants) and encouraged me while I nervously made the spend. Johanna makes beautiful pottery, by the way. Here is her Instagram @jomakes. And most recently, Deanna who helped me lug more furniture this week!

My amazing, wonderful, cheerleading friends and family members. I couldn't be doing this without your support. It's been a joy to watch my sister Amber open her business Greensleeves Electric in Kamloops, as well as her husband, Justin, and his business Cachelin Construction. They are both so skilled and talented, and have generously shared advice from their journeys as business owners. In past years, I also witnessed my mother, Kathy, and my mother-in-law, Jan, both open and run businesses. They were such strong, independent role models for me, my sisters, and my own daughters. Speaking of daughters, my two, Adora and Grace, have been cheering me on and helping out in so many practical ways. Doing life with them is truly life's best part. 

♡ I was truly blessed by former employers, John and Andrea Rose at Rose Security (as well as my former colleagues - it was such a great team to be a part of!) John and Andrea welcomed me and my family into their lives and hearts at such a crucial time, and they taught me so much about business. The skills they built in me, and the confidence that came from their mentorship, will carry me a long way. 

♡ I met Michael Deepwell through my previous job, and was so impressed by him professionally that I hired him as my financial advisor a few years ago, and now to help me set up the business finances too. He has taught me a lot, led me through some valuable processes and helped keep me organized. If you want expert, independent, financial advice, I definitely recommend Michael at Lamp Financial. 

Tim Chan is another person I met through my last job who has been so encouraging over the years. He and his wife, Olive (who is a spectacular painter - find her @olivechanart) own Coracle Marketing and swooped in with some freelance writing work for me this summer just when I was starting to stress out about money. Lifesavers! Tim and Olive also founded the Business as Calling community. 

♡ I have too many supportive friends to mention each by name (I can only hope I've shown them enough appreciation in private) but I wanted to give my last shout out to one of my besties, Jen. For all the bottles of wine on the living room couch, and for endless texting, and for being the best listener, and for prayers, and for being the first to buy a book when I excitedly texted, "the website is up," late one night before anyone else in the world knew. Jen - that's not why I texted! But, thank you.