There were times during my first three years running a small business like Prairie Path Books when I’ve wondered whether I in fact should have gotten an actual business degree of some sort. For example, some days it seems like our trays of homemade cookies get more attention than our books – and I wonder to myself, gosh you don’t see other stores giving things away, maybe they don’t teach doing that in business school? Am I a dummy or something?
But I always come back to the fact that I don’t care about “they” or “should. Fact is, I love to bake. And maybe even more I love coming early to my store – hearing the satisfying click of my key in the lock, switching on the lights, putting down my tote bag full of my evenings’ papers and notes and plans for the day, and taking out a Tupperware of treats. I love moving through the store then, turning on for the day all the twinkle and lamp lights we’ve set about, and then moving into our wee kitchen and while my coffee is brewing, setting out the goodies I’ve made (having left at least half at home to feed the boy, 18 now and a high school senior).
For sure I bet there’s no MBA lesson plan for creating a twinkle-lighted story nook in our children’s department, but we did that this week*. Wait ‘til you see! See, I was a girl who made blanket forts with her brother and after he’d gone off to whack baseballs or something, I would scootch all the way back into a fort-corner with my flashlight and sit for hours with knees near up to my chin and Little House in the Big Woods wedged between my eyeballs and knees. I know now I’m grown that I’m supposed to sell books mostly, but for me my children’s section mission always has been first about creating a mood – a mood of oooooh. You know, that heart-swell you feel when you are inspired. Makes sense to me to recreate for you the magic and wonder I felt crawling into my fort with my story and nothing but time ‘til dinner.
So I think I’m finding my way in business after all, using my memories as a sort of map. A map that includes a stop in “Storyland” – marked with a wee image of a tent and maybe a silhouette of a girl in it, bent over a book, holding a flashlight.
All this so I can announce our fall series of children's events! We have added to our Thursday morning 11:00 a.m. Milk & Cookies Storytime, another free storytime series meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays — this one based on our favorite classic picture books. As ever, our storytimes include a snack and a craft or activity. And Kristy's summertime "Kids in the Kitchen" series was such a smash that she's doing an after-school version on Wednesdays - just call to say you can come to these fun gatherings. Check out too our "no school" special events for Columbus Day and Thanksgiving break. See you here!
*If you like our twinkle-lighted story nook, make one of your own at home, for sure. Any corner will do. Me and Laura and Lisa used fabric and twinkle lights and pillows – ask us if you want help – we’d love that.