Bookstore Birth Announcements

Rich colors, beautiful wood, a curated selection all make The Well-Read Moose a real gift to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, thanks to Melissa DeMotte.

Rich colors, beautiful wood, a curated selection all make The Well-Read Moose a real gift to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, thanks to Melissa DeMotte.

Imagine celebrating a lifelong dream of opening a bookstore. This week, I’d like to share stories of two smart, remarkable women who took the fork in the career road to pursue something that “just would not let go” … owning a book store.

Melissa DeMotte has spent many years as a corporate CFO and after some health challenges, decided it was time to make some things happen in her life. In beautiful, scenic Coeur d’Alene, Idaho she has been developing the bookstore cafe concept in the Riverstone development, a new favorite place for locals and tourists.

The Well-Read Moose, the dream of a former corporate CFO, offers books for Father's Day during the soft opening.

The Well-Read Moose, the dream of a former corporate CFO, offers books for Father’s Day during the soft opening.

Last week, we helped Melissa put the finishing touches on her new bookstore, The Well-Read Moose. About 2700 feet total with approximately 1650 devoted to the bookstore, customers popped in while we were setting up, asking when the store would be open. They mentioned reading about Melissa and the new indie bookstore about to open in the local paper. When we flew in, we met an English teacher at the local college who said she’d cut out the article and tucked it inside the next book group book so she could make sure everyone in the group knew the community would have its own indie bookstore.

What I loved best about some of the non-book items Melissa has chosen … literary candles by PaddyWax in Atlanta (I purchased the Emily Dickinson tin for my friend who plays Emily in the one-woman show “Belle of Amherst); an amazing card selection, including designs from That’s All (with a company tagline: “Say it like it is … Curing cancer while laughing-out-loud); toys of favorite storybook characters (the Little Nut Brown hare is so soft and adorable); beautiful pens and those gorgeous journals by Paperblanks.

Melissa learned retail management skills before launching this new chapter in her career.

Melissa learned retail management skills before launching this new chapter in her career.

The coffee was brewing in the cafe and regional wines will be arriving for the mid-June grand opening. We are thrilled for Melissa and the Coeur d’Alene community. See the Paz & Associates Facebook page for more photos.

Prairie Path Books is proof of what my mother used to tell me: “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Sandy Koropp first contacted us a few years ago with an idea of buying an existing bookstore. A former attorney, Sandy does her research and is good at testing the waters before taking on risk.

While assessing the potential for the existing store, Sandy began hosting author events in partnership with local organizations to discover she loved authors and books and really loved connecting readers with great stories. The events took place in cool venues and word spread that attending one of Sandy’s events was a guarantee of a great, mind-stretching experience.

Great at collaboration and win-win outcomes, Sandy spoke with the owner of Toms-Price, an iconic furniture store in Wheaton and before long, they came up with a plan for the bookstore to occupy space within the store. There’s no shortage of comfy seating in this bookstore and of all of the bookstore designs, this will always have a fresh supply of beautiful tables and armoires for feature displays.

The local press celebrates with this story and these bookstore photos of Prairie Path Books.

These two amazing women have seized opportunities in today’s marketplace as the big box stores have proven to be unsustainable. In their place, we have creative, unique, human scale bookstores that are a beautiful reflection of what is possible when you follow your dream. As a result, these communities are given bookstores that are gathering places where we learn, grow, and fully live.

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