Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather and Stephen Friend.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Heather and Stephen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Stephen and I are life-long book lovers and after a combined 25+ years working in the book biz, opening a store of our own felt “right” and it wasn’t an unrealistic or impulsive adventure. Honestly, having a used bookstore was Stephen’s dream. He got the ball rolling and bit by bit I joined him and a few months later we opened our doors. We are lucky to have such wonderful friends who supported us then and continue to do so today. One of our very closest friends helped us get things done so we could open when we did and he volunteers his time still to take care of our more delicate books when necessary.
When we first started out, our inventory came from estate sales. We started with 2-3,000 books and currently, we’re at an estimated 15,000! We order a very, very small number of books from distributors to fill in the gaps here and there. We are where we are today because of our customers. They are so loyal and very kind. They are generous and appreciate our presence in their communities. We have a very unique location between Stapleton and businesses south of Montview including the diverse neighborhoods immediately to the south of us to Lowry, Crestmoor, Hilltop and so on. To the west, we welcome the Park Hill neighborhood but we have customers from Evergreen too! To the east is the Anschutz Campus including University and Children’s Hospitals. Our customers are from everywhere and we work hard to provide a diverse inventory to meet their needs.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been a bit bumpy and always will be – we’re a used bookstore! Make no mistake – we are having a blast! The second half of 2018 was the most profitable time by far. We have established a sound customer base and they are very loyal to us. The trickiest part is marketing. With limited funds and just me doing 95% of the job with zero professional training- sometimes it’s a lot and anxiety tries to take over. But, Stephen & I work through it and honestly, every single business or person that we’ve worked with has been patient, supportive, and really encouraging. We’re so grateful to everyone who has helped us get to where we’re at now.
The biggest bump is location – sort of. Our store is one of potentially eight business in a single building. The building switched owners soon after we opened our store. Bit by bit there have been significant renovations and updates throughout the entire building. It has created some confusion as to whether there are any businesses open here at all. People tell us they had no idea we were here which is frustrating but we know the building will look great when all the updates are complete. Until then, we pretty much rely on social media, periodical ads, and word of mouth. Oh – and the sandwich board on the sidewalk! Seriously – that thing has helped immensely. All in all, it’s an exciting time!!
Please tell us about Turn A Page Book Shop.
We are a used bookstore. Our inventory comes from our customers. They bring in their unwanted books and in exchange, we give them store credit! We don’t really specialize in any one single aspect of the book biz (rare, antique books or a single genre, e.g.) we do have some really cool and really old books, but we also have recent bestsellers from the past few years. We have a children’s section that keeps growing and we are so proud to offer that. I used to teach Kindergarten and worked in the children’s section at the Tattered Cover for 7+ years so I feel very comfortable in that section of our store. Stephen spent 18+ years at The Tattered Cover as well, working in several departments, so between the two of us, we are pretty confident we can help you find something new to read. And as for that book you love but can’t remember what it’s called, but you know it has a blue cover with the word “and” in the title, Yeah – we can find those too. We enjoy the work of bringing people and books together!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Maybe slow down a bit and not second guess things so much. But really, it’s hard to say because you don’t know what you don’t know until you need to know it and that’s part of the experience. There are challenges everywhere but that means there are rewards too. Every day we get to experience both. I’m not sure we would do anything differently – the layout of the store perhaps but the rest of it- I don’t know. We’re so grateful for our successes and none of it would happen without all of our customers. Even if we did everything differently, it’s the customers that make a bookstore great-and we’ve got the best customers anywhere.
- 15% discount for military and teachers
- 1st Thursday of every month all inventory is 25% off
- Address: Turn A Page Book Shop
9575 Montview Blvd
Aurora CO 80010
- Website: www.turnapagebookshop.com
- Phone: 303-343-1507
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: tomlinsonfriend
- Facebook: @TurnaPagebookshop