November 5 — The hot pink door of Chattanooga’s newest independent bookstore officially opened to customers on Thursday.
The Book & Cover, located at 1310 Hanover St., quickly filled with people browsing through books on an overcast afternoon.
After weeks of watching people peek out of windows and throw their thumbs up as they walked past, owners and former classmates of Girls’ Prep School Blaes Green, Sarah Jackson and Emily Lilley said it seemed finally real.
“We’re really excited to have someone here and make it real because it’s so like it’s something that we do for our community and they’re such a big part of it and they haven’t. been here again, ”Jackson said. “It’s like feeling [the community] is the missing piece. “
The first sale of the day went to Coughlin Cooper, who said she knew Jackson through Cooper’s role as director of special events and parent engagement at GPS. She also joins forces with the bookstore to host the school’s parents’ reading club.
“It’s super exciting,” said Cooper, whose reading habits have picked up and were a form of escape during the pandemic. “I couldn’t be more excited for them and for Chattanooga.”
Chattanoogan Elizabeth Gaffrey said she first heard about The Book & Cover on Instagram.
“It was great. I feel like being able to see books in person is only part of the experience, especially with children’s books,” she said. “As soon as I heard about a bookstore, I was like ‘I will follow this journey forever.'”
The shelves lining the walls of the Book & Cover are filled with books of various kinds.
From non-fiction books like Dolly Parton’s hardcover songwriting memoir, to cookbooks, mysteries, sci-fi novels, romance, classics and a little bit of everything, the shop has something for it. for all interests. There is also a section for young adults and a dedicated children’s area decorated with artwork inspired by “Where the Wild Things Are”.
In addition to books, the shop has a coffee bar and sells other products such as branded bags and t-shirts, enamel pins and cards. Lilley Bertie’s dog can also be found sneaking into space.
The owners raised $ 100,000 through IndieGoGo earlier in the year and hosted a number of sponsors in the space the day before the official launch for a preview.
Since the fundraising campaign ended this summer, the process has been a “whirlwind” as friends struggled to navigate everything from the difficulties of the business model and permits to the celebration of even the most minor signals of progress.
“It was also cool to watch us navigate through these tough pieces and find the little wins,” said Lilley. “As we are faced with something difficult, something positive would always happen that would encourage us, keep us excited to move forward.”
Overall, the owners said the madness was worth it to make their dreams come true for their business and community.
“It’s been a mad rush – make lists, keep and cross out – to make sure we’ve got it all covered,” Green said. “[We want to make sure we have] what is going to make this space accessible and comfortable for all kinds of readers to come in and find something they love and something for them. “
Contact Tierra Hayes at [email protected]