There are some businesses and landmarks that make a town or city special to those who live here and make us stand out to people who come to visit. We have several places like that here in Shelton. The bucolic scenery of our local farms, the fresh-baked and homemade goods sold here, the locally owned businesses, the historical landmarks and Riverwalk are just a few.
Not every community has what we have. That’s why it’s so important to support those places that make us a vibrant community. Written Words Bookstore in the White Hills Plaza, 194 Leavenworth Road, is one of those places. Very few communities can boast having an independent bookseller these days. It’s a rare and unique addition to our city, that has been in business for more than five years.
When owner, Dorothy Sim-Broder and her husband opened the store they wanted it to be a community gathering place, promoting literacy, exploration and discussion and they have succeeded. They regularly hold author signings, book discussions as well as building relationships with customers.
Unfortunately, the bookstore’s lease is up and they can only stay at the White Hills Plaza until the end of the year. Sim-Broder said she wants Written Words to be able to stay in Shelton, in a smaller store space, that they can better afford.
It’s hard to be a small business, especially when many people are so programmed to shop online or at the large, chain bookstores in an attempt to get deals. But is a couple bucks worth it when we can lose a great piece of community? We don’t think so.
Written Words has a loyal customer base, who are scrambling to support the store and find a new location. If you aren’t one of those loyal customers, you should be.
Right now, donations are being collected for the store’s re-location at indiegogo.com/writtenwords. The goal is $10,000. But there are other ways to help. Shelton has a lot of landlords and successful developers, perhaps one of those people can see the benefit of having an independent bookstore in one of its vacant spaces.
You can also show support by buying your next book there. Feel free to ask the owner for suggestions. The benefit of small, local business is that it’s friendly and helpful, with a personal touch you can’t find online.
Written Words is part of a bigger issue. We all like to see those quaint, small businesses in Shelton, that have been here for years or have opened recently and add something special to an area of the city. But we don’t often show that appreciation with out wallets. If we did, even just a little bit, it could make a big difference. By choosing to support locally owned businesses, we can help to create and retain jobs in their communities and make our city better.
As Sim-Broder said, just a small shift could make a big difference for the community.
We want Written Words to stay in Shelton and you should too.