Welcome to Interview with an Entrepreneur! A feature that will introduce you to new bookish finds and businesses.
Today, I’m interviewing Melissa from Literary Book Gifts.
Keep reading to find a special promo code you can apply to your purchase on her website!
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: Hi Melissa! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Please tell us a little bit about your store.
Melissa: Literary Book Gifts is an online store that I launched earlier this year. Clothing wise, I carry shirts, tank tops, and hoodies. There are men’s and women’s versions of each and plenty of color options to choose from.
For those of us who love using tote bags to carry around our books, there are tons of designs to choose from. Each tote comes in three sizes so whether you are looking to bring a water bottle and snack to work, or throw in a bunch of items for a day at the beach, there is a tote bag sized just right for you!
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: What inspires your designs?
Melissa: The collection as a whole is inspired by the vintage feel of most of the novels, since they are classics. Beyond this, each design is based particularly on each book. It’s setting characters and story, the overall narrative, as well as the feeling eluded by the reading the story itself.
I am also deeply inspired by art history, mainly impressionism, but in general every piece of art I have seen and thought about or created has inspired me in some way.
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: What are your long term goals for your store?
Melissa: In the long term I’d love for the items to be available in brick and mortar stores. Online shopping has it’s benefits but it really cannot compete with the experience of browsing in a store where you are able to feel the fabrics and try on different styles to see how they suit you.
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: Any advice for those who want to start a small business?
Melissa: I would say, follow your passions and don’t treat it as a business but as something you enjoy doing. This will inevitably push you in the right direction when making choices on what to do and how to operate. And most of all, don’t forget to have fun!
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: Who is your favorite literary character?
Melissa: I would have to say Holden Caulfield is my definite favorite since The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is my all time favorite read. But a close second is Lewis Carroll’s Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I had so much fun reading that novel.
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: Who is your go-to author?
Melissa: This is an easy one, I love J.K. Rowling. We all know her writing so well from the Harry Potter series, which I do love and re-read all the time. But I also thought that her The Casual Vacancy was an extremely insightful and well thought out tale. Although completely unlike Harry Potter, I thought it was quite an amazing story.
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: What are you currently reading?
Melissa: I am currently reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Her writing is simple yet beautiful, like her poetry. The depth and perception that Plath is able to capture is fascinating and unlike any novel I have read before.
Aleen [Lampshade Reader]: Thanks Melissa! Personally, I really liked your Pride and Prejudice inspired merch. Here are a couple of my favs. 🙂
The coupon code LAMPSHADEREADER20 can be used at checkout for 20% off at Literary Book Gifts, and it will never expire.