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An offer I can't...um...not consider.

My mother, who (for those of you that don't know me that well) runs a fairly liberal Christian bookstore, is pushing me toward managing the neighboring Baptist bookstore.

There are so many problems with this, beginning with the very basic fact that there's not a lot about my life that Baptists, who tend to be at least moderately right-wing, would be happy about.

It's impossible not to consider, though. I'd love my own bookshop, even if there's a highly restrictive scope for merchandise. And I've done, well, about 10 years of on-and-off work in my mom's church and specifically her bookshop. And she and I work really well together on business type stuff.

Hmm. I don't know. This is very tempting. I'd have to give up my perky publishing job--but this would let me really put my full creativity to work for me. Risky, though. I'd have to be v-e-r-y careful about personal information, and there's some very awkward religious issues too, since I broadly class myself as "pagan" these days.

The real plus here, it's a chance to start developing a network of bookstores. Something rather entrepreneural and exciting. Wow. Anyway. Things to think about.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
atalantapendrag
Jan. 17th, 2005 10:34 pm (UTC)
...part of me is phenomenally tickled at the idea of a Pagan managing a Christian bookstore.


Another, far more cynical and paranoid part, screams "Hate crime waiting to happen!".
jerseytude
Jan. 17th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
Agreed with atalanta... managing a bookstore would be great - but not a Baptist bookstore.

Why not have it as a unitarian religion store? Baptist stuff, Jewish stuff, Pagan Stuff.

Could also turn it into a fetish boutique.







Just sayin', is all.







(I'd help.)







(I need a job after graduation...)
spottylogic
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC)
Well...the Baptist church in question is interested in owning a bookstore, and has asked mom's help in setting it up. It's a bit lower-risk than opening my own store (I'd just be staff, not a proprieter.) The downside is the content is a bit out of my control, though I would be in a position to gently steer. Mom thinks she could help me get the manager's job, and that would as a beneficial side effect double her buying power and help us get some economy of scale going. After that, slow growth into a chain.
spottylogic
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:40 am (UTC)
I think the Austin market for pagan books is kind of saturated right now. The baptist bookstore is an opportunity that's possibly being handed to me, and I wouldn't be out any personal money (unless my pay gets linked to performance and the economy gets worse).

Unfortunately, church-run bookstores tend to be heavily volunteer-staffed. I might could get you a small gig helping with websites or something, but it'd be extremely part-time :(
jerseytude
Jan. 18th, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't do it then.

This may just be my hatred of religion in general, but it seems to me that your creativity would be stifled in that sort of situation, not increased.

If it pays more, or if you hate your job (which you don't seem to) it pays to consider this as a possibility. But I can't see selling lies to morons as a fulfilling life endeavor.
spottylogic
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Wrr...I really like religion as an idea, and I still, believe it or not, really like Christianity, it's just not my path. I don't like being agnostic. So, for me, this isn't "selling lies to morons". Helping someone find spiritual food is generally a Good Thing, and there's no rule saying Christianity is better or worse than Islam or Wicca. It just happens to be winning right now. I'm really good at speaking Christian, and I've actually been in Christian retail about 10 years, on and off.
jerseytude
Jan. 18th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC)
Spotty: I've been in Christian bookstores. Half the stuff's the "Left Behind" series and "Left Behind" paraphanalia.

It's what sells.
spottylogic
Jan. 19th, 2005 11:15 am (UTC)
Jersey--I've helped run a Christian bookstore for 10 years. It's what sells if that's what's available. It's what sells if it's what on the rack. It's not the only thing that's out there. Also, it's not easy to see past the front display racks, particularly if you don't recognize the other mainstream authors (Max Lucado's very good, and a popular mainstream Christian writer.

As well, you remember me saying that the only way to make a change is from the inside? Important point here.

Now, the Family Bookstore is pretty tacky, if that's what you're referencing--but after a number of Christian retail conventions, tending shelves, comparing the Catholics and Fundies, reading the trade brochures--there's variety, there's good stuff. It's just knowing how to look, and how to keep stock.

Really, I know the industry, and the depths to which it can sink. I also have a very good sense for "the good stuff."
artfulreggie
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:44 am (UTC)
I smell a sitcom
I don't know... you'd have to give up all those technicolor shirts of yours.
spottylogic
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC)
Re: I smell a sitcom
Well, at least the ones with the flame and dragon motief. Yeah, some delicate pruning of my wardrobe would be in order. *sigh* I can look presentable and even dignified, it's just not my first choice :)
(Deleted comment)
spottylogic
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:41 am (UTC)
Re: Acting aspirations
Nooooo! Not the ponytail :)
(Deleted comment)
aronal
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:22 am (UTC)
So I was at one of the pagan camp outs a couple years ago and attended a workshop on "How to run a sucessful pagan business"

After listening to 30 minutes of drivel about invoices and DBAs ect. I raised my hand and said "If you want to run a SUCESSFUL pagan business, then you have to sell shit to Christians." What's really scarey is some of these folks hadn't even considered that.

So my shop, while owned and staffed by pagans, clearly makes most of the big bucks by selling crosses and stuff to Christians. I got no problem with where the money comes from just so long as it gets to me and through me to my pagan minions.
spottylogic
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:42 am (UTC)
*nods* or have a large portion of the local audience as a market, a la Natural Magic. Heck, selling things to Christians in a pagan store is practically ecumenical and pagan outreach :) I wouldn't have considered it, either, honestly, and I've occasionally been a Christian Bookseller's Association member.
apryl_knight
Jan. 18th, 2005 09:30 am (UTC)
I've sent quite a few non-Pagans to Natural Magic to get shampoo bars. Who knows what happens when they go in, but I figure it's entertaining, nonetheless.

Well, this *does* seem to be a situation. I see your point on both sides of the fence. Let us know what you decide.

*pulls out popcorn and props up feet*
(Deleted comment)
apryl_knight
Jan. 18th, 2005 12:35 pm (UTC)
Lovely wonderful things - completely non-harsh shampoo in solid bar form; you just wet it and either rub it in your hands, then your hair, or rub the bar directly on your head. Their page seems to be temporarily down, but it's http://www.naturalmagic.us for when it comes back up.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )