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Ally Kirkpatrick: Bookstore in Alexandria, VA
Why do you want to open a brick and mortar bookstore?
How long have you lived in Alexandria? What can you tell me about your personal history with the area?
What are some adjectives you would use to describe the area?
What makes the Old Town of Alexandria unique?
Are most people who will visit the store natives to Alexandria?
What year was your building built? What is the architectural style?
There are stars on the facade of the building. Are they original to the best of your knowledge? Do they have any particular meaning?
What are the demographics of the area in terms of wealth, age and race.
Do you know the history of the building?
Is your building a historic landmark? Are there restrictions in terms of how you may or may not alter the building?
What was the original purpose of the building?
What--if anything--exists on the top floor of the building?
How much foot traffic do you expect?
The street that the store is located on is Royal Street. Do you happen to know how the street got its name?
Describe the businesses closest to the store.
What are the most significant attractions in the area? In terms of the waterfront, what role does it play for people in the area?
You mentioned that there are a few nautically-themed names in the area. What are your personal feelings about this trend? Do you have any desire to consider nautical names?
Are you going to be doing any renovations to the exterior? If so, what are you plans? Please email Brigid any aspirational photos.
Are you going to be doing any renovations to the interior? If so, what are your plans? Please email Brigid aspirational photos as well as materials, bookcases, etc. It would also be helpful to see photos of the interior as it looks now.
Describe what you will be selling and how much space it will occupy in the store. For instance: adult books: 75%, kids' books: 15%, event space 10%
What else will you sell besides books?
How do you plan to use the space for events, bookclubs and workshops?
Envision your calendar of events for a typical month. How often would the events occur? What would they be?
Is there any particular genre of book on which you plan to focus?
What emotions do you hope will be elicited when people enter your bookstore?
Compose your dream Yelp review.
What are your favorite bookstores?
What are some existing bookstore names that you find effective or that you like?
Many bookstore names incorporate humor or word play (The Happy Booker, Yellow Book Road, forWORDS). How do you feel about that approach?
Who is your favorite author?
What are your 3 favorite kids books?
Name 3 of your adult favorite books.
What is your desert island book?
Do you have a favorite line of poetry? Or a favorite line from a book? If so, what is it?
How much time do you plan to spend in the store? When you are in the store, what will be your role? For instance, will you stay behind the scenes? Or will you be greeting customers and checking out purchases?
If you do plan on being an integral part of the bookstore scene, please describe any of your notable characteristics. Some examples might be tattoos, hair color, personal demeanor, fondness for a particular color. This list does not have to include characteristics that are obvious. Instead, I am hoping for a list of words that make up what it means to be Ally.
What are you other passions and interests besides books?
When you envision the store 20 years from now, how do you see it evolving? Do you want to still be active in the store?
Do your ambitions include opening other locations?
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