Stockist Spotlight: The Bookshelf

In the world of candles, we are all too familiar with the struggle of committing to purchasing a candle online when you can't physically hold it in your hands and give it a few good sniffs.  When placing an order on our website, our loyal customers rely solely on our product descriptions, reviews from past customers, and trusting their instincts when it comes to picking out their favorite everyday candle.  Luckily for you, we don't make bad smelling candles!
However, thanks to the nearly 300 retailers throughout the United States that stock our candles, many of our customers are able to give those candles a test drive before taking one home! Without them, we are like a candle with no smell. And because we appreciate our retailers so very much, we wanted to create a segment focused on shining a light back on them!

Today, I'd like to introduce to you The Bookshelf, a darling bookstore in Thomasville, GA.  The Bookshelf is owned by Annie Jones, Thomasville's very own Nancy Drew who is passionate about hunting down the perfect book for every reader.  Today we are so very excited to get to know Annie and the heart behind her shop, The Bookshelf. 
Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf in Georgia poses outside of her shop
1. When did you open the doors of The Bookshelf? 
The Bookshelf has been in Thomasville since 1984, but I took over the shop in 2013.

2. When did you know you wanted to open a brick and mortar store? 
 I saw You've Got Mail for the first time when I was 13 years old, took one look at Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly and thought: That's what I want to do when I grow up.

3. How many years has The Bookshelf been in business? 
Almost 40!

4. If you could describe The Bookshelf in three words, what would they be? 
 Comforting, inviting, friendly
A lovely spring display at The Bookshelf, a small women owned bookstore in Thomasville GA

5. What are your top three favorite items to sell in The Bookshelf? 
Literary fiction books, children's picture books, and -- of course -- candles like Candelles.

6. What is your best selling Candelles candle that you carry? 
Pumpkin Souffle and Freshly Brewed were so popular for fall (we sold a ton of each of those), and Mint Nectarine is our spring bestseller.

7. Do you have your own personal favorite Candelles scent? 
Mint Nectarine is my current favorite, and Pumpkin Souffle and Oatmeal Stout were my favorites for fall. 

8. What is the most fulfilling part of owning The Bookshelf? 
Getting to watch young readers fall in love with a good book.

9. You're always adding new and exciting things to The Bookshelf, what are some of the things you look for in a brand when stocking a new line? 
The actual branding of a new line is really important to me; I'm always looking for gift products and lines with an aesthetic similar to our store's: light, bright, colorful, and fun. (I care deeply about a good font.) We also want to make sure a brand's mission and purpose meshes well with ours, and we try to place an emphasis on women-owned businesses, too. 
the beautiful white exterior of The Bookshelf, a small women owned bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia

10. Do you have any new projects in the works for the future of The Bookshelf? 
We're still adjusting to a new way of doing business post-pandemic, but I'd really love for our Reader Retreats to come back in late 2021 or early 2022.

11. Have there been any unexpected lessons you've learned while running The Bookshelf? 
So many, but I think maybe the biggest is the reminder things are outside of my control. I think when you own a business, you assume you can control everything or fix everything, but you really can't. Owning the business has definitely helped curb some of my perfectionist tendencies. 

12. What does an average day at The Bookshelf consist of for you? 
I work upstairs in my office for a good part of the day paying bills, responding to emails, planning virtual and in-store events, and recording podcast epsiodes, but my very favorite part of the day is spent downstairs on the floor, interacting with customers and staff. I love the bookselling part of owning a bookstore the very best. 

13. Do you host any community events or workshops at The Bookshelf? 
COVID certainly changed the kinds of events we currently offer (we're hoping in-store events are back this fall!), but we quickly pivoted to offering virtual events like seasonal literary previews, lunch breaks, book clubs, and gift product sneak peeks. It's been a joy to get to know our long-distance customers this way. 

14. What has been the most challenging part of owning your own brick and mortar store? 
Navigating a global pandemic? Also taxes.
a trendy display at Thomasville's own women owned bookstore, The Bookshelf featuring books stationery candles and more
We are so very grateful for the opportunity to learn more about Annie, and the drive behind The Bookshelf!  Be sure to check them out online at The Bookshelf and follow along with them on Instagram at @bookshelftville.

Is there a boutique or craft shop near you that you'd love to see our candles in?  Comment below with the shop name, town they're located in, and their website/ social media handles!  We'd love to reach out and help to bring Candelles to more of the small shops that are near and dear to you!


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