Abby is the owner of Shelves, a pop-up bookshop, but now an online store located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shelves started in June 2019 and have experienced a change of pace due to COVID. Abby is no stranger to interacting with customers virtually during these times (please check out her IG lives). Abby has taken the opportunity to shift her focus to an online digital platform. During my conversation, Abby mentioned where Shelves started and where Shelves will be going. During her slow season, Abby praying for fruitfulness to ensure Shelves stay afloat during the BUSY season, praying for resourcefulness to maintain Shelves momentum.
Abby discussed her career previously working in Human Resources. Abby was interested in Entrepreneurship, where she later attended an entrepreneurship workshop at a local library located in Charlotte. With Abby being the only participant in the workshop, she used that opportunity to ask the presenter any questions.
In Summer 2020, people began searching and finding black-owned businesses. Through books, the importance of buying black and learning about privilege and race-related topics increased book sales from black-shop owners. This season of busyness allowed Abby to rethink and revise Shelves' presence online July became a considerable learning month. Shelves took the time to PIVOT and shut the website down and upgrade, offering real online shopping. Over 700 "bookish" products are listed on the site.
Abby was an avid reader growing up, and She fell in love with a book titled Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree, a Young Adult black character where she was able to read and relate to a plot, setting, characters, etc. Abby is a HUGE advocate for utilizing your local library for all things books, educational (most of the time free) workshops, and building community and relationships with librarians and volunteers.
Shelves is sticking to the commitment of educating families and celebrating the joy that reading books bring to people". Abby recommends for those who are not into the "turning page" of a book to try audiobook options. Shelves offer Audiobooks in partnership with Libro.fm, and customers have the option of purchasing audiobooks A 'La Carte or by signing up for a Libro.fm membership. Also, Shelves is offering a new Reading Is a Lifestyle subscription, which is now available for purchase.
Shelves also offer bookish merchandise ranging from sweatshirts, journals, and T-shirts. Ending this post, I would also like to add Abby's recommendation for searching for a book; Abby states, "READ THE BOOK that interests you! Everybody has their likes and dislikes, have fun reading!"
Please find the website and social media listed below!