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A Likely Story Childrens's Bookstore

<b>Owner: </b>

Dinah Paul

<b>Short bio: </b>

I am originally from Louisville, KY. I have 2 older brothers who have 6 kids between their two families. I got my degree in English and taught Kindergarten for a year after I graduated. My husband’s job moved us into this area and I started working at A Likely Story shortly after that. I have been at A Likely Story for nearly 4 years. We currently live in Rosemont with our dog Finnegan.

<b>Why did you choose this particular business? </b>

I chose this business because I love books and I love kids. Owning a children’s bookstore is the perfect union of all of my passions. Some of the most exciting writing is happening in the young adult and children’s category.

<b>Why did you choose to work for yourself rather than as an employee for someone else? </b>

The former owner of the store was going to let A Likely Story close and I didn’t want that to happen. I figured someone had to keep the tradition alive so I stepped up to the plate. I like to say that I was just young enough and naïve enough to think that I could own a business.

<b>What have you learned from being in business? </b>

I have learned that despite the overabundance of big box stores and corporate giants people still value stores like ours where we know our inventory and can greet customers by name when they walk through the front door.

<b>Share an anecdote of a challenging or humorous experience or biggest surprise learned from working your business: </b>

People don’t always remember specifics about a title. We often have people come into our store and say something like "Did you see the book they were talking about on Good Morning America a few weeks ago?" Or "My cousin was telling me about this book she found in Germany, do you have it?" We love questions like this because it allows us to play detective. However, sometimes the requests can be tricky because a customer will ask for something specific, but still have gotten the title mixed up. For example we had a family that was looking for a book and they thought the word dress was in the title. Immediately the staff started gathering up stories like The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes or Cinderella’s Dress by Nancy Willard. No the customer said, the book was more recent than those books. We tried again with little luck until one of the staff members asked "Could the book be about dressing up?" Maybe, was the response. We pulled Fancy Nancy from the shelf and handed it to the customer and their face lit up. "This is it," they cried "I guess dress wasn’t in the title afterall!" We have had so many instances of title confusion we have started a list of all the unusual requests we have received through the years.

<b>What have been the advantages and/or disadvantages of operating a business in Alexandria? </b>

Owning a store in Alexandria, especially one on King Street in Old Town Alexandria has been such a thrill. I remember visiting this area when I came here on my eighth grade field trip and thinking this is such a neat area. Now my husband and I live in Rosemont so I get to walk to work everyday. I love seeing my customers at the park or walking King Street. Alexandria is such a great community. It has a real small town feel right outside of DC so you get the best of both worlds.

<b>Manager: </b>

Maryclaire Lindgren

<b>Short bio: </b>

Married with two boys.

<b>Key staff: </b>

Everyone is key

Trish Brown-worked here for over 15 years

Patrick Hunter-worked here for over 7 years

Gwen Vanderhage-Buyer

Emily Griffin

Chelsea Anderson

Jenny Herre

<b>Description of services and/or products: </b>

We are a Children’s Specialty bookstore. We carry books, games and plush for ages 0 to 17 including a selection of books for Mom and Dad. We have storytime 6 days a week, sometimes 2 times a day.

<b>Professional affiliations/associations: </b>

KSMET

ABC-Association of Booksellers for Children

SEBA-Southeastern Booksellers