RoscoeBooks, a 1,419-square-foot full-service bookstore, will open its doors in Chicago’s north side in November. A soft opening for the store, situated in the the Roscoe Village neighborhood, is scheduled for November 17.
Erika VanDam, the store’s owner, is a graduate of Paz & Associates’ week-long workshop for prospective booksellers, having attended the event in May. A Massachusetts native who has lived in New York City and in Chicago since 2010, VanDam’s background is in marketing and sales.
VanDam worked in billboard sales for Clear Channel for two years and, in March, quit to become a bookseller. “I didn’t think I could do it at first,” VanDam said, of the career change. “But then I asked myself, ‘Why not?’ I want my daughter to look at her mother and to see someone who loves and cares about her job.”
RoscoeBooks will be a general bookstore that will emphasize children’s books. “That’s our neighborhood,” VanDam said, referring to the family-friendly area of Roscoe Village. The 1,220-square-foot sales floor will, VanDam thinks, offer plenty of room for parents to push strollers. Programming will include author events and a story hour, “at least once a week.”
Paz & Associates is designing the store’s layout and also consulting with VanDam on ordering the opening inventory of 8,500 titles. Store signage will go up outside the building, a former maternity clothing boutique, next week. A placeholder website and a Facebook page will go live next week as well. VanDam has not hired employees yet, but intends to add a few staff members.