After purchasing Inkwood Books in Tampa, Fla., a little over two years ago, Stefani Beddingfield is getting her family into the bookselling business. Her sister Julie, who is based in the Northeast, will be opening a second location of the store in New Jersey.
Julie, who was an environmental lawyer in Philadelphia, will be the sole owner of the 1,300-square-foot shop in Haddonfield, where she has lived for the past nine years.
“I’ve been wanting to switch gears for a very long time, but the right thing hadn’t come along,” she said. “This is the first time in all these years of trying to change my career that something hit me as what I really want to do.”
When the town's only bookstore, The Book Swap, closed in March, Stefani saw an opening. “I texted my sister on a whim and said, ‘We should open a bookstore here,’” Julie said. “It just went from there.”
Stefani has been advising Julie on the store--help has been provided with, among other things, preliminary ordering--and Julie said the New Jersey Inkwood is very similar to the Florida one, in certain ways. "The store looks a little different," Julie explained. "[Stefani's store] is in this cool bungalow and we’re in this downtown storefront. It’s not quite the hippie beach vibe of Florida.”
The New Jersey location also has a larger children’s section than its Florida counterpart, and Julie is hoping to work with the local school system. “There are a lot of kids here,” she said, “and there are a lot of really good schools and a lot of young families. I’ve already got the summer reading lists.”
A grand opening for the New Jersey store is set for June 20, when the sisters will celebrate with a ribbon-cutting, giveaways and an appearance by children’s author Dan Gutman, who will read and sign copies of Ms. Cuddy is Nutty, the latest book in his My Weirdest School series.
The store will have a soft opening June 13 so it can participate in Haddonfield’s Service Appreciation Day, which celebrates the area’s first responders and veterans.