Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Rosalee Book Boutique - Beaver Dam, WI

Rosalee Book Boutique, Beaver Damm WI

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I understand when I visit bookstores that I don’t always get to meet the owner or manager.  I’m always happy to talk with whoever I meet on these visits.  I didn’t get to meet owner Kayla D. on this day because her other job is working as a nurse.  But the nice thing I’ve learned along this journey is that bookstore people are the best.  And I didn’t meet just ANYBODY on this visit.  I love it when I get to meet a parent of an owner and that’s exactly what happened today.  Mary is Kayla’s mom and was the staffer on duty who kindly told me a bit about Rosalee Book Boutique and Beaver Dam.

The Rosalee Book Boutique has been open for about a year and so far, so good.  This one-level space is located on a busy street near downtown surrounded by several other small businesses, excellent for foot traffic.  They’re also fortunate to be situated across the street from where they hold the farmer’s market.  In their short year of existence, Rosalee’s already has a solid group of regulars.  Mary said she can’t believe how fast some of them read since they see them back in the store so often.  A great problem to have. 

Rosalee’s offers all new books along with a few used.  As a boutique they offer a wide variety of sidelines including uncommon t-shirts, candles, stickers, puzzles, a line of locally created items from Mayberry Farms (balms, lotions, etc), greeting cards, unique earrings, and more.  My favorite though was something called Wix and Wax.  This is a bag of ingredients that comes with everything you need to make your own candles.  If you know someone who likes candles and has some talent and interest for crafts, this would be perfect.  

Besides confirming that bookstore people are terrific, I’ve also learned that bookstores that have been open for a year or so are often unnoticed by many in the community.  Hey Beaver Dam, this is your notice.  If you’re in the area and haven’t paid a visit to the Rosalee Book Boutique, the time is now.  Check out this beautiful store and buy local, shop local, to support your fine community.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

JUST FINISHED:  Parable Of The Talents, Octavia E. Butler.  If you enjoy futuristic, dystopian communities trying to survive the chaos and madness of the United States, this is your book.  I guess this would be classified as sci-fi, but I read Kindred by this author and enjoyed it.  A small Northern California community living in the wilderness is enslaved by fanatics and the situation seems hopeless.  This one is too bleak for me.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Bellows Falls, Archer Mayor.  

Very modern looking storefront in an older refurbished building. 

The store has lots of display window space and this is just a portion of it. 

Looking straight into the store from the front entrance. 

View looking to the left of the front entrance.  You'll find a variety of sidelines on this side. 

Looking to the right from the front entrance.  A boutique can be defined as a small retail store but I thought this space was very roomy and comfortable for browsing. 

Shelf display of new releases. 

Unique and locally created earrings.  You know what I say, readers.  If you see something in a bookstore and you like it, GET IT.  It will be hard to find elsewhere. 

A nice assortment of banned books. 

This cabinet in the front of the store offers many items that will be of special interest to women. 

If you're in Beaver Dam, check out the book club. 

Just a few of the wide variety of candles available. 

Harry Potter fans will enjoy a visit here. 

Puzzles sold very well for many indies during the pandemic. 

I've noticed some bookstores stepping up their Taylor Swift items recently.  I think this is a good idea. 

Just a few of the greeting cards available. 

If you're on a budget find this book cart. 

Talk to Kayla if you want a good romance recommendation. 

I thought this was really cool.  If you know someone who likes candles and likes to craft, this is the perfect gift.  Everything you need to make your own candle. 

Some of the books promoted by the Reese Whitherspoon book club. 

Lots of options to create your own candle. 

Just some of the books offered by local authors. 

Overview of the children's area. 

Looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance. 

The store is located across the street from the city's farmer market events, a great arrangement. 

Rosalee has a wide variety of t-shirts and other clothing items. 

With Mary, Kayla's mom and the fine bookseller at the Rosalee Book Boutique.  Thanks for a great visit. 

Monday, May 20, 2024

Daydream Believer Books & Gifts - Lake Mills, WI

Daydream Believer Books & Gifts, Lake Mills, WI

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There can be no better recommendation for any bookstore than that of the customers who patronize it.  As I was enjoying a wonderful visit to Daydream Believer I overheard a conversation between two young women when one of them said, “I absolutely love this store.”  (What more can I add to that?!). My experience here is merely as a first-time visit yet I can appreciate this customer’s declaration.  Daydream Believer has become a successful independent business that opened in 2021 thanks to Jean L.’s vision for the community.  All towns need a bookstore and Jean, who is also a practicing lawyer, has filled the void with this terrific bookstore/cafe/gift shop with the perfect location in downtown Lake Mills across from the picturesque city park.  As Jean told me, this bookstore has become her happy place and therapeutic escape from a stressful law job and a challenging personal life.  Who knew a  bookstore could offer such a super healthy benefit (all you OTHER owners know!).

It was great to hear her say that everything is going very well.  Lake Mills and Wisconsin in general are well-populated with readers and authors giving a boost to any indie.  Naturally, Daydream Believer has a dedicated group of regulars but they also enjoy many Chicagoans who own lake property in the area.  Tourism is also a good benefit for business and with all the events across the street in the park including regular farmer’s markets, foot traffic is excellent.  

The store does very well selling all new books, also available online, along with numerous gifts and sidelines.  Many of the sidelines are book-related including candles, totes, and puzzles to name a few.  Several of their items are created by talented local artisans.  You don’t have to be a reader to enjoy visiting Daydream Believer, there’s something here for everyone.  Make sure to visit the children’s section where the books are selling very well.  If nothing else, you can enjoy the whimsical creative touch they’ve achieved with the interior’s decor.  

If you’re in Wisconsin and haven’t discovered this place yet, get with it.  Grab a latte, find one of the comfy chairs, sample a book, and begin your daydream adventure.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Hell's Princess, Harold Schechter.  What a book!  The true story of Belle Gunness, a serial murderer in Indiana at the beginning of the 20th century.  And her victims were all men.  She was a widow living on a farm who coaxed men to live and help her at the farm but they would soon disappear without a trace.  Find out what she did to the men after killing them and whether she was ever brought to justice.  For fans of true crime, this one is good. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Parable of The Talents, Octavia E. Butler. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Luckiest Boy In The World, Patrick McBride. 

This unassuming storefront is filled with treasures. 

A beautiful day to enjoy outdoor seating. 

The front of the store has a very attractive and comfortable seating area. 

View looking straight toward the back of the store. 

A very comfy setting in the front of the store.

An award-winning business. 

Head to these shelves to find some of the books by local authors. 

Display of new releases. 

A wonderful display of a wide variety of gift items.  There's something here for everyone. 

Overview of the cafe service area. 

ALWAYS ask about gift cards at your favorite bookstore. 

A nice wall to browse and a chair awaits for you and your book. 

A wall of fiction. 

A variety of South Street Soapworks created locally and to keep you smelling nice. 

A collection of Harris Tweed items.  Very nice. 

You can find perfect places to sit throughout the store. 

Overview looking into the back room.  Notice the ceiling decor and book art.  Jean told me they were going for whimsy and I think they nailed it. 

A better look at the whimsical creativity. 

Look for this cart in the back of the store for your bargain buys. 

Sarah Maas is selling very well at many recent bookstore visits. 

Overview of the children's area. 

Two small and unique chairs for little readers. 

Another angle and overview of the children's area. 

Nicely done. 

An overview looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

A popular promotion at many indies, Blind Date With A Book. 

A Shakespeare chia pet!  Now I've seen everything!

With Jean, the fine owner at Daydream Believer Books & Gifts.  Thanks for a great visit.