Ballyhoo Books Opening in Alma, Mich.
Ballyhoo Books will open at 111 W. Superior St. in downtown Alma, Mich., on Independent Bookstore Day, August 29. Because of Covid-19 state-mandated restrictions on retail businesses, founder/proprietor Dawn Daniels is postponing a "grand opening" celebration gathering until a future date when it is safer to host a public gathering.
Describing herself on the store's website as "a native Michigander and unrepentant bibliophile," Daniels noted that the bookshop's "mission is to build and sustain a fiercely independent, creative, and consciously curated bookstore dedicated to the cultivation of community through the provision of safe space for both public dialogue and personal exploration.... Beyond books (and extended family & friends), her passions include theatre art, music, and community building. Ballyhoo Books is the realization of a life-long imagining."
In the inaugural Ballyhoo Books e-newsletter, Daniels wrote: "What a wild ride this has been! It seems an eon has passed since the seemingly crazy seed idea was planted on January 24, 2020, by John and Dawn Hall of Treasures Resale Shop (my amazing retail space partners and co-conspirators) that I consider doing more than rent a small booth-space from them to sell some of my own books. While owning and managing a bookstore was something I had often fantasized about (what true-blue bibliophile hasn't?), it was not at all the direction I thought I was heading at the time. But here we are... and I'm over the moon happy to have had the opportunity to take yet another creative leap in my vocational life."
She told the Morning Sun: "I think every booknick's fantasy at one time or another is to own their own bookstore. But I kind of just walked into this. It just kind of blossomed and all came together very quickly."
Although a deal was struck near the end of January and work on the new bookshop began, "things changed quickly when the Covid-19 pandemic struck putting everything on hold," the Morning Sun wrote.
"It was pretty intense," said Daniels. "The pandemic put a pause on everything especially during March and April. Starting a small business is risky at any time. You can plan and plan but still have no guarantee of success." She had hoped to open during the annual Highland Festival over Memorial Day weekend, but it was canceled. "That was probably a blessing in disguise. This is my first venture into entrepreneurship and it gave me time to slow down, do more research and get the business lined up better."
In her e-newsletter, she observed: "We want very much for Ballyhoo Books to become an enduring presence in this community and region. We all know the value of this enterprise--a business that seeks to serve and build community. In this fear-filled and fractured time we live in, it seems even more essential."