An interview with Jen Fisher, co-owner of Jen Fisher Books in Roselle.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Jen Fisher BooksAddress: 100 E. Irving Park Road, Roselle, Illinois
Owners: Jennifer Fisher and Tom Poklen
Year business started: 2013
A: Jen Fisher Books is a bookstore dealing in used books, original art, notecards and bookmarks. We are a small store located in Roselle on the corner of Irving Park Road and Prospect Avenue across the street from the BMO Harris Bank.
Q: What do you think about people who may say books are "out."
A: I realize that some believe there is no longer a place for the "brick and mortar" bookstore, but I firmly believe there is a place for print books, e-books and the like as one type of reading material is not for everyone. We have books ranging from popular authors of fiction and mystery genres to some collectible and rare books plus children and young adult selections. I do not profess to have a book for everyone but I do encourage and welcome people to stop by and see if I have a book for them and then to come back because in the book industry inventory in continually changing. I hope to grow my business in time but I have no plans to be anything other than a small Used Bookstore that has books to be read and enjoyed.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: Jen Fisher Books represents the realization of a lifetime dream to have my own bookstore. In the past year we have been able to make my dream a reality resulting in my small bookstore. My story is not all that different from many others who found themselves in a career that was not overly fulfilling and took an event that could have been a huge negative and turned it into an opportunity to pursue my passions ... books and art.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: The most difficult obstacle for me has been "myself" and realizing that I could actually get Jen Fisher Books started in a "brick and mortar" location. With the support of my family and a few individuals who know who they are I began to believe that my dream could really become a reality.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: The ability to "work" at something that is my passion -- books and art. I am lucky to be able to do what I really want to be doing … to follow my dream and make it a reality and in the process hopefully provide some books and art to my customers. I do not consider what I am doing "work!"
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: It seems that for as long as I can remember I have wanted to do something with books and art, both of which allow an individual an escape from the "real world." Having my own bookstore has been a dream that I never thought would become a reality and now that it is "real" I am happy to be living within my dream.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Lately it has been thinking of ways to make my brick and mortar bookstore a functional reality … finding a space and getting the books into that space. I also spend some nights wondering how to get the word out that I am opening a new business that is both cost-effective and targets the correct market.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: As a "rookie business owner" I am not really in a position to offer much advice but I would say to ask others in the business how they got started and most importantly to believe in yourself and be willing to put in the effort to get the business up and running.
• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at firstname.lastname@example.org.