A new independent bookstore called Fonts Books & Gifts plans to open in McLean this fall.
The name for Amber Taylor’s new store was sparked by a question from her 10-year-old daughter: What’s your favorite font?
“It was a funny question, except that I do [have one],” says Taylor, whose favorite font is Gill Sans. (Her daughter’s favorite font is Chewy, in case you were wondering.)
Taylor says fonts are personal, just as books are. And just like that, the name Fonts Books & Gifts was born.
The store will be located at 6262 Old Dominion Dr., Ste. B, in McLean’s Chesterbrook Plaza. Taylor says she hopes to open her doors in October.
Fonts will offer a variety of genres, along with journaling supplies, greeting cards, puzzles, knitted gifts, and non-alcoholic spirits. Behind the store, there will be an outdoor reading nook that can fit eight to 10 people.
Taylor also plans to host events like book signings, journaling sessions, mocktail lessons and tastings, and book club meetings. She says the events will be driven by what the community’s readers are interested in.
Taylor’s dream to open her own bookstore began in 2019 when she went to a bookstore owner training in Florida. After attending more training and bookseller conferences, Taylor began working at Arlington’s One More Page bookstore to gain hands-on experience.
“I had not worked retail since I was 16,” Taylor laughs. “I wondered, ‘Being with customers face-to-face and selling books, could I do it?’ I didn’t know until I tried it.”
As the store’s events manager, Taylor worked directly with publishers and authors. To keep in touch with One More Page customers during the pandemic, she helped run the store’s social media and hold Facebook Live events.
Taylor says the pandemic was a “learning experience” that taught her how to build engagement between bookstores and the surrounding community. She says working at One More Page during that time gave her the knowledge and confidence to open her own shop.
“My passion for (working at an independent bookstore) didn’t go away. I was like ‘OK, I really am fully committed to doing this.”
In February, Taylor started searching for a location and landed on a McLean storefront, which is behind the Montessori school her daughter used to attend.
“I’ve had folks reach out with congratulations and emails that they’re so glad to be able to have a bookstore in McLean,” she says.
Now, shoppers can buy items from the Fonts Books & Gifts’ page on Bookshop.org. Customers can also purchase memberships, which start at $5 and include early access to new releases, discounts, and free books for top membership levels.
Once the storefront opens, Taylor says she is most excited to build relationships with the area’s book lovers, from helping people browse shelves to discussing the latest mystery and romance novels.
“I have always felt that independent bookstores are a community.”
Feature image by caftor/stock.adobe.com
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