MAD LOVE MONDAY | Brandi Morpurgo - Daisy Chain Book Co
I have a confession to make: I have loved books and used bookstores all my life, sometimes more than people.
My name is Brandi Morpurgo and I have a confession to make: I have loved books and used bookstores all my life, sometimes more than people.
For as long as I can remember, books have been my escape, my delight and my companion. Readers are a special breed and bookstores can be a delightful reprieve from the fast-paced impersonal life so many of us experience.
I have worked as a stay-at-home parent, a Barista, a bookseller for a big-box store, a Social Worker at a Pregnancy Centre, an Adoptions Worker and a Foster Parent. When we stopped Fostering due to a failed attempt at adopting our Foster Child of nearly 3 years, my heart needed some comfort - I turned to books and a local bookstore. It was at this point that I began to resurrect an idea that has been brewing in my mind for many years: a mobile used bookshop. This always seemed like a bizarre notion, because I looked around and saw nothing like this... until I heard a podcast one day that reminded me "just because it doesn't already exist doesn't mean it SHOULDN'T exist", and I began researching the booktruck idea.
I loved discovering that my idea is actually an old one, when traveling peddlers would come into villages and towns in a horse-drawn wagon to sell their wares... and bookmobiles were borne out a desire to share books with people who were far from local libraries. This made my heart beat faster. These were my people.
Why do we have to pay so much for books? Why do we settle for an "Add to Cart" online shopping experience when instead we could connect with other humans, and share our love for books? Why do we support a culture of "must have new" when recycling what already exists is such a responsible and trendy practice? How can I blend my love for community with my love for stories? How can I inspire others to expect something more personal from their book shopping experience?
I had the answer: a Bookshop on Wheels.
Thanks to the remarkable generosity of my husband, Mark, who has a DBA and speaks the language of business and technology, we decided "Let's just go for it!". Our teenage daughters stand back, wondering what the heck has happened to their predictable parents. We began collecting inventory, bought the truck, and began to get ridiculously excited about creating an opportunity to share books with readers in the Edmonton area and smaller towns around Alberta who wanted a whimsical and innovative way to do something they had been doing on autopilot for years: book shopping.
So, here we are. Alberta's First Mobile Bookshop.
Being a business owner is so incredibly challenging, and finding the balance that every other glossy and flawless businesswoman seems to exude is difficult to attain most days. I often joke that if I am glossy it is because carrying a lot of books is quite the workout. I love that I get to call the shots. I work crazy hard, for really long hours, and when I rest, I rest HARD. I am so grateful to be able to bring the nostalgia of bookmobiles from our childhood into a new generation, and see the awe and amazement of people's eyes when they first see the inside of Daisy, our sweet little booktruck.
YegBossBabes is such an empowering and inspired collection of chicks who have one goal: to help female entrepreneurs succeed and feel like they are part of a team. I cannot get over how uplifting that is. Risking it all to go into business is hard. Being a booktruck pioneer in an industry where there are no businesses to model myself after can feel quite lonely. There isn't anyone who can say "Hey, fellow booktruck owner, I feel ya, come on over here and let's compare notes." It's just me. That makes connecting with YegBossBabes even more valuable.
I wanted to do something different, and I found a tribe of girls who are determined to succeed at the one thing they excel at, no apologies. How fabulous is that?? Every girl who sees a woman doing her thing her way learns that her own dreams are possible. If I can take books into neighbourhoods, markets, communities and create a magical experience for eager readers and provide something that kids are going to feel nostalgic about when they are older, I have accomplished what I set out to do.
It's not just about the books. It's about the people, the stories we share, and the memories we make as Daisy rolls in, shelves loaded with new and exciting reads just for YOU.