We’re Thankful for 23 Years

Every now and then at our weekly staff meetings, we marvel over the passage of time. It’s been twenty-three years since we opened our doors, and what they say is true: Time does fly when you’re having fun. (In human terms, our little bookshop is all grown up and starting to wonder how on earth it’s going to use that English degree!) 

We feel so fortunate to have gotten to know you all over the last two-plus decades. Your early acceptance of us into the community and your ongoing support mean the world to us all. You’ve helped us find a small slice of heaven on earth in an unlikely place—the corner of Memorial and Dairy Ashford, where we hope to stay for years to come.

It’s the right time of the year (there’s no wrong time, of course) to give thanks and to think about all that we’re grateful for. So we’ve collected some short reflections from members of our staff below. We’ll get things started with our captain, our leader, and our one and only girlboss, Valerie.


“In times of turmoil and danger, gratitude helps to steady and ground us. It brings us into presence, and our full presence is perhaps the best offering we can make the world.” 
—Joanna Macy

As the leader of this merry band, I know that we practice this every day with our customers as they become our friends on this journey of reading and discussing.


I'm thankful for my second home at Blue Willow and the witty, lovely colleagues who make the shop feel like home.
I'm thankful for the educators who welcome us onto their campuses and help us connect young readers with authors.
I'm thankful for the customers who choose to shop locally and support us in all of our endeavors.


I started working at Blue Willow Bookshop in 2013 when I was a junior in high school. I started off as a shy girl who would jumble up the names of every staff member. Over time, I gained confidence as I grew to see this team of strong, intelligent adult women as my bookstore moms. I never really "left" Blue Willow—even after I went off to college, graduated, and started a "big girl job," I always returned to sell books, work events, or just hang out and laugh with my moms. I'm full of gratitude to the moms that helped raised me, that taught me how to be a good employee and how to keep myself busy. I learned that even adults don't have everything together all the time, and that a messy desk is a good desk. I learned that no matter how far I move away (like, for example, to Australia), I'll always have my bookstore moms to help me through life. Thank you to my moms, to the many teens I have worked with, and all the customers who support my beloved home-away-from-home.


I’m grateful for my faith and freedoms, my dear family, my Blue Willow family and community, and for Valerie and Cathy, who work tirelessly to provide literacy opportunities both large and small and the encouragement to do this work daily in many ways. 


I am so grateful for being lucky enough to work at Blue Willow. I love the fact that our mission is to get books into the hands of as many people as possible… from bringing authors and books to schools, to making sure there are events for every kind of reader, to always going the extra mile to find an elusive book. Nothing is impossible with BWB! 


I’m thankful for the sweet voices and expressive faces of the children who visit and remind us that life is full of wonder. 


I’m thankful for customer service. When absent, customer service is something to sorely miss and long for.  And when found, then something to rejoice in. It is the dedicated customer service I see and experience at the shop that elevates life in little ways. And when it is found in the world outside the shop, I am always grateful. 


I am so very thankful for this wonderful community of readers! 


I am grateful for many things, always. Health, family, friends, and my move to the great state of Texas always come to mind. I'm especially grateful for my Blue Willow friends, who have become family. The camaraderie, the laughter, the example given by our very own girlboss, and the occasional trials we share make this the best job I've ever held. I'm also very grateful to the authors who write what we read and I am grateful to our publishing reps who take time to share their gems. I never, ever knew bookselling could be this fun, educational and illuminating. I'm blessed to work at this little bookshop down the street.


I’m grateful for many things: My amazing family and friends; my book selling sisters at Blue Willow Bookshop; our out-of-this-world duo, Mary Cate and Noah; the teens (Amanda calls them students) at Blue Willow who let us mother them even though we shouldn't; our customers looking for recommendations, who never ask us to stop when we keep throwing books their way; all of the adorable plush that goes with the picture books; Friday happy hour and elevenses tea time at the shop; seeing adult customers who used to come to story time as kids walk into the shop with their own children; being able to share the excitement of a newly expectant couple who came in and buy their first baby board book; being able to share the excitement of a customer who just found out she is going to be a grandmother. I could go on, but the bottom line is this: I am thankful for our customers who allow us to be a special part of their lives, in ways both big and small.