Dreamalot Owner Turns Passion For Reading Into Business Success
(Oh, I do take the most horrid pictures. It certainly can't do justice to the wonderful article Samantha wrote for us. Thank you Samantha.)
By Samantha Test
The Post and Courier
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Cherry Collins is a book addict. Good thing she owns Dreamalot Books at 123B S. Goose Creek Blvd. with her husband of 15 years, Mark Collins.
"There's a difference between the book collector, the book reader and the book addict," Cherry said. "The collector is all about the hunt, the reader is a casual reader, but the addict has a backup for the backup for the backupbook that they are reading."
Her husband teases her about reading four or five books at any given time. She has so many books, the first 1,000 books in Dreamalot's stock was started from her own personal collection.
Now, the local used bookstore boasts about 60,000 books, 25,000 of which are ina warehouse and available online. (www.dreamalotbooks.com)
"She didn't get rid of 1,000 books, they multiplied!" Mark said.
The opening was 10 years ago this month. The couple say they are proud to be celebrating a decade of being in business.
"books are a universal commodity. There are so many of us that read," said Cherry. "With the stress of everyday life, we all need that escape. And if we didn't have that relatively cheap escape with a book, we'd go insane."
Originally from North Carolina, Cherry met her husband in Macon, GA., before they finally settled in Goose Creek. Their 14-year-old son also helps out at the family-operated stor, along with the store's mascot, Speedy the turtle.
They credit the community and their ties within it, for sustaining their business.
"I like the people I get to see," Cherry said. "You don't get that in a regular retail store. In here, the customer comes in and you find out who they are and what they like. You can tell a lot about people by the books they read. The best part of my job is getting to pick out books for people. I really like doing that. I have a knack for genres. I have customers who will call ahead and tell me to pick them out 20 books. I like the interaction with the customers. We try to know our customers. They're not just customers, they're family."
Their customers seem to think of Dreamalot Books as family, too. The store's floor and bookshelves are decorated with artwork from members of the community. Some shelves were even constructed by loyal customers.
"This place would never have lasted without the influence from the community, and in more ways than just as a customer, Cherry said.