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Friday, July 18, 2014
ANNOUNCING NEW OWNERS OF WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE (Chicago)
Announcing New Owners of Women & Children First
Two current employees named new co-owners of beloved feminist bookstore
Christophersen and Linda Bubon, the founders of Women & Children
First, are thrilled to name Lynn Mooney and Sarah Hollenbeck as the
bookstore's new co-owners. While grateful and inspired by
the surge of interested buyers who stepped forward from all corners of
the community, Ann and Linda are delighted to be passing
the store onto two of their very own colleagues-both literary feminists
who are invested in the same mission that began the store almost
thirty-five years ago.
Lynn, the store's
manager, and Sarah, a current bookseller, are familiar faces to friends
of the store and offer reassuring continuity into the future. Before
joining the staff, Lynn Mooney worked in the book publishing
industry for more than 20 years, most recently as a freelancer but
before that on staff at several major publishers, including
HarperCollins and McGraw-Hill. She and her spouse, who also works in
publishing, live in West Rogers Park with two dogs and two cats. Sarah
Hollenbeck is a Chicago-based writer, who earned her MFA in creative
writing from Northwestern University. Sarah's essays exploring
sexuality, gender, disability, and the perception of self have appeared
in various literary journals and blogs including TriQuarterly, Dogwood, and In Our Words. She
has also worked at Independent Publishers Group and StoryStudio, as
well as a couple of very large bookstores that begin with 'B.' Recently,
she fell in love with Chicago's exploding live lit scene, regularly
attending and performing at area shows. Sarah lives in Edgewater with
her fiancé, an actor and fellow storyteller.
The new co-owners' vision for Women & Children First builds upon
Ann and Linda's enduring legacy with a fresh energy and commitment to
amplify the voices of the next generation of feminists. Over the years,
Women & Children First has thrived as a feminist bookstore, a
neighborhood bookstore, an LGBTQ support network, and the anchor for
Andersonville's dynamic shopping district of locally owned businesses.
By rejuvenating the current space and diversifying the store's events
and programming, Lynn and Sarah intend to create a "third place" that
physically and philosophically invites spirited, respectful dialogue
about feminism-what it was, what it is, and what it must become.
"Women & Children
First is an incredibly important part of the locally-owned, independent
business community that has made Andersonville a national model for
other cities and towns," said Jason Cox, Associate Director of the
Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. "We are thrilled that it will
continue on not just as a bookstore, but as a vital neighborhood
institution. We have been lucky in the past two years to have Lynn on
our Board of Directors (following in the steps of both Ann and Linda),
and she has proven herself to be an active, thoughtful and
community-minded leader who works tirelessly to make Andersonville such a
special place. We wish our friends Ann and Linda the best, and look
forward to many more years of books, readings and programs with Lynn,
Sarah, and their incredible staff."
Ann is eager to begin
retirement in mid-August, but plans to stay connected to the store
through special projects. Linda, only semi-retiring, will continue to
work a couple of days a week at the store and host the Wednesday morning
children's story time and the monthly Women's Book Group.
Women & Children First is a Chicago institution and, as one of
only a handful of remaining feminist bookstores in the country, a
national treasure. While the sustainability of brick-and-mortar
bookstores faces many challenges, the recent success of the first
Chicago Independent Bookstore Day demonstrated how much our community
cherishes its books and the beloved spaces that house them. Building
upon the momentum of this "indie renaissance," the new co-owners are
confident that they will hit the ground running, not only because of
their passion for books and feminism, but also their fluency in the less
glamorous aspects of daily operations. Sarah and Lynn are deeply
grateful to Ann and Linda; being entrusted to keep Women & Children
First alive and thriving is both a great honor and a dream come true.