Announcing New Owners of Women & Children First
Two current employees named new co-owners of beloved feminist bookstore
 Ann 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 fiancĂ©, 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.
 


Hours: M-T 11-7, W-TH-F 11-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 11-6
5233 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640


 

Women & Children First | Hours: M-T 11-7, W-TH-F 11-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 11-6 | 5233 N. Clark St | Chicago | IL | 60640