Williamson now has a new offering for those with a passion for boutique shopping! The Collective Retail and Artisan shops is a new business venture from the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Collective, located in downtown Williamson, brings together multiple boutique-style small businesses in one open space.
Creating a Non-Judgmental Safe Space for All
One such shop is Maple Grove Books, a bookstore owned by Maryann Lendearo. Maple Grove is described by Maryann as “a non-judgmental safe space for everyone, young and old,” that sells a variety of new and used books, as well as book-related merchandise.
Maryann wants to see the books offered be “as diverse as possible,” and hopes that everyone who enters Maple Grove Books can find something for them. “I want people to come to Maple Grove Books and feel welcomed, and be able to find something for them,” She adds, “If I don’t have what they are looking for, then I can definitely get it for them.”
Maple Grove got started after Maryann was kicked out of college. “That’s not what really happened,” She says. “My financial aid fell through, but it definitely sounds more interesting to say it that way!” After she left college, she knew she wanted to do something she would love. “I have always had a love of books and reading, and I was looking into becoming a librarian.”
Giving Williamson A Bookstore
It’s this line of thinking that brought us Maple Grove Books. “I knew Williamson needed something like a bookstore, seeing as you have to travel at least 45 minutes or more to get to one,” She says. “I knew it would benefit the community, and be something that would make my heart happy.” After the idea, it was time to make it happen. That’s where the Collective comes in.
While searching for a location for Maple Grove Books, a friend of Maryann pointed her towards Chris Dotson, the President of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. She met with Chris and Randall Sanger, the TVCC Executive Director, and explained her vision. “They were very excited about a bookstore, and I put in an application to be a part of The Collective.
Things ended up moving even more quickly than expected, but that’s something Maryann is more than fine with. “I wouldn’t change any of it for anything,” She says.
Maryann hopes that this venture will bring some good to the community. “I really want to put good back into the community, and I am using my shop to do that. I want to bring smiles and joy to people.”
You can find Maple Grove Books and The Collective on Facebook.
Photos from Maple Grove Books Facebook