Welcome back to 12 Days of Christmas and to the second day in this festive series! I’m continuing with the smaller shops today with a lovely interview with Jenny from Head Bookshop.
Don’t forget that the content is continuing on Instagram and Twitter too!
Hello and welcome to This Northern Gal! Tell us a little bit about yourself to get started.
Hi, I am Jenny. My partner and I opened a small Independent ‘Collectibles’ shop on Post House Wynd in Darlington last December.
We have both been avid collectors of all things book and music related since we were tiny.
My own collecting obsession started when I was about 8 years old. My Uncle was a Merchant Seaman and would send me the books that he had read whilst at sea. The first one was The Hobbit. I realised that I could own books rather than having to give them back to a library!
How wonderful! How would you describe HEAD bookshop for those who haven’t had the chance to visit yet?
We had always planned to open a book/vinyl shop at some point but when we saw that Post House Wynd was available, we knew we had to go for it sooner than we anticipated.
What we hope we have provided is an Independent shop where we can provide sought after books, music and other collectibles that are hard to source or find in excellent condition.
We want people to enjoy taking their time to browse, maybe sit down and a read etc without any commitment to buying. It is the sort of shop I would have loved visiting and we noticed a gap in the market.
It definitely is the perfect place to have a browse and do a spot of shopping! You can recommend one product for a Secret Santa. What would you choose?
Only one product? That is a bit like choosing your favourite child! Last December, the humourous Adult Themed Ladybird books flew off the shelves but for this year I would like to recommend the gorgeous hand painted wooden bookmarks that we are stocking on behalf of a local artist.
They sound amazing! Describe your perfect Christmas in just three words.
Family, Fire, Food!
Which books are you open to snuggle up with this Christmas?
That’s a hard one. I have just recently been recommended the books by Bridget Collins, so they are on my gift list. Other than those, I do like to re-read one of the classics whilst sat by the fire.
That sounds so relaxing! What is your favourite thing about running a bookshop at Christmas?
I love running the shop all year round. But what I love the most is when a customer finds something that they thought that they had lost all hope of finding either cheaply or in good condition.
Whether that is a novel, a piece of poetry or even an article in a magazine. So at Christmas, when people find a sought after gift for a loved one, it makes it even more special.
What are your plans once you shut the doors for Christmas?
Christmas Eve is always mad! We have a buffet style meal in front of the TV and then I go upstairs to finish wrapping presents – I always leave them to the last second – leaving my family to drink and be merry into the small hours.
Why should people shop small this year?
Obviously I do not want to be too political but this Christmas it is more important than ever to shop local. Local shops have been devastated this year, unable to earn whilst still having bills to pay.
The run up to Christmas is the busiest time of the year for independent shops and we have lost the majority of the shopping build up. Whilst large supermarkets and other companies have been able to stay open or sell online, they have already taken up most of the potential Christmas sales. So please, for the last few weeks of shopping time it would be lovely to see our town centres busy and thriving again.
It’s definitely even more important this year. What are your plans for Head Bookshop in the New Year?
Loads of plans! We intend to keep supporting local artists by giving them a venue to show their amazing products. We also intend to expand on the genres of books and music that we stock as we have so much more!
We have also listened to our customers and are looking into how we can possibly provide an area to sit and have a coffee. Let’s hope that 2021 is a good year for everyone!
Thank you Jenny! You can find the team at Head here, if you are interested.