THE SLEEPY HOLLOW STORE LLC Irvington book store starting small Type of business:
books, music, art supplies and gifts Location: 5535 E. Washington St. Phone: 354-8000
Web site: www.sleepyhollowstore.comor www.myspace.com/sleepyhollowstore
Founded: April 2007
Owner: Bobbie and Joanna Zaphiriou
Owners’ backgrounds: Bobbie Zaphiriou, 25, has worked in bookshops since she was 16. Sister-in-law Joanna Zaphiriou, 31, graduated from IUPUI with a degree in anthropology, and managed Hollywood Bar and Filmworks, where she learned about running a business.
Why started business: The two talked for years about opening their own bookstore, and in late 2006 decided to stop dreaming and start doing.
“We strongly believe … no matter how bad a person’s life might get, it can be turned around through art and literature,” Bobbie said. “Irvington has a long history of art and literature and it was named after Washington Irving, which fits. This town and east Indianapolis can never have enough of art, music and books.”
Competitive advantage: Even though the store is smaller than some bookshops, Bobbie said she tries to have a better selection. She said her background in the book business helps her decide what new and used books customers want to read. The store’s central location in historic Irvington, about five miles east of downtown, is another advantage, she said. “We’re also new and not burnt out yet,” Bobbie said. Startup cost: $13,000 Funding source: loans Projected first-year revenue:
Potential problem and contingency plan: Because the economy is not strong, Bobbie said she could understand how people might come in and enjoy the store without purchasing anything.
She said she and Joanna would fulfill the two-year lease no matter what happens, but if their business doesn’t thrive, they would have to wait tables or work second jobs.
First-year goal: Bobbie wants to provide a small area for food and drinks, display local artworks and increase the selection of music and books.
Five-year vision: Bobbie said she would like to have the store on its own property in Irvington. She’d also like more employees so she and Joanna can have days off.