Politcal economist Kate Davies decided to turn over a new leaf after moving to Scotland from Oxfordshire and open a bookshop – Adventure Into Books.
Located in a former tourist information centre in the centre of Blairgowrie.
The shop organises a number of activities including storytime for children during term time.
Q. How and why did you start in business?
A. I’m a political economist and worked in the corporate world for a while before becoming self-employed. I’ve spent my entire career in story telling and I’m absolutely passionate about reading and stories.
I had always wanted to open a bookshop so when we moved up from Oxfordshire to Blairgowrie, I envisaged a bookshop in the heart of this lovely community.
I’m now a reader, writer and seller of stories so I count myself hugely lucky.
Q. How did you get to where you are today?
A. We signed the lease on the shop in March and hoped to open at Easter but lockdown put the brakes on everything.
We ended up opening on July 1 but the extra time allowed us to make the changes we wanted to the shop space.
It used to be the Tourist Information Centre so it’s in a great location and only needed a few changes to get it how we envisaged.
Q. Who has helped you along the way?
A. I’ve had huge help from Blairgowrie Business Association and Business Gateway, as well as GrowBiz,. I’ve been able to access the GrowBiz mentoring scheme, they put me in touch with Trudy Wigman-Duffy, owner of The Peacock and the Tortoise Haberdashery in Perth.
She has been hugely generous with her time and advice and I can’t thank her enough.
Q. What was your biggest mistake?
A. I’m not sure.
I’ll probably see them more in hindsight but I think the most important thing is to learn from every experience, the good and the bad.
Q. What is your greatest achievement to date?
A. Opening the door to the bookshop on 1st July!
Q. How has coronavirus impacted your business?
A. Massively it delayed our opening, caused issues with supply chain and being to access face to face book trade support.
And of course, the number of customers has been far lower than it should be but on the plus side, there has been a lot of engagement from the local community and people wanting to support the shop by buying from us.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
A. To run a successful bookshop which adds to the local community.
We want to run bookshop events, story times for children and story writing sessions but these will all need to wait until the pandemic has passed.
Q. Do you want to recruit in the future?
A. Yes, I hope that we will be able to bring people into the business once things settle down and we are trading normally.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
A. Juggling it all and maintaining boundaries between work and home life.
Q. Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
A. Talk to people.
Go in with your eyes open and be prepared for making mistakes as it will happen. And remember to have fun.
Q. How do you relax?
A. Walking our dog Brac and spending time with the grandchildren.