"I think half the people I know have had that dream," Dan Ullom told the Seattle Times in a profile of the recently opened Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, Wash., which he owns with his parents, Tina and John Ullom. The question ("Haven't you always dreamed of owning an independent bookstore?") is a familiar one, as is Ullom's goal to help Brick & Mortar "become what the best bookstores are: a hub for its community."
The Ulloms "know that it's no easy trick to sustain a business like theirs, when they can't offer the discounts available from online booksellers. Instead, they offer a personal touch," the Times wrote. "They're listening to what their customers want--Tina noted that they have greatly expanded their selection of greeting cards, after learning that no other Redmond Town Center store sells them--and are heartened by recent reports that show a rise in independent bookstores nationwide. The anecdotal evidence is encouraging."
"Hundreds of people have walked in the door, saying 'Thank you for being here,' " Tina Ullom said, adding that her bookselling peers have also been an inspiration. At a recent Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association meeting, "everyone said, 'I wake up in the morning and I'm happy to go to work. I love what I do.' "
"You can feel that good vibe at their store," the Times wrote.