Sidelines Snapshot: Warmies, Stickers, Puzzles, and Candles

Custom candle from Elleinad Books

Puzzles "do really well at our store," said Danielle Eby, owner of children's bookstore Elleinad Books in Lincoln, Neb.; popular suppliers are Crocodile Creek and Mudpuppy. Warmies stuffed animals also sell well for Elleinad Books, and while they do a bit better during the colder months, they still move fairly well in the spring. Pens, markers, and art supplies by Ooly also prove popular.

Asked about locally or regionally made sidelines, Eby pointed to store-branded merchandise like bookmarks, earrings, and coffee mugs. She has also collaborated with a local candle maker, Wax Buffalo, to create a candle that smells like the bookstore. "Almost everybody who comes in the store comments on the smell, so I decided to capitalize on that and make a candle."


Warmies at A Thousand Stories

In Herndon, Va., stickers and Warmies animals "always sell well" for A Thousand Stories, noted co-owner Michelle Ratto. Warmies in particular have remained popular since the store opened; she and co-owner Beth Luke source them from the wholesale website Faire. The store's favorite sticker vendor, Apartment 2, is also on Faire, and the pair recently brought in book fans sourced from the U.S. via Faire.

Ratto said the store doesn't carry many locally or regionally made sidelines, but Luke does make floral bouquets, both fresh and dried, as well as wreaths and a lantern-style decoration made from upcycled books. Seasonally, the shop also stocks chocolate from a local candy maker.


Stickers and more at Ballast Book Company

At Ballast Book Company in Bremerton, Wash., enamel pins, socks, stickers, and washi tape are all selling well at the moment, reported store owner Kate Larson. Recently, Larson and her team brought in a line of role playing game-related sidelines from Weird Works, which they discovered at Emerald City Comic Con last year. Other new arrivals include patches, stickers, posters, and pins from Arcane Bullshit.

The store's locally made nonbook offerings include art and stickers from Stasia Burrington; book cozies by Summit and Sound; page holders from Casual Crafty Creations; and stickers made by a bookseller at Ballast Book Co. under the brand name the Rainbow Bookshelf, available on Faire. With summer coming up, the store has brought in more "small impulse kid purchases" in anticipation of children coming in with their adults and "wanting a Dog Man pencil or Pete the Cat squishy toy." And on the subject of store favorites, Larson pointed to Mustard Beetle water bottles, Plum Deluxe tea, and all manner of stickers. --Alex Mutter

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