Like any good story, Tina Moreau’s is one of ambition, love, loss and renewed hope.
The St. Albert businesswoman and mother of two recently landed her dream job.
She had always dreamed of owning her own bookstore. When she was 18 she even put together a business plan, but no one would take the young woman seriously.
"Go to school for business, they said. So she did. Go get some experience first, they said. So she did," reads her website.
Moreau got a job at medium-sized publishing firm, wrote a few short stories and even started a small sci-fi printing press. But by then the dream had faded into the background.
It wasn’t until recently that she was inspired to try again.
"I took a break and had some kids and my husband and I were trying to think of whether I should go back to work or do something else and I came back to the idea of maybe I should start that bookstore I always wanted," said Moreau.
She launched the Heroine Bookstore from her home in November. The online store specializes in sci-fi and fantasy titles that feature female protagonists.
Despite being in the middle of an economic downturn, the timing was right, said Moreau.
"I’ve been home for five years and was starting to go stir crazy. It was either go back to work, but the economy is kind of crappy, everyone is wanting a job and there are a lot of layoffs. I come from a management background and just took the last five years off, so maybe I should be doing something else," she said.
Although it’s still not the physical bookstore she dreamed of as a kid, Moreau said it made the most sense to save money on overhead while gauging interest for such a niche market.
Online offered a low barrier of entry and she was up and running in a matter of months.
So far, so good she says. As far as she knows, hers is the only bookstore in North America catering to the growing demographic of geeky girls and she is getting orders from across the U.S. and Canada.
"I’ve got lots of response saying this is the bookstore I’ve been waiting for forever," she said.
"Now that girls aren’t shying away as much from science fiction and fantasy, they’re embracing their inner geeks, it seems appropriate there be a place where they can find the books they’re going to connect with," added Moreau.
She still hopes one day that place will have a street address.
Visiting Moreau’s online shop is like perusing her personal library, she says.
"These are the books that I like sharing with my friends. So it’s a trend that I’m wanting to tap into, she says, "but it’s also something that I’m very passionate about too."
She reads and reviews every book she sells, admittedly her favourite part of her new job.
That, and having a virtual library comparable to Belle’s in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.