We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Lawson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jenny, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always thought of libraries and bookstores as a certain sort of sanctuary…a safe space where you can travel into other lives and minds. My husband is a constant entrepreneur so he was on board, and then we partnered with Elizabeth Jordan who was the CEO of BookPeople to actually run the business because it’s important to have a team that knows what they’re doing.

We started Nowhere Bookshop and were about a week away from opening the doors when lockdown hit. I was certain we were going to go out of business before we even opened but we started a book club called Fantastic Strangelings and had thousands of people join and that kept us in business until we were finally able to safely open. We’re the little bookshop that a community of strangers saved. And now we’re fully open and have a bar and cafe and have found an amazing local community and team that kicks ass.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve dealt with mental health issues my whole life but my untreated anxiety when I was young kept me from being able to communicate. Instead I turned to books and to writing. It took me years to find my voice and then I began blogging, which helped me find an audience of irreverent misfits who also wondered why Jesus wasn’t considered a zombie since he came back from the dead.

When my first book came out it was an instant #1 NYT bestseller, which made me an overnight success in spite of the fact that it literally took me 12 years to finish it. Every time I have a new book come out my Imposter Syndrome tells me that this will be the one that will fail and that people will realize that I’m not as funny as they thought, but so far (knock wood) I’m continuing to fool people into liking me.

The hardest part of writing has been being authentic about my struggles with mental illness but it’s also the most rewarding, as I continue to realize that I am not alone and that giving myself permission to be honest can give others the inspiration to do the same and that’s the only way that we remove the stigma.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Is this in Dallas or San Antonio?

If it’s San Antonio I would take them on a city-wide tour of all of the book stores in the city.

If it’s Dallas I’d do exactly the same thing.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a shout-out to the indie-bookshop community. In so many industries there is cut-throat competition but when it comes to indie bookshops, they all support each other in such an amazing way. They are welcoming and visit each other and want all of us to succeed. I know I can reach out to any other indie bookshop for advice and they’ll help, and vice-versa.

Website: https://thebloggess.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebloggess/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBloggess

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennythebloggess

Other: https://www.nowherebookshop.com

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