Small Business Showcase: RJ Julia Booksellers
Each month, we profile a Connecticut small business, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation driving the state’s economy. For November, we spoke with RJ Julia Booksellers president Lori Fazio about the independent bookstore, a long time Madison fixture.
When was your company founded?
How many employees work for your company?
Who are your customers?
We have customers of all ages, from all parts of the country, and even out of the country. Most of these customers are readers, or are buying for readers, but we have fun and fabulous non-book items too!
What makes your company unique?
Constantly putting the right book (or gift) in the right hand is one of our customer service goals. We also have author visits of various nature—from debut authors to world known celebrities.
What is a fun fact about your business or its history?
We broke a Guinness World Record in 2014! On Dr. Seuss’ 110th birthday, RJ Julia broke the record for most Cat in the Hat hats worn at one gathering with 1,000 attendees wearing hats.
Why did you choose Connecticut?
We had family roots here.
What is the greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut?
An educated staffing and customer base.
How do you try to give back to your community?
We are often asked to donate to fundraisers from all sorts of schools, businesses, groups, etc. We promote literacy through our authors to schools program, often bringing in a favorite author!
Where do you see your company in five years? Ten years?
Still supporting the written word and marveling at the sight of a child’s enthusiasm about a book they are choosing!
What is the main thing policymakers could implement to make your company more competitive?
Knocking down the monopoly.
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