Our Journey from A Bookshop to A Giftshop


2018 was my precursor to 2020. I learned to not say what could go wrong next because the Universe saw it as a challenge to be accepted. But, one thing positive came from 2018. The birth of Southern Pen Bookshop- a retail outlet catering to independent authors.


The perfect location made itself available to me in our small town of Monroe, Georgia. A newly renovated building in the historic downtown area. My husband and I had often visited the place when it was a hardware store owned by a local family. A local developer purchased the building from the family, stripped it to its original bones, gussied up the ole' girl, and named it The Monroe Mercantile.


The interior with its original hardwood floors that talks with every step, the mezzanine situated in the back, and all the nuances that makes the building warm and inviting became home for Olive Branch Antiques & Home Décor and Cheely's Café & General Store. After speaking with Chad Cheely, I had a spot. It was tucked away in a corner with a single bookcase.


Southern Pen Bookshop had a home and the vision of helping other Independent Authors was becoming a reality. Little did I expect the response from authors, like myself, wanting a place that treated them and their books as the main event. Southern Pen literally grew overnight and I often found myself going to Chad and asking for more space. We had outgrown the little corner and bookcase.