Monthly Archives: October 2009

It’s our 1st Anniversary!

It’s hard to believe, but on November 3rd, The Next Chapter will be celebrating one year in business!

One year ago Tresa and Steve Mott took the daring plunge and decided to open, of all things, a bookstore in their storefront property on the Knoxville town square.  Then they hired me to work with Tresa and manage the store.  And then, as we stocked the store with books and gifts in preparation for our opening day, the world’s economy plunged into a deep recession.   Gulp!

People questioned our sanity, some shook their heads, but most were just glad that Knoxville had a new store on the square and that it was a book and gift shop.  We realized it was a little crazy, but Tresa and I both believed that this kind of business was going to bring positive things to the community.  That’s why we decided to call it The Next Chapter.

And what a chapter it has been!  Aside from a tremendous amount of fun, the learning curve for both of us has been steep.  While we both have plenty of business experience, neither of us knew much about the book business or about retail in general.  We gained invaluable help from a number of people who were extremely generous with their time and their wisdom – people like Kate Bearce, the former owner of Main Street Books in Pella; Jo Goff and Kevin Daugherty, our neighbors at Radio Shack; Natalie Leisure of Our Town Florist; Jim Butler of KNIA/KRLS who wasn’t afraid to tell us things nobody else wanted to say!   To some special guys who helped us with the interior construction and signage for our shop: Nick Gerdes (who built our counter), Scott Ziller (who designed our logo and sign) and Mike VanNatta (who also helped with building shelves), we say thanks.  Special appreciation to Cheri Gerdes, Nancy Greiner, Erin Murphy and Katrina Nelson who spend countless volunteer hours with us.  And last but not least, we could have not done it without the constant support of our husbands, Bob Leonard and Steve Mott, and the love of our children and parents.

Even before we officially opened the doors, our customers- to-be were stopping in to ask questions and to offer encouragement, and when we were finally ready, the response was almost overwhelming!   To date, we have sold over 6,500 new books and nearly 3,000 used books.  That’s getting very close to ten thousand books in the hands of readers!  I think that’s really exciting.  Imagine all the great new ideas, the new understanding, and the pleasure all those books have brought to our community.  Our gifts department has also been busy and we have worked hard to bring unique, quality items that our customers can feel good about giving – or keeping for themselves – and once again, our customers have responded with enthusiasm and lots of ideas.

As we look forward to our second year in business, we hope to build on our young tradition of being the place to meet your friends for a thoughtful conversation over a good cup of coffee, the place you come to for a good book, for the perfect gift, or for a little something to lift your spirits.  We hope you will enjoy the events we bring, and the book clubs we organize.  We will continue to support local authors and artisans; and with our 10% donation of monthly used book sales, we will continue to support our community’s deserving causes.

So please join us on our First Anniversary Celebration, Tuesday, November 3rd and let us thank you for your support with a cup of coffee and some fresh baked treats.  We will also have drawings for four $25 gift certificates throughout the day.

Here’s to many more successful years to come!

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Posted by on October 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


Fresh from Market!

As promised, we returned from the Gift Market laden with goodies, if a little more than exhausted!  Here are some teaser photos of some of the latest accessories we found.  If you see something you like, hurry in — things are happily flying off the shelf.

DSCN0060In purses, leather rosettes, animal prints, and metallic lame were all the rage.  It was fun trying them all on and thinking of which ones of our customers might love, love, love them!

DSCN0058We found cashmere scarves for men and Pashminas for women.

DSCN0059There were also lots of fun new kinds of flat wallets, including Opera Wallets, ‘Fattie Flats’, Double Flats, and Mini Flats.


Scarves in all shapes and colors!


More scarves!


Necklaces and bracelets to spiff up your autumn wardrobe.


Very fancy watches!


Earring and necklace sets abounded.


Shell bracelets to go with the purses.


The animal print trend was apparent in the watches and bracelets, as well as the scarves and purses.

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Posted by on October 8, 2009 in Uncategorized


October at The Next Chapter

Hello Dear Customers, we hope this finds you all healthy and happy! It’s a busy fall for us all, and the Next Chapter is certainly no exception:

Friday Lunch Bunch Book Club
We’d like to remind you to join us if you can, this Friday at Noon for our newest book discussion group! We will be talking about the wonderful book by Garth Stein called The Art of Racing in the Rain. Bring your lunch and we will provide the drinks and keep it to 45 minutes so folks can get back to work on time! If you haven’t already done so, you still have time to read the book, and we have several more copies available!

Autumn Studio Tour : Poets & Writers Stop!
This weekend is the Red Rock Arts Alliance Autumn Studio Tour, and we are pleased to be hosting local poets and writers here at The Next Chapter as part of this great showcase of local artistic talent featuring 21 different stops in Knoxville and Pella and in between. You can pick up maps for this self guided event in many locations around the county, including here at the shop. That’s Saturday, October 10th from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm. It looks like it may be icky weather, so what better pastime than enjoying some artistic beauty to forget the gray skies?

Arts Midwest World Fest
Also a little plug for another community event, which is not a Next Chapter event, but well worth your while. The Arts Midwest World Fest will be in Knoxville during the week of October 12th featuring the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble (the first of four upcoming performing groups) who will be conducting workshops with our school children all week. The tour culminates in a Saturday evening performance for the public, October 17th at 7 pm, in the Middle School Auditorium. Tickets are $5 each and are available here at The Next Chapter, at McKay Insurance, at the Knoxville Schools, and at the door. For more information about this wonderful program bringing international performing arts to the schools, visit

We just got back from the gift market, and our tables are overflowing with the requisite new scarves (for men and women!), purses, watches, and jewelry in the latest styles! I’d give more details, but I’ve got to get back to work checking it all in!

And finally, I’d like to invite you all to treat yourself to an hour of bliss with massage therapist Erin Murphy, who is now offering massages in a special alcove of Tresa’s Dance Studio. She gave me a free massage just yesterday, so I can attest to her skilled fabulousness! Call Erin at 206.850.2448, or visit her online at .

Happy Autumn to you All!

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Posted by on October 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

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