Nestled among the bustling Felixstowe highstreet, Stillwater Books is tranquil and charming store, full of literary delights that would appeal to even the most apathetic of readers.
Will Macgowen, owner and book enthusiast, is passionate about working with the local community and providing a social hub for his customers. Speaking to us on the set of our summer photoshoot, he explains the importance of shopping local and the reciprocal relationship between independent businesses and their customers.
Hi Will. When did you start your business?
I started Stillwater Books in January 2014.
How would you describe your store to someone who’s never visited before?
It’s an independent bookshop selling fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, with an emphasis on working with the community. We host author events (such as book signings) and support the Felixstowe Book Festival, an annual celebration for fellow book lovers.
So where did your interest in books start?
I have always enjoyed English, in fact I studied English Literature at university. That’s probably where my passion began.
What is it about Felixstowe that makes it the perfect place for your business?
Felixstowe is a town of book lovers! There are fantastic second hand bookshops here too which helps.
Why is it important to shop with independent businesses like yourself?
By shopping local we keep the highstreet going which is vital. Independent shops are at the heart of the community – they provide friendly chat, originality and much more.
In your opinion, why do your customers choose to shop with you over alternatives?
We have knowledgeable, friendly staff who can help by providing swift ordering and, of course, recommendations for your next read. It’s the personal customer service that keeps people coming back.
What local event or development are you most looking forward to?
Felixstowe Book Festival in June – it’s a yearly event for those that always have their nose in a book or are looking to discover the wonder of reading. The bookshop supplies all the books!
For more on the fantastic independent brands in our hometowns, make sure you stay up to date with our blog this summer!