Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kate Vicari, Founder of Box of Books, located in Jackson, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Box of Books is a book subscription service that customizes each box to its recipient. In addition to hand-selected books, each box comes with 2 to 4 novelty items customized to that recipient. Box of Books is great for any book lover of any age. We have options for all readers. We like to think Box of Books is the next best thing to visiting an independent bookstore.

Tell us about yourself

I opened my independent bookstore, Well Read Books, in late 2008. I've always been a book aficionado - when I was a kid, I even converted my closet into a library. So a passion for books has always been in my blood. And I love helping customers discover that next great read or a great gift for the bookworm in their life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been my ability and willingness to change and adapt to new social norms and trends. Initially, Well Read Books was a primarily used bookstore, but over the years, demands changed, so we adapted. Now we have new and used books, toys, puzzles, novelties, and so much more. And when COVID hit, we had to try new strategies to keep our doors open, so Box of Books was born. And that has been an entertaining extension to the bookstore.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the time it consumes. You don't go home and stop thinking about the job. It's constantly niggling at the back of your mind or the forefront. How can you do a better job? What needs to be done tomorrow, what should have been done today, what projections look like, etc.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be willing to listen to your environment and adapt to its changes, but...
  2. Listen to your gut. A lot of people are going to tell you how to run your business. It doesn't hurt to listen, consider, and accommodate when applicable, but always remember that it's your business. You have the vision and the insight into all its dynamics. Stay true to that, and you will know when to say yes or no. Fluff can come later.
  3. Put the hard work in, but remember to take breaks. Your mind works best when it's not overwhelmed and exhausted.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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