September 3, 2018

An Interview with Literary Book Gifts (and a Special Promo Code!)

Literary Book Gifts

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to introduce you to Literary Book Gifts, a great online store for all of you fellow book lovers. In so doing, I'm also featuring its owner, Melissa, in an interview and providing a special 20% discount code for my readers!
The Moby Dick tote bag (available in small, medium, and large)

If you haven't already checked out Literary Book Gifts, it's definitely worth your time. If you're in need a great birthday, holiday, or celebration present for someone you love or are just wanting a cool item to rock yourself, the online shop features book-inspired artwork from classic fiction and non-fiction texts. You can buy t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, and tank tops featuring your favorite books in a wide variety of colors and sizes.

This is Melissa, the store's owner and designer. Melissa's shop items are cute and I loved looking at all of her designs. I especially love the Secret Garden hoodie, the Peter Pan t-shirt, and the navy Moby Dick tote bag which is my absolute favorite. The store features designs of many different classic books: Frankenstein, Les Miserables, Leaves of Grass, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, The Velveteen Rabbit, Huckleberry Finn, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer, and so many more. As a gift to all Jactionary readers, Melissa is offering a 20% off promo code (JACTIONARY20) applicable for anything at Literary Book Gifts, no minimum, and the code does not expire!
The Peter Pan women's t-shirt (available in 13 colors, sizes XS-3XL, and in men's)

Melissa, when did you begin your business?

The actual day I launched the website for Literary Book Gifts was just a few months ago. Although many of the ideas that eventually materialized into the business had been brewing in my mind for many years previous to the launch day.

I like to think that every novel I've ever read and every piece of art I've looked at, appreciated and thought about has contributed to each and every one of the designs as well as to the overall look and feel of the collection.

What has the experience been like for you?

It has been exciting, fun, and stressful at times. I've learned so much since starting such as choosing titles, to designing and reiterating products, and launching and maintaining a website, and making sure the many gears of the business are running smoothly. Overall it’s been a great experience so far and I am excited for what is yet to come!
The Jane Austen tote bag (available in small, medium, and large)

Which of your products are your biggest sellers? Any surprises there?

The Jane Austen tote bag and Pride and Prejudice t-shirt are definitely the best sellers! I don't think there is any surprise there since Jane Austen's novels are widely read and appreciated to this day.

The Edgar Allan Poe items have also received a lot of interest, which was very surprising. I've never had a chance to read much of his work and had no idea it was so popular.
The Pride and Prejudice women's t-shirt (available in 12 colors, sizes S-3XL, and also in men's)

Have you been able to cultivate relationships with other women business owners?

Yes a few, it's really been the best part of starting the business so far. The blogging community, and primarily women have given me some my best feedback, critiques, and tips. Many of them also run editing, review, proofreading businesses alongside their blogs. I hope to remain in touch with many of these individuals over time as they inspire me to do my best work everyday.
The Edgar Allan Poe women's hoodie (available in 7 colors, sizes XS-3XL, and in men's)

What advice would you offer to other women looking to follow their dreams and start their own company?

I would say don't hesitate to pursue the ideas and dreams that you feel the strongest about. Most importantly do what you love and what inspires you to be a better person.

I have never had as much satisfaction or interest in my work from others than when I began pursuing artistic related endeavors. I've always had the most failure when setting out to do something I was neither good at nor enjoyed doing.
The Ulysses men's t-shirt (available in 12 colors, sizes S-5XL, and in women's)

Out of all of the designs and books you promote through your tote bags and t-shirts, do you personally have any favorite items? Which books are your favorite?

My personal favorite design is the Ulysses t-shirt. I had little idea about the imagery having read no more than a few pages of the novel. Since after reading the first few pages I got the idea that this is the type of novel you have to give 100% attention to. The design is based on typography, composition, and the space between the elements.

After placing the bow with the title Ulysses horizontally, I felt as though something was still lacking. I then had the idea to use James Joyce's actual signature as the arrow which I think balances out the design as a whole.

The Secret Garden women's hoodie (available in 10 colors, sizes XS-3XL, and in men's)

Do you have future growth or design plans for your business?

I have been working on a few more designs that I am very excited about and planning to launch soon. I hope to one day get some of the items in to bookstores so people can feel the material and try them on.

I would also love to expand the product selection to include maybe a nice infinity scarf, or perhaps some pillow cases.
The Les Miserables tote bag (available in small, medium, and large)

What are you currently reading?

Right now I am reading Flannery O'Connor, her writing is absolutely unique and such a fantastic read. I'm currently finishing up Wise Blood but I do plan on reading The Violent Bear It Away as soon as I get a chance!

I also listen to the occasional Harry Potter on audio, it helps me wind down after a long work day.

Any book recommendations you would like to share with Jactionary blog readers?

One of my all time favorites is Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It is a relatively fast read but its themes and imagery come back to me time and time again. I find myself thinking about the ideas presented in it even when I haven’t picked it up for a while. I think perhaps all great novels should remind us of their ideas, long since we’ve finished them.

Be sure to check out Literary Book Gifts and use your
20% off promo code (JACTIONARY20) applicable for anything in the store! 

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