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Politics and Prose

Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade began in a small store at 5010 Connecticut in the autumn of 1984, by themselves and a part-time employee who worked at night. Before a year was up, there were two full-time employees. By 1988-89 there were a half-dozen and the store was bursting. We moved across the street to 5015 in the summer of 1989. We now occupy more than 8,000 square feet of sales space, and almost 14,000 feet of total business space, including offices and café. We have a staff of more than 50 employees. Here’s the goal as stated years ago by Carla and Barbara: “The bookstore will offer superior service and unusual book choices; it will serve as a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books.”The success that Politics and Prose has had represents the luck of being in the right place at the right time. We opened when it was still possible for a store to start small and grow bigger. We grew bigger before the chains opened. We seized every opportunity to increase our visibility and expand our business. We have tried strategies that didn’t work and we have given them up. We have been flexible and open to change, at the same time as adhering to our goals.
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