Article content continued
When you sum up all of its parts, Upstart & Crow could be described as an artistic salon with a groovy gift shop.
“We want it to be a literary living room. Somewhere that feels really comfortable. Somewhere where people feel really comfortable,” said Grams. “A place full of creativity and imagination. A place where people can have conversations and learn.”
One conversation that may come up is the name of the place.
It’s the name of a store Gill and his late mother talked about, but never did open, a quarter century ago in his native Australia. Also, Shakespeare fans may recognize upstart crow as a nickname of sorts that befell the young actor and fledgling writer after he was described as an upstart crow in a 1592 pamphlet by Robert Greene, an older, famous playwright who it seems — if the posthumously printed bit of writing can be believed — thought actors should speak lines not write them.
It may seem strange that a business is opening during these trying times, but Upstart & Crow was well-thought-out long before the pandemic hit. Nerves are obviously part of the play here, but the good news is that independent bookstores, while they took a hit when stores were shut down, shifted and strengthened their online businesses. It seems COVID-19 led many consumers to re-evaluate their choices and decide to move away from Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer,and look at local options.
Grams, who has had a long relationship with books as a fan and a marketer, is confidant due to this renewed love of local-sourcing.