Spotlight on Small Business: Beautywood Books

Joy and Jon Reinbold are passionate book fans who have turned their favorite pastime into a thriving online business, and now an actual retail location, called Beautywood Books – located in a classic home built in 1904 along Main Street in North Little Rock. The 1500-square-foot, six-room house carries 10,000 used books of all types, and that all-inclusive approach to literature also applies to their approach to customers.

Married for four years with a four-year-old child, Joy is bisexual and strives to welcome the LGBTQ community. That openness is a reflection of her difficult teen years, in which she hid her sexual orientation and saw few examples of queer representation in her Arkansas town.

The store’s name, “Beautywood,” was inspired by the famous theme song of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” because Rogers made everyone feel special. It’s the couple’s goal to bring that same feeling to all customers.

“I grew up homeschooled in a deeply conservative home, never knowing that queerness was an option. We’re creating a space where I can fully be myself – something I never had growing up,” Joy said. “It is precisely this feeling of love and acceptance emulated in so many ways by Fred Rogers that we want to curate in our bookshop. Again and again, in the songs of Mister Rogers, he reiterates that each person is likable and lovable, just the way they are, deep down.”

Meanwhile, Jon is an Air Force veteran who specializes in aircraft maintenance during his time in service. While attending college, he worked for three years for people who sold all sorts of things on Amazon, and that taught him he could be an online entrepreneur as well.

Beautywood Books

Joy previously turned her love of books into a career while working for the Central Arkansas Library System. Once the couple experienced sales success, the next logical step was opening their physical store while maintaining their online presence. The store now features a monthly Family Game Night, group reading and discussion sessions of classic books such as John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” as well as storytime readings for children on Saturdays and most Wednesday mornings. The store will feature its first “Meet Cute” event in January, which is speed dating created with queer folks in mind, and it’ll be open to all relationship styles.

Jon finds many of the store’s books in twice-weekly trips around the state and into Memphis, visiting lots of libraries and other stores for inventory.

Beautywood Books

“The books are basically a mixture of everything. We have our own stuff that we sell online, which tends to be nonfiction and more kind of collectible and out-of-print stuff,” he explained. “And then in the front of the store, we have nonfiction sections, a lot of history and then we have a fiction section, which is anything from new fiction to graphic novels and fantasy.

“We also do a lot of classics, like especially mass market paperbacks of classics. People seem to like those quite a bit. Then, we have a pretty good selection of kids’ books too, like large hardcover children’s books, and a small cookbook and gardening section.”

Joy loves the power of books as “a source of information and escape, a window into the lives of others and a mirror into my own self.”

Beautywood Books

“My favorite thing these days is seeing other people’s excitement about the books they find in our shop,” she said. “Every person who walks in gets greeted with the same feeling. Since we opened in August, we’ve already gotten regular gay, trans, nonbinary and lesbian customers.

“We endeavor to learn every customer’s preferred name and pronouns, and treat everyone like they are special. Because we really believe they are!”

Beautywood Books

Beautywood Books is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and shopping outside those hours can be arranged by appointment.

It is located at 1704 N. Main St. in North Little Rock. Visit www.beautywoodbooks.com or call (501) 773-9747 or (501) 310-1094 for more details. The store also maintains an active Instagram account.

READ ALSO: SPOTLIGHT ON SMALL BUSINESS: WILLY D’S ROCK & ROLL PIANO BAR

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