Julia’s Story has a new home in the Short North.
Lauren Woodrow originally opened the children’s bookstore in Bexley in 2002. Eventually, she relocated it to Canal Winchester, so she could work closer to home, but ended up shuttering the business in 2006. Then, she met Leslie Pannelle.
Pannelle was looking for a way to bring more customers to her home décor shop, LP Designs, at 642 N. High St., and asked Woodrow if she’d be interested in reopening Julia’s Story within her 1,200-square-foot retail space.
“Once the seed was planted, I caught the small business bug again and set the wheels in motion,” said Woodrow, adding that Pannelle is incredibly creative and talented, and she is looking forward to working with her.
This time around, Woodrow is doing things differently, though, retaining her full-time job in the financial industry and keeping Julia’s Story small.
“Julia is now 13 and Olivia is 10,” she said of her daughters. “I also have two step-children, Josh and Camryn. Our lives are very full! A small store is more manageable for me and my family.”
The merchandise at Julia’s Story is geared toward babies, toddlers, and small children. At the moment, the shop has about 300 titles in the form of board books, paperbacks, hardcovers, book sets, activity books, and audio books.
“Everyone has a favorite childhood storybook,” she said. “It is a common thread. There is something tangible in the nostalgia that comes with sitting down and cracking the spine of a favorite story. Pictures in children’s books are worth more than a thousand words; they are worth a thousand memories. My best memories from my childhood and my children’s childhood are tied to storybooks. They are perhaps the most vivid because they cannot fade as long as they are in print.”
The shop also carries handmade, locally-produced clothing and accessories for children six years old and under.
“Salvaged Strands by Jill Herrington and Sew Baby by Renee Engle are featured in the store,” she said. “I’m also making Tooth Fairy pillows, tutus, baby bibs, and clothing.”
Additionally, Julia’s Story will feature a “Read-Cycle” section devoted to used books aimed at school-age children.
“Ideally, I would like to expand our inventory to a full line of titles for ages zero to 18 years,” she said. “This may take awhile.”