As the store celebrated its one-year anniversary, people continued to come and go from the historic Niwot Tribune building on Second Avenue, now home to The Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop, and the community showed up in support.
The bookstore, which primarily sells children’s literature, opened in historic downtown Niwot last summer. To celebrate the one-year anniversary, co-owners Carissa Mina and Jerilyn Patterson hosted an all-day event on August 13 with a variety of activities for guests.
“I’ve seen a lot of people come out and support us all along and now come out to support us for the anniversary and it’s amazing,” said Alison Cave, senior TWJ bookseller.
Saturday’s event was filled with a variety of activities and giveaways, including a regularly scheduled story time at Niwot Children’s Park, face painting, an author visit and complimentary ice cream from Sweet Cow. Most of the day was filled with chatter and laughter, and many residents thanked the TWJ team for simply being part of the community.
“The community is doing so much to support us and the other businesses in town,” Mina said. “We hope we give them as much as they give us.”
Perhaps one of the most anticipated parts of the day was graphic novel author Rich Moyer’s author visit. The Denver-based author stopped by and held a short Q&A and drawing demonstration in the middle of the day. The place was so full of people—congregational members and other local writers alike—that there was standing room only. He said he really enjoys interacting with fans and was looking forward to having the space at TWJ to potentially do so again.
While TWJ has certainly made a name for itself with its diverse selection of books — including many by POC and LGBTQ+ authors as well as local authors and banned books — the store has also made an impact on the community with its array of events and book resources for the community.
“We’re going to have a really big focus on offering a lot more community events,” Patterson said. “I’m also currently working a lot with schools to bring writers together so kids can meet [them] and learn about writing.”
She also teased that she reached out to a “great author” and that Cave, who oversees many youth welfare programs, is working to organize a Dungeons and Dragons group for teens.
The short-term goals of the TWJ team include the development of writing workshops for adults and students, and increased participation in Niwot events. Both Mina and Patterson have served as volunteers at Rock & Rails.
“We’re really looking forward to continuing to be immersed in our community and seeing the kids grow up,” Mina said.