Last week, the national small business movement, Independent We Stand, announced the quarterfinalists, including Island Books of Mercer Island, of the 2015 Independent We Stand Independent Small Business of the Year Award.
From Island Books:
Island Books is the only independent bookstore proudly serving Mercer Island for over 40 years. Our store has a special atmosphere, where booksellers remember who you are and the kind of books you read. We may not be big, but everything inside is hand-selected with care, including cards, gifts, games, toys, locally-made chocolates and most importantly, the titles we personally know and love. We wrap your presents with a bow and ship them for free anywhere in the United States.
Mercer Island is a great place for families and children, and Island Books reflects that with its magical children’s section and playhouse. We host weekly morning storybook corners and monthly PJ story times. Every year we host book fairs for all the local schools and donate 20% of the proceeds. Countless children have grown up in our aisles and now bring their grandchildren.
We pride ourselves on being a community gathering place. Beside story times, our schedule is filled with monthly book clubs, author events, sip and shop nights, and more. You’ll find cozy chairs, old typewriters, bulletin boards, and good friends around every corner. If you can’t visit in person, drop by our website. You can check out what we’re reading and raving about, email us, sign up for our acclaimed blog and monthly eNewsletter, follow us on social media, and order books to be picked up at the store or mailed to your home.
“This year’s quarterfinalists represent a variety of independent businesses across the country, who are making an impact on their local economies,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “This award is our way of recognizing their outstanding efforts in their respective communities.”
Voting is now underway at www.IndieBizAward.com through Dec. 13. Voters may visit the website to cast one vote each day.
The 2015 Indie winner will receive prizes with a combined value of more than $10,000, including:
- $5,000 grand prize
- $1,000 STIHL equipment certificate. STIHL products are sold exclusively through local, independent servicing dealers and support more than 9,000 STIHL dealers in communities nationwide.
- “Small Business Web Starter Package” from independent web design firm – The Meridian Group
- Three days/two nights stay at an independent beach resort in Virginia Beach, Va. (valued at $1,000)
- Plaque to display at winner’s business
- Public relations and social media recognition
- Quarter and Semifinalists will receive a Premium Membership from Independent We Stand
Nearly 22,000 votes were cast for 315 nominees during the nominations phase. The quarter-finalists in alphabetical order are:
- A.Dodson’s, an apparel, home décor and gift shop with locations in Suffolk, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va.
- Afterwords Books, a bookshop in Edwardsville, Ill.
- Allan’s Flowers & More, a florist in Prescott, Ariz.
- Armando’s Pizza of Salem, a pizza and sub shop in Salem, N.H.
- Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery, an art gallery in Carson City, Nev.
- Carr Hardware, a hardware supply and rental store with four locations in Mass.
- Coco’s Cottage, a specialty women’s clothing store in Jasper, Ga.
- Collage, a specialty boutique and gift shop in York, Pa.
- Continental Earthworks, a forestry and wildland fire mitigation company in Avon, Colo.
- Cross Eyed Owl Gift shop, selling home décor, gifts and more in Valatie, N.Y.
- From My Shelf Books & Gifts, a new and used bookshop in Wellsboro, Pa.
- Island Books, a bookstore in Mercer Island, Wash.
- License 2 Grill, an American restaurant offering American comfort food in Thornwood, N.Y.
- Life’s Memories and More, an arts & crafts supply store in Palmer, Mass.
- Mae Power Equipment, an outdoor power equipment dealer in Mission, Texas
- Metamorphisis Salon and Spa, a hair salon and spa in Virginia Beach, Va.
- Monkitree, a fine art and craft gallery in Gardiner, Maine
- Mower Man Lawn Service, a landscaping service in McKinney, Texas
- The Mower Shop, an outdoor power equipment shop, in Fort Smith, Ark.
- One-Eighty Consignment and Thrift, a consignment and thrift shop in Albion, Pa.
- Pop’s Biscotti and Chocolates, crafting handmade gourmet chocolates and mini biscotti in Wilbraham, Mass.
- Salon VivEsta, Inc., a hair and nail salon in Lansing, Mich.
- Scout & Morgan Books, a bookstore in Cambridge, Minn.
- Step by Step Dance Studio, a dance studio in Farmingdale, N.Y.
- Surviving Sisters Boutique, an eclectic clothing boutique specializing in Made in America merchandise in Hyde Park, N.Y.
The winner of the Indie will be announced December 16, 2015.