An Interview with Julia McCrea Kudravetz, owner of New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville, VA
Name: Julia McCrea Kudravetz
Store and location: The New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, VA.
Number of years as a bookseller: I purchased the shop after being manager. I was hired as manager after the sudden passing of Carol Troxell, the owner for the previous 30 years. Previously, I ran a local Reading Series and taught English through the local community college. I got involved with the store by doing their social media and selling books off-site at the reading series I hosted.
Best part about being a bookseller?: The conversations I have with people from all walks of life. We have students, international tourists, authors, young kids, everyone coming into this shop.
What book(s) are you reading?: Right now I am reading to prepare for our annual Christmas List, a mailing we do of our top recommendations from the past year. All those books are featured in a "Holiday Market" on our second floor; this is a fantastic store tradition that helps guide holiday gift purchases. Currently I'm reading a book called Ninth Street Women and learning a lot about the New York Art scene in the first half of the 20th century.
Favorite handsell of 2018: I think Werner's Nomenclature of Colors, a pocket-size facsimile re-issue from Smithsonian Books, is a lovely book for artists and scientists. Each color is described in such a poetic, specific manner; this was the book that Charles Darwin took on his famous voyage. I love to handsell this book as a unique gift.
Best thing you did this year at your store: Hard to say, but we did rent out the local historic theater, the Paramount, and hosted 1,041 people there for a conversation with Jon Meacham and John Grisham. It raised the profile of our shop, and lead us to believe we can do these 1,000-person off-site events for major international authors in the future.
What are some ways you work with your community?: We partner with alot of local non-profits in various ways. Sometimes, it's donating 10 books to a silent auction, other times it's cosponsoring an author or an event. We offer our rose garden as a calm space where people can read on their lunch hour. The shop hosts a book group, an open-mic for young writers and songwriters, and the MFA Reading Series from the University of Virginia. All of these partnerships bring new people into the shop and provide a space for literary community.
Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?: We partner strongly with the Virginia Festival of the Book, which hosts over 20 events at our shop during the book festival in March. www.vabook.org
Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?: Certainly reading and writing are a passion that carry over; plus I get to see all the new books coming out every week.
Top priority for 2018: We have a lot of priorities, but one of my top ones is paying all booksellers a decent wage in an expensive college town. Other goals are having more locals who have never visited the shop become regular customers.
Favorite SIBA programming benefit: I think being a part of the SIBA community and hearing how other bookstores are thriving in this area is a wonderful benefit; it's great to know the other bookstores and have them know us. --also Okra picks!
Social Media Stats:
Facebook likes: 1,137 likes
Instagram: 1,124 followers
Twitter: 190 followers
Press Kit: http://ndbookshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NDB-Sell-Sheet.pdf
Events and buyer contact info:
Events: Sarah Crossland
Marketing and Communications Director
Buying: Sarah Valencia