Adoption Fundraiser Turned Business
Contributed by: Rebecca Hougard
Azora Books started as a fundraiser for an adorable baby boy named Micah, but it has its roots way before then.
Turn the clock back fifteen years, and you’ll see Amanda and Rebecca (the future owners of Azora Books) in the midst of bedtime story hour. Rebecca never found just one story good enough, so Amanda, the bookish babysitter, happily read story after story.
The years flew by quickly and pretty soon Rebecca had lost interest in pink princess attire and giant tents in the guest room. Now there were trips to arcades and bowling alleys–all approved activities as long as a bookstore run was also included. By this time, Rebecca was an avid reader and Amanda made sure she never ran out of books. They started a tradition that’s still going strong today–birthdays are celebrated with books and brunch. As it should be.
They may have continued with just their planned bookstore outings and growing lists of recommended titles if not for one very adorable surprise. After years of waiting in the adoption process, Amanda got the call that a birth mother wanted to meet and that the baby was due in just three weeks! The next month Amanda was taking baby Micah home and godmother Rebecca was one of his first visitors.
With Micah’s adoption and legal fees still growing, Amanda started looking on her shelves for books to sell. She accepted book donations from friends, hosted a series of sales, and learned how eager parents were to buy used books for their children.
During these fundraising efforts, Amanda found some vintage titles that she wanted to list on Amazon, but by now she was chasing a toddler. She needed help with logistics. Someone who could tag along to library sales and live among stacks of books. Rebecca didn’t need any convincing, especially since it was all for Micah’s benefit.
The leap from fundraiser to business took care of itself, which is a way of saying that Micah encouraged them to dream bigger. By the onset of 2020, they were ready to set down their hopeful roots: increasing access to affordable books, supporting sustainability efforts, and contributing to local literacy programs.
Azora Books is an online bookstore that sells used children’s books at low prices. We officially launched Azora Books on May 23, 2020, and operate our business in the Milwaukee area, but we are able to ship to all 50 states.
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