Michael and Hilary Gustafson moved back to their home state of Michigan from New York City in 2012 with a lofty goal: to pursue their dream of opening a small, independent book shop in the charming college town of Ann Arbor. At a time when bookstores were shuttering across the country, friends and family weren’t shy about letting them know they thought their plan was a bit crazy.
“It may have been, but we were our own cheerleaders,” Michael, 34 told Livability. “It was our dream, but we also saw a market opportunity after so many stores, including Borders Books — which started out in Ann Arbor in the 1970’s — had closed nationwide. We truly believed a smaller sized, community-oriented indie bookshop that also hosted events could thrive.”