Annie B. Jones
After five years as a corporate writer and editor, Annie began living her very own Kathleen Kelly dream, coming on board in 2013 as owner and managing partner of The Bookshelf, an indie bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia. Annie loves chatting with fellow readers about what book currently resides on their nightstands, and she relishes in acting as the store’s very own Nancy Drew, determined to help customers find exactly the book they’re hunting for. Annie also co-hosts From the Front Porch, a weekly podcast about books, small business, and life in the South, and she loves surrounding herself with smart, thoughtful, ambitious women — just one of many reasons she’s excited about She•Think.
Emily is the owner of You’re Maker, a Sewing and Craft Studio for Kids (and occasionally adults!). After a childhood of being told math was her thing, followed by degrees in economics and math and a brief career in finance, Emily decided to go rogue and explore her creative side. She had always loved making things but didn’t know it could also be her thing. Her passion is to provide a space where kids can explore the different types of creativity and making.
Emily attended Smith College, a women’s college in Massachusetts, where she learned the value of women lifting up one another. In a world where we have enough working against us, the least we can do is give each other a break and a boost. She is excited for She•Think for these reasons.
Q: What’s your current guilty pleasure?
Annie: I am sorry to say it’s The Bachelor, best paired with salted caramel gelato.
Emily: Any and all shows or movies with dancing.
Q: What are you listening to lately?
Q: What’s your favorite app or resource of the moment?
Annie: Instagram! Plus I’m finally learning to appreciate audiobooks, so I’m loving Libro.fm and their dedication to small businesses like mine.
Emily: Instagram forever. And I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out how to grow You’re Maker; it wouldn’t have happened as smoothly as it has if it weren’t for Lynn from the Small Business Development Center at VSU. It’s a free service! You should call her!
Q: Who are you crushing on?
Annie: Grace Bonney and the women of Wellstruck, obviously.
Emily: Rachel Maddow! We have a date at 9pm every week night.
Q: Current mantra?
Annie: Everything will be fine.
Emily: Just do it.
Q: Tell us about your businesses.
Annie: The Bookshelf is an indie bookstore in downtown Thomasville. It’s been around for over 20 years, but I started making it mine nearly four years ago. It’s my very own Shop Around the Corner, and I’m so grateful.
Emily: I started You’re Maker in 2014 after getting tired of kindly but awkwardly refusing to make things for people. I decided to offer to teach them to make all the things instead. Since then, You’re Maker has transformed into a Sewing and Craft Studio for KIDS! I still teach adults occasionally, but I have found my groove with the young and able citizens of my town.
Q: What accomplishment are you celebrating right now?
Annie: Does having a staff count as an accomplishment? Because that feels huge to me.
Emily: After holding classes in various downtown businesses that liked what You’re Maker is about, I opened my very own space at the beginning of this month! I’m so tired.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
Annie: The meaningful conversations I get to have every day. Books give us the safe space to have meaningful conversations about hard topics, and that’s what keeps me going.
Emily: The look on kids’ faces when they finish making something. It is power. It is confidence. It is something no one else can either give them or take from them.
Q: What’s one tip you want to share with other entrepreneurs?
Annie: You don’t know until you try, so go ahead and try. Your idea might not work, but you’ll learn something either way.
Emily: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! That’s hard for me. I like to know things, and I really don’t like not knowing things. Asking for help feels more like admitting I don’t know something, but when I get over myself and ask, I always wish I’d asked sooner. So inefficient.
Q: Why should others join She•Think?
Annie: I want to be surrounded by women who are smarter and more experienced than I am; She•Think is designed to bring wise, funny, kind business owners together to share their wealth of knowledge and experience. What could be better?
Emily: Opening my own space is a risk, and I know I’ll succeed faster with a group like She•Think. Also, some of my favorite events in Thomasville have been partnerships between different businesses… I have so many ideas for collaborations! Oh. And I want women to run the world.