We had the good fortune of connecting with WINNIE CALDWELL and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi WINNIE, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve had to make was relocating our business and family across the country. In September of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, we decided to expand our entrepreneurial footprint to Atlanta, GA. It was a very tough decision as we’ve only lived in St. Louis, MO. I am a born and raised STL native, I worked to a level of major influence in my hometown; and growth requires the need to to have room to expand. While STL will always have a special place in my heart, I am excited about our new stomping grounds here in Atlanta, GA.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Business by day looks like me focusing on Books N Bros, a subscription-based business my son and I started in 2016 to amplify African American literacy and encourage boys 7-13 to read. While our small but mighty virtual team in St. Louis helps us sustain Books N Bros, I’ve been focused on a few new things: The Impact Beyond the Box Subscription Box masterclass, promoting my son’s first public book, and most importantly my health as I’m in my third trimester expecting a new child!
Starting Books N Bros wasn’t planned nor easy. I took Sidney to the only African American Children’s Bookstore in St. Louis as I knew he’s always loved to read. He was so enthralled with all of the black & brown figures in the books that he wanted to promote that more, and that’s how we started Books N Bros!
After Books N Bros has served over 500 boys internationally since its inception, I realized there’s so much I can teach! So that’s how the Impact Beyond the Box Subscription Class was started in April of this year! I currently am teaching over 15 women virtually how to break into the subscription-based business and I plan to open another cohort session in the Fall of 2021! Feel free to join the waiting list and gain more info here: https://bit.ly/BeyondTheBoxCourse
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting me here in Atlanta, we would have so much fun! For a week I’d expect for us to do as much as possible. For food, we would start in my neighborhood, Grant Park and eat in The Beacon where there’s a ton of food options like Ramen at Hotto Hotto, Jamaican Cuisine at Marguerite’s Jerk Bistro or Mexican dining at Patria Cocina!
Before leaving The Beacon, I’m personally a huge RHOA fan so we’d have to stop at The Bailey Wine Cellar so my bestie can get some wine!
Once we leave there, we can explore Ponce City Market for all of the things like: shopping at West Elm for cute home things, supporting black-owned businesses like Bar Vegan which is newly a part of Ponce City Market, and of course strolling The BeltLine for a great city view, drinks along the trail and hopping on some scooters!
Before my bestie goes home, I’d of course have to take her to The Gathering Spot (TGS) to explore black excellence next level. We’d start with fine dining for breakfast inside TGS, reserve a conference room to have a business bestie session, take a break, and head to the bar (inside TGS) for drinks (non-alcoholic for me currently) and network!
Sounds like a great use of time for me!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shout out The Gathering Spot here in Atlanta, GA! As a new resident, especially as an entrepreneur in a new city amid a pandemic, I wanted to meet great people (safely), who are like-minded individuals. The Gathering Spot provides just that. They’ve welcomed me as a member with open arms, provided a space outside of my home for me to work, network with amazing people and just learn more about Atlanta. I am forever grateful and proud to shout them out.
All images credit to: Winnie Elizabeth Caldwell