Local Love: GoGo Books

Local Love: GoGo Books, Kid's book truck in Wilmington, Delaware - Social Stylate

There are food trucks and fashion trucks, but did you hear about our local storybook truck?

GoGo Books is a Delaware-based mobile story book shop that offers a curated selection of children’s literature ranging from classic storybooks to teen novels amid thoughtfully crafted children’s-wares. Their goal is to create a novel experience focused on the joys of story-telling with a touch of whimsy and charm. Below we chat with Kate Keeper, the owner and founder of GoGo Books.

1. Why do you love what you do?
So many reasons! Books, illustrations, and stories have always encouraged me to live my life in the most magical and fantastical way possible. I love what I do because I am constantly reminded of that magic every day by being surrounded by those things. I also love “setting things up” and aesthetics so operating a store where everything needs to be arranged and merchandised constantly is just supremely satisfying. I also enjoy having complete control over my time, work ethic, and (for the most part) outcomes/income generation, it holds me accountable and fulfills me in ways that being an employee never did. I love all of the various opportunities to get creative and innovative. The discounted books are a definite plus. But most of all the people/socializing and getting out in the community and meeting kids and caregivers from all over with varying interests is just so life-giving and joyful!

2. What is the most rewarding about being the founder of GoGo Books?
I’m still so new so I don’t feel like I have reaped any typically “rewarding” things yet! My ego definitely enjoys the “ohhhs” + “ahhs” when people find out that this is my business + that I created and operate it at 27 (debt free!!) but really the most rewarding thing is the ability to work for myself entirely and know that my successes are all mine (and the failures too)!

3. Describe your favorite memory from GoGo Books.
Again, still very new so everything feels very present day and in the moment + nothing really feels like a memory yet. I think so far though I have had a few times when I’m driving to an event and just start crying/laughing (somewhat maniacally) about how this is all happening. I love that feeling of just disbelief that this is my job.

4. How did people react to you leaving nursing to start the GoGo Book truck?
Very mixed. I think most people thought it was absolutely absurd. Nursing was my third degree; I went back to school for it after graduating with a double major (English + Bio), so I sort of felt like people thought I was abusing the privilege of having the opportunity to get higher education (twice). Luckily I have learned that other people’s reactions are ultimately about them and not me, so I didn’t really concern myself with them. My husband and mom were really supportive and my workplace (The Birth Center) was as well.

5. Do you get invited to come to schools to sell books? Where are your usual stops?
I launched at the end of the school year so I pretty much missed that boat. I did do an event with Ursuline Academy and it was a smashing success and the kids/caregivers/teachers were all amazing to work with. I hope to do more schools in the fall. I don’t have any usual stops yet. This year is all about trial and error so I can figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’m already learning where I do best and where I flop so taking all of that into account and evaluating it is helping me to plan future events. I really want to get into collaborations with local businesses like coffee shops/lunch spots/etc. to pair up for weekday stops. I’m really into planning programming like storytimes/crafts/process art/sing-a-longs but need space for those. I bring a lot of people out, so it’s really a matter of finding a mutually interested business who wants to pair up.

Local Love: GoGo Books, Kid's book truck in Wilmington, Delaware - Social Stylate

6. What ignites your creativity?
I actually really struggle with this. I have a horrible complex where I have to be “in the mood” to do things that I’m trying to better understand and ultimately overcome. Usually getting outside and just experiencing life fires me up. The further I distance myself from the internet/my phone the more creative I feel as well.

7. How do you decide what books to bring into the truck?
Painstakingly! I pored over catalogs from publishers/read reviews/and did a lot of judging by the cover. There are thousands of books published every week in addition to the “backlists” of thousands of previously published titles. It took me about 6 months to fully curate my initial stock. Since then I have been keeping ongoing order lists for newly published titles that I update weekly which keeps it relatively simple for reorders. The best compliments I get are the ones regarding the curation and uniqueness of my stock!

8. What was the first book you remember being read to you and by who?
I don’t really remember the first book that was read to me. But my first memory of a story was this story my dad would tell about Winnie the Witch who (in the story) lived in the woods across the street. She would invite all of the kids over on Halloween and make us pumpkin juice in her cauldron and make all of our candy fly and swirl around. I was obsessed and would make him tell it every day. My first bookish memory though was that my mom and I would read the Jolly Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg.

9. What was your all-time favorite book as a child?
Wowwww. So hard to answer. Probably Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

10. What do you want to see happen in the future for GoGo Books?
My main goal, for now, is to collaborate with local businesses to get some regular hours like I mentioned above. Ideally, I would get out of the weekend event circuit and start operating more like a regular retail store with set hours, just one that is in a different location every day. I have had a lot of requests for franchising so eventually could look into that. I’d love to take a booktruck road trip one day and see how it does in other cities/states!

11. What do you enjoy doing in your free time:
Reading of course! Getting outside, taking walks, doing random crafts and never cleaning up after them

12. Favorite genre to read:
Picture books, historical fiction.

For more on GoGo Books visit: Website | Instagram | Facebook

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15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

It’s all about getting that Instagrammable shot (we get it, we’re a social media company!) but where do you go to get it? Here are 15 Instagrammable spots in Wilmington and Philadelphia guaranteed to get major love and add flair to your feed.

Brew Haha! in Wilmington, Delaware - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

1. Brew HaHa!: Wilmington
Attention all foodies and coffee lovers! With numerous locations in Northern Delaware, Brew HaHa! offers a calming and one-of-a-kind coffee house atmosphere. With a wide selection of eats and drinks, you are bound to find a gram-worthy food post. An added bonus is any coffee drink includes beans source from Brandywine Coffee Roasters. Botanical wallpapers, framed art walls, bookcases, and outdoor garden scapes are some of the many backdrops to choose for a photo.
Photo by: @rievictoriaaoki

Philly Art Museum - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

2. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a world-renowned collection of pieces. They have a collection of historically rich works that are sure to inspire creativity. Not to mention the countless photo opportunities like the Rocky steps. the Rocky statue and countless other spots around this museum.
Photo by: @shelbysparkling

Nemours Estate - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

3. Nemours Estate: Wilmington
Nemours Estate is a 300-acre county estate with formal gardens and a classical French built mansion. They also house a collection of vintage automobiles which are used on the estate.
Photo by: @bittersweetcolours

Philly observation deck - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

4. One Liberty Observation Deck: Philadelphia
Get the bird’s-eye view of the city of brotherly love with this next spot. This observation deck gives a 360 view of the city from the 57th floor of the One Liberty place building.
Photo by: @lea_grcic

wilmington riverfront - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

5. Riverfront Wilmington: Wilmington
This spot is home to many recreational, cultural, retail and culinary attractions. The Wilmington Riverfront has plenty to offer the eye with its small-scale skyline.
Photo by: @amyeatworld

Electric Light Mural - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

6. Electric Light Mural: Philadelphia
Best enjoyed at night, the Electric Light mural is a public art installation in South Philly. What makes this spot unique is how the mural is contoured with LED lights. If you are not able to visit this location at night, it is just as beautiful during the day.
Photo by: @guenstorm

Shofuso Japanese House + Garden 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphiaa

7. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden: Philadelphia
Built in 1953 using traditional techniques, Shofuso is a 17th century-style Japanese house and garden. This historic spot features beautiful waterfalls, gardens, tea garden, tea house and much more.
Photo by: @kachanova_a

De La Couer - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

8. De La Coeur Cafe: Wilmington
This popular breakfast and brunch spot offers fresh pâtisseries and delicious food options. With a lavishly decorated interior and exterior, you will have no problem taking your next Instagram photo.
Photo by: @lagolt

Brandywine Park - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphiaa

9. Brandywine Park: Wilmington
Home to the Josephine Fountain, Brandywine Park is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the Brandywine River. This park includes features such as formal gardens, monuments, bridges, grills, hiking trails, public restrooms, playground, picnic area, and pavilions.
Photo by: @kanchisumansharma

Magic Gardens - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

10. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens: Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a non-profit, folk art environment and gallery space on South Street in Philly. The Magic Gardens, created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, spans three city lots and includes indoor galleries and a large outdoor labyrinth. Each spot in this encapsulating landscape is different and will give you the most unique backdrops to choose from.
Photo by: @monicalynndesign

The Bakeshop on 20th 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

11. The Bakeshop on 20th: Philadelphia
A small batch bakery offering tastes from your childhood using family recipes. Not to mention options such as coffee, sandwiches, and soups. Take a picture enjoying your tasty treat.
Photo by: @paristempslibre

Cafe Lutecia - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

12. Cafe Lutecia: Philadelphia
This French cafe offers a full menu of delicious beverages and food. In the warmer months snag a seat outdoors for the perfect natural lighting.
Photo by: @lhimsical

Friday Saturday Sunday - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

13. Friday Saturday Sunday: Philadelphia
Eat, drink & visit! Located on 261 South 21st Street in Philadelphia has a bar on the ground floor and New American dining upstairs.
Photo by: @tednghiem

- 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

14. The Queen: Wilmington
Not only does The Queen offer top-notch performances from various artists and performers; but its facade offers a unique spot for a picture. Make sure to look ahead for tickets to a performance if you have time.
Photo by: @firststateballet

Bellevue State Park - 15 Instagrammable Spots in Wilmington & Philadelphia

15. Bellevue State Park: Wilmington
Not only does this state park have a catch-and-release fishing pond it is also equipped with a 1-1/8th-mile fitness track, equestrian facility, and hiking trails. There are plenty of places to catch a quick selfie or photo!
Photo by: @alyssa.kelley

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Power of Pink: Nicole Miller Philadelphia

Nicole Miller boutique owner Mary K. Dougherty and Jefferson University Hospital Radiologist Dr. Annina Wilkes invite you to embrace the “Power of Pink” October 25th at their Center City location in Philadelphia.  An amazing opportunity for inspiring conversation and an evening of shopping to raise money and awareness for women affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer touches nearly every one of us in some way or another. Most of us know someone, whether it’s an aunt, mother, cousin, sister, or friend, who has battled breast cancer. About one in eight U.S. women will develop an invasive form of breast cancer in their lifetime — over 260,000 women will be diagnosed with new cases in 2018 alone. But there are also over 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today.

Anita Grossberg has been with Nicole Miller Philadelphia for three years. “I was drawn to work here partly because of their commitment to philanthropy. Nine years ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily she was able to catch her cancer early,” says Grossberg.

This unfortunate circumstance brought our family closer together and introduced a group of extraordinary women called the River Sisters. My mother discovered the DRAGON BOAT TEAM River Sisters, a diverse group of fierce cancer survivors from various backgrounds. They compete in races all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania, even traveling as far as Italy. This group has provided a major support system for my mother, proving to her cancer is not a reason to give up, but a reason to fight harder. My Aunt was diagnosed three years ago, her cancer was more complicated. We once again realized the importance of family, resilience and the power of a positive attitude. All of these incredible women have given me strength to always remember and to never give up and be grateful for family and friends.

Nicole Miller Philadelphia

Please share your story: #powerofpinkPhilly

10% of event sales will benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to help women whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer. Nicole Miller limited edition pink umbrellas will also be for sale, with 100% of the proceeds donated to the cause.

Meet artist Nataliya Yermolenko who will donate 10% of her sales through the month of October to LBBC. Please RSVP to Nicole Munoz: NMunoz@nicolemillerphiladelphia.com.

 

 

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Chatting With Liza Fragomele

Trudy Boutique in Wilmington, Delaware - Interview with Liza Fragomele - Social Stylate

If you work in fashion, the idea of opening your own store is probably somewhere in the back of your mind, but when is the right time to take that leap? For Liza Fragomele, owner of brand new Wilmington womenswear boutique TRUDY, it was when the right space became available.

Below, Liza shares her inspiration for the decor of the store, her favorite brands, and dealing with the online shopping competition.

What prompted you to start a career in fashion? Is that what you studied in college?

Fashion has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. I really don’t think I ever contemplated another career path. I moved to NYC as I got the opportunity and started working!

What made you decide to open your own boutique, TRUDY? Was there a defining moment when you realized you were ready?

I had been talking about opening my own store for forever. After moving back from New York I realized there was still a retail void in town and I started to get serious about the project. When we got word that this space was going to become available, I decided it was time to take the leap!

TRUDY is gorgeous — the way you decorated the space, it’s so chic, yet incredibly comfortable. Can you describe your inspiration/vision?

I knew I wanted a clean, neutral space so that the merchandise could do the talking. And I wanted an openness, to feel like the store was part of the block and vice versa. When it came to the actual furniture, the brass racks came first and the rest sort of just came together naturally. The art is actually my favorite feature design wise. Each piece tells a different story, but they work together so perfectly.

Trudy Boutique in Wilmington, Delaware - Interview with Liza Fragomele - Social Stylate

With so many consumers buying online, what made you want to open a physical store?

I myself have always been a big online shopper, but there’s something about walking into a store and walking out with something – it’s that instant satisfaction that I think people will always crave. Also I think brick and mortar shopping is more personal. You can really tell a story and create a mood that inspires customers – it’s hard to do that online.

Who is the TRUDY customer?

The TRUDY customer appreciates fashion, understands quality and enjoys an intimate and personalized shopping experience. Our selection is fun, modern and colorful. I really take my time with the buy and to make sure it stays super curated and unique.

What do you look for when selecting brands/pieces for the store?

I think about the realities of the women who live in this area and what makes sense for their lifestyles. I also try to choose things that are maybe a little outside the box style wise. I hope to introduce our clients to new things and to encourage taking fashion risks.

Trudy Boutique in Wilmington, Delaware - Interview with Liza Fragomele - Social Stylate

What are your favorite looks or trends for summer?

Mini handbags, chunky gold jewelry, pastels, mixing prints.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, but I think I’m dressing more feminine as I get older. I’m typically pretty casual though. I wear a lot denim, I love mixing colors and prints, and I think sneakers work with everything.

Who would you say is really killing it in fashion right now?

I’m super into a brand from Copenhagen, Ganni. Its super cool but feminine, and I feel really lucky to be carrying it. In the luxury fashion world, I’m loving Italian designer, Attico. I have the biggest girl crush on the two designers – their style is so good. Japanese designer, Sacai, will always be my favorite. I cherish the pieces that I have from each of her collections.

A little more about Liza…
TV show you love to binge-watch: Big Little Lies, Keeping Up With The Kardashians – I’m not ashamed 🙂
Cocktail of choice: Margarita in the summer, old fashioned in the winter
Favorite book or podcast: I just bought “The Power of Now”- I’m trying to work on being more present
Thing you love to do on your day off: relax outside
Fashion item you can’t live without: my Sasha Samuel locket necklace and Celine white cat eye sunglasses
Style Icons: Julia Sarr Jamois, Christine Centenera, Taylor Tomasi Hill

 

Follow TRUDY on Instagram and Facebook.

Photos by Kelli Wilke

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