Hurley Books – Twenty Years – A Celebration
It seems incredible that in November 2002, Steve and I made a sale that would launch a business that has become our pride and joy. Amazon was a new kid on the market and had the novel idea of allowing people to sell second hand books on their website. Would it ever take off? Being a librarian I knew the answer to that immediately. People were desperate to find a copy of their favourite author’s out of print books. This was going to work. During university Steve had funded himself by running a market stall selling second-hand books so he knew all about sourcing them and selling them, and I knew an opportunity when I saw it. So we listed a few books.
I was asleep having finally got the boys to bed when Steve shook me awake to say that someone had just bought a Mary Jane Staples for £3.52. He was blown away, I went straight back to sleep, Finn woke me up an hour later. And so Hurley Books was born.
After a short while we had so much stock in the house we needed to find storage. Our dentist had a ground floor space with a door to the street that we could use. We filled it with shelves, filled the shelves with books and wondered if anyone would come through the door. It didn’t matter if they didn’t, our online sales were jogging along like a dream, but people did come in. Were you one of them?
Soon after that, Steve quit his day job and we moved out to Charlestown. Do you remember the weighbridge? God, I loved working in there. By now I had also quit my day job and we had also taken on a huge warehouse over at Par Moor. Eventually we decided having two sites was killing us and we weren’t interested in volume sales, so we bought our own place in Mevagissey in 2006 and settled in for the long haul.
When we won the best bookshop in Cornwall in 2016 we were knew were on the right path. As we grew, we needed help. Mum and the boys pitched in lots, Mum being far more effective, but we also needed other staff. Over the years we loved working with Nuala, Dorothy, Janet, Jan, Jane, Helena, Ellie, Kim, Will, Janice, Tamsyn and Emma.
Covid caused us to change again and now Emma does a fabulous job running the shop on a daily basis and Steve continues to work behind the scenes, as well as running the online side of things.
I launched Mudlark’s Press a few years back and have had a lot of fun contributing to that side of the business. Who knows what we will look like in another twenty years but if they are as much fun as the past two decades, we are in for a blast.
We are so proud of what we have achieved to date, and we pinch ourselves daily at how far we have come. Thank you for supporting us along the way, we obviously couldn’t have done it without our customers.
2042 we’re coming for you!