A new bookstore on Corning’s Market Street is currently in its soft opening stage and the doors are officially open, but this isn’t your ordinary bookstore.
Card Carrying Books & Gifts focuses on feminism, and before you begin to roll your eyes, you know never know – there might be an item in there that you like.
When you hear the word ‘feminist’ what first comes to mind? Some automatically give it a negative connotation, but the definition is someone who supports equal rights between men and women on social, political, and economic platforms.
Manager Sarah Blagg and Owner Randi Hewit bring their nonprofit backgrounds and passion for community building and engagement to the business. Blagg used to work for Planned Parenthood and Hewit is the president of the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes.
“We’ve seen a lot of political engagement over the last, however many months, and knowing the young people that we know, they have an interest in it, and it’s not quite as much of a taboo as it seems to have been in the past,” Blagg said.
Just walking into the store, you might think it’s only meant for women, but they want everyone to know that it’s actually catered to anyone.
It’s also more than a place solely selling books and gifts. It’s a destination for young people to meet and educate themselves, attend the store’s future events, and learn more about feminism and progressive ideals.
There’s also a book club kit available. For a monthly fee, you’ll get a book, gift, and activism materials to help you take action and support yourself beyond just reading.
“Creating a feminist future is really a huge part of this business and supporting the young people who can do that going forward, that’s really the mission here,” Blagg said.
Many of the books are written by women authors and the gifts are created by many women business owners.
Blagg and Hewit’s daughter Syndey also host a podcast twice a month.
The grand opening is next Friday, September 15 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:00 P.M. The address is 15 East Market Street.