GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - The managers of Turnrow Book Co. hope to bring people together at their store.
“I’d love to be a place where all of the various fractured segments of our population can feel like they can come - that there’s books we have for them, there’s events we have for them,” said Elizabeth Hinckley, who teams with Shelby Gorman to run the business.
Hinckley, 32, and Gorman, 29, took over last year, replacing previous manager Steve Iwanski.
Gorman is in charge of branding, marketing and creative design for the store, and Hinckley is in charge of finances. Each is trained in the other’s roles and can cover for the other if needed.
Hinckley started as a sales associate for Turnrow about two years ago and moved up to management in August 2019.
Along with hiring new employees, she needed some extra hands to help run the place. She called her friend Gorman in September to relieve some of the pressure.
“It became clear pretty quickly that while I could do the job as my own manager, it was going to involve way more hours than I was able or willing to do with my family,” Hinckley said.
“We’re completely different but in a good way,” Gorman said.
“We complement each other well,” Hinckley added.
Hinckley grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in education and social policy from Northwestern University.
In 2009, she moved to Greenwood through the Teach for America program. She taught math at Amanda Elzy High School and also met her husband, Derek.
She also received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Columbia University.
She and her husband moved to Alaska, where they had their first daughter, Eleanor, and then returned to Greenwood in 2015. They later had their second daughter, Cecilia. She is now 2 years old and Eleanor 5.
Gorman was born and raised in Phillipston and then came to Greenwood when she grew a bit older. Following her graduation from Pillow Academy, she attended Mississippi State University and received a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with a minor in religion.
She also met her husband, Joseph, there, and they both moved back to Greenwood and were employed by Viking Cooking School. They have a 5-year-old son named Eli and a 2-year-old daughter named Lucy.
Gorman did graphic design for Viking and then at Hammons & Associates.
Eventually, she and Hinckley decided that their respective talents would be best utilized together.
They want Turnrow to be a spot for artists doing regional tours to stop on their gap days between Oxford and New Orleans.
They have a firm focus on supporting local commerce and art.
Ideally, they would like Turnrow to be the go-to place for schools, churches and other organizations to buy the books they need instead of going to bigger retailers.
“The Greenwood-Leflore area is buying books, there’s no doubt about that,” Hinckley said.
Gorman also said that she’d like to push the art gallery a little more to expose local artists.
“I would love to have nights where artists come in and present their art upstairs,” Gorman said.
Turnrow hosts many charitable events, such as the recurring program For The Culture. More information on the upcoming events, artist exhibitions, and book signings can be found on the store’s website.
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