Each month, we profile a small business in Connecticut, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation that drives the state’s economy. In November, we spoke with Lori Fazio, president of RJ Julia Booksellers, about the independent bookstore, a longtime Madison fixture.
When was your company founded?
How many employees work for your company?
Who are your customers?
We have customers of all ages from all over the country and even abroad. Most of these clients are readers, or are buying for readers, but we also have fun and wonderful non-book items!
What makes your company unique?
Consistently putting the right book (or gift) in the right hand is one of our customer service goals. We also have access to writers of all kinds – from first-time writers to world-renowned celebrities.
Any interesting facts about your business or its history?
We broke the Guinness World Records in 2014! in Dr. On Seuss’ 110th birthday, RJ Julia broke the record for most hats worn at a party of 1,000 participants.
Why did you choose Connecticut?
We have family roots here.
What is the biggest advantage of doing business in Connecticut?
Well-educated staff and customer base.
How are you trying to give back to your community?
We are often asked to donate to fundraisers of various schools, businesses, groups, etc. We promote literacy through our Author to School program, often bringing in favorite authors!
Where will your company be in five years? ten years?
Still stand by the written word and marvel at the enthusiasm kids have for the books they’re choosing!
What are the main measures policymakers can implement to make your company more competitive?
Bring down the monopoly.