Candice Huber – P.O.W.E.R.ful Women
Owner, Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop
Q: How would you describe your company?
Tubby & Coo’s is a locally owned, progressive, nerdy new & used book shop and tabletop gaming store in Mid-City New Orleans. The book shop is named after the owner’s grandparents: Tubby & Coo, who grew up in the same neighborhood where the shop is located.
We’re a community center for nerds, geeks, freaks, and the like. We are a niche genre fiction bookstore, meaning we only carry science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and children’s books. We also cater to the queer community.
Q: When did you launch?
September 1, 2014
Q: How were you inspired to start your business?
I get this question a lot, and there really is no easy answer. I’ve always wanted to own a bookstore since I was a small child and first learned to read. It’s a life’s dream of mine that I brought to fruition because I was in a spot where I had the resources to do it. And I don’t regret it for a second!
Q: What were the biggest obstacles and how were they overcome?
I didn’t really have any big obstacles in opening, but it was definitely a lot of hard work. What took the longest (and still does) was curating the selection of books to sell. I have a small store, so I have to be selective in choosing books. When you’re a bibliophile, that can be a very difficult task. When I first opened, it took me a solid seven 15-hour days to come up with a list of about 3,000 books to sell. And that doesn’t even include the board games and other merchandise!
Q: What local resources have you used?
I love to get my paper bags locally at Royal Paper and Box right here in Mid-City. I also partner with Pearl Wine Company to host author events, and I sell geeky art and products made by local artists. I also do my best to support our local author community.
Q: What is your big focus right now?
Currently, I’m focused on a few major events we’re selling books for coming up in the next few months: the International Literacy Association national conference, Big Easy Con (a nerd convention), and Words & Music, a local literary festival put on by One Book, One New Orleans.
Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
My grandfather used to always say “everything is temporary,” meaning that nothing lasts. When you’re on a high and everything is going well, always plan for the future to ensure things stay good. And when you’re on a low and nothing is going well, it will get better. I think about that advice all the time in the ups and downs of business.
Q: What success have you had in the last year?
In the last year, I’ve really focused on inventory management, and that has gone extremely well. I’ve also been able to secure some great events that I’m excited about, and we’ve been able to build our board gaming and book club communities to be better than ever.
Q: What has been the biggest benefit of being a POWER member?
I really like the networking aspect of POWER and seeing and learning from other successful women in business. There’s also great opportunities for bank services, like checking accounts, loans, and business lines of credit.
Q: What does POWER mean to you?
To me, POWER means coming into yourself as a business owner and having access to everything you need to be successful. Anyone can have a business with the right resources and willpower!