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Tea Party Bookshop changes name

By Stephen Lowman

The Tea Party Bookshop in Salem, Ore., is dumping its name and all the political baggage that comes with it.

Owner JoAnne Kohler, 47, opened the independent bookstore in August 2008. She named her store Tea Party because she liked the association with “independence, revolution, anti-corporation.” A short time later a conservative movement that was also fond of the historical event became a force in national politics. And that’s when the misunderstandings began.

“People would be calling us asking where the rallies were,” Kohler said. And those on the other side of the political spectrum “would tell me ‘I saw the name of your store and was afraid to walk in!’”

“Of course, then they would walk in and smell the incense and see the prayer flags all over,” she said.

A glance at the Tea Party Bookshop’s community calendar leaves no doubt about its progressive philosophy. Upcoming events at the store include meditation classes, a pagan meet up and a community drum circle.

A few months back, Kohler placed a handwritten sign on her shop’s door that reads, “not affiliated with the political movement.” She waited this long to change the name just in case that movement fizzled out. Obviously, that has not happened.

“People were confused by the name and it was becoming a burden,” Kohler said. Sometime next month, after a renaming party, Tea Party Bookshop will reopen as Tigress Books. It’s new motto: “Wildly Independent!”

Kohler isn’t angry about the name change. In fact, she’s quite happy.

“You know what? I’ve decided this is an opportunity. This is a way for more people to know that there is an independent bookstore in Salem. I think it’s a total Godsend. We’ve been here two years and this is a chance to redefine the store.”

Will she carry books by Tea Party politicians?

“I did get a copy of Sarah Palin’s book in and it sat on the table for a while. It was mocked,” she said. “It’s really not for my type of people.”

By Steven E. Levingston  |  June 23, 2010; 5:30 AM ET
 | Tags: tea party influence; tea party bookshop name change;  
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Comments

"Upcoming events at the store include meditation classes, a pagan meet up and a community drum circle."

I chuckled out loud when I read this sentence, but this whole article reads like it's from the Onion. Sometimes real life is funnier than the made up stuff.

Posted by: Eric12345 | June 23, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

She should have kept the name, it's pretty subversive that way.

Posted by: hitpoints | June 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

>>>She named her store Tea Party because she liked the association with “independence, revolution, anti-corporation.”

Obviously, not associated with the political Tea Party that supports tax cuts for billionaires and corporations - and tax breaks for companies moving jobs overseas.

Posted by: angie12106 | June 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

>>>She named her store Tea Party because she liked the association with “independence, revolution, anti-corporation.”

Obviously, not associated with the political Tea Party that supports tax cuts for billionaires and corporations - and tax breaks for companies moving jobs overseas.

Posted by: angie12106 | June 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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