Windstone Editions Helps Support Independents

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As part of an ongoing campaign, Windstone Editions, a company located in North Hollywood, California, supports independent bookstores with an unusual profit-sharing program: It donates 10 percent of the company's profits from the sale of its line of cast stone bookends to independent booksellers associations.

Windstone is the exclusive vendor of bookends, figurines, candleholders, sconces, and other sculptural items designed by artist M. Peña.

Mindy Covely, marketing director of Windstone, said many of its independent bookstore customers carry its items as sidelines in their stores. "They fit in beautifully -- it's great to see a profitable market for them in bookstores and to help support independent retailers."

Company president John Alberti, who launched the campaign after his favorite local bookstore was squeezed out of business, is elated by how the money is helping to strengthen independent booksellers in a marketplace dominated by big-box chains.

Windstone Editions has just named the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) as its latest recipient. NCIBA will receive a $1,000 donation, bringing the total amount given by Windstone to booksellers associations across the country to more than $6,000.

Another recent recipient of the Windstone donation, the Colorado-based Mountain and Plains Booksellers Association (MPBA), used the money to distribute a "Pro-Action Kit" that helps its member bookstores form alliances with other independent retailers in their communities, collectively strengthening their position against chain retailers like Wal-Mart, Borders, Starbucks, Home Depot, Rite-Aid, and others.

"It's very gratifying to help inform consumers that supporting locally owned retailers of every kind helps all of us regain our sense of community," Alberti says. "My hope is that other manufacturers will notice what we're doing, and join forces to help support not only independent bookstores, but independent hardware retailers, coffee shops, drugstores, and others. These locally owned stores are the glue that holds our communities together."

For more information, independent retailers can call Windstone Editions at (800) 982-4464.

-- Elizabeth Fabian