What inspired you to start your business? 

Beginning to End Christian Bookstore became a reality on June 10, 2019. It is quickly growing due to the support of local and surrounding communities. 

​Autumn Brown is the owner of the store based in Lewiston, MI. “I opened my Christian Bookstore in June of 2019 and, with the support of the community and local churches, my store began to thrive. When the pandemic hit in 2020, it was my community that came to the rescue. Their support was due to an overwhelming desire that they wanted to see this bookstore still around when the shutdown was all over. Because of their support my bookstore survived.

How SCORE helped. 

“The beginning stages of planning or just thinking about opening a business can be overwhelming for anyone. It was for me. When I was introduced to SCORE, they let me know that they are here for the beginning stages, all the way through to opening day and beyond. Knowing I could bounce ideas off people that were experienced in all facets of business/finance was invaluable. SCORE allowed me to explore my idea of opening a Christian bookstore while guiding me through the research process and asking me important questions concerning bookstores as a whole and their history as a business. 

Once I was ready, they placed me with two local women mentors and we set off on an adventure to create a business plan with vision and purpose. These ladies were remarkable on their desire to uplift me when I was feeling discouraged and afraid of the unknown. As we worked through the finance side, they brought in someone to help. Knowing your limits and asking for assistance is key for success in all areas of your life. Once I was ready to open, these ladies emailed and called me with encouraging words and have come to my events or sent gifts along the way these last 2 years. 

I would not be as confident as I am now if it were not for SCORE and their mentors. This company understands all aspects of opening and running a business, including the emotions involved when you decide to be a risk-taker. I recommend SCORE to anyone thinking about opening a business or have been in business for years. You will find invaluable support, business direction and financial spreadsheets that could bring you many more years of success.”

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

Woman at work counter"Through these last 3 years, I have a few words of advise for anyone dreaming of owning their own business: 1) Write down your ideas (all details) because this helps make the dream a reality 2) pray until you know what God wants from you and when you should move on your dream 3) seek out advice from a local agency (SCORE) and other business owners (they do know best) 4) research, research, research 5) create a circle of friends who will offer advice and give support to your dream. Through all this, remember that a business owner is a risk taker and some risks do not last very long. When you have taken the risk, no matter how long your business stays open, know that you dared to do what most won’t! Be proud of that! I am proud of the risk I took!"