Why did you choose to start your business in Baltimore?
AB: In many ways I feel that Baltimore chose me. We are an incredibly bookish town and I couldn’t imagine a better place to start this venture. Baltimore has cultivated so many literary heroes like James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe and Ta-Nehisi Coates. The United States’ 14th Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, was the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Library here in Baltimore for over 25 years. We are also home to printers and publishers I admire like Time’s Printers and Black Classic Press. It’s a great feeling to think that we might have a hand in the journey of a budding author, playwright, artist, or avid journaler.
How has your community/neighborhood contributed to your success?
AB: The city has inspired . . . Drama MaMa Bookshop in so many ways. Every week at the farmers market someone tells me about how they use our journals or about how someone . . . responded after receiving a journal as a gift. These stories have always been what keeps me going.
Where do you recommend a visitor go for an authentic Baltimore experience?
AB: Check out . . . The Baltimore’s Farmers Market & Bazaar and the 32nd Street Farmers Market for good food and great people. Definitely go see the murals around the city and in Graffiti Alley in Station North. Check out Open Works; it’s a pretty cool makerspace with a phenomenal mission. Go to The Baltimore Museum of Art and fall in love with everything. Vibe out at Dovecote Cafe, have one of the best cocktails of your life at Sugarvale, go smell the roses at Baltimore Blossoms Studio, shop ‘til you drop at Keepers Vintage with Knit Soy and Metal. And definitely check out Made In Baltimore and all the fly-ness Baltimore has to offer.
(This interview has been condensed; portions of it have been edited for clarity)