Fathers-turned-business-partners, Fearless Cummings and Andile Mahlangeni-Byndon, are prioritizing literacy in their community.
The pair are the founders of 2 Dads and a Bookstore, located at 1015 Galvin Road South in Bellevue, NE. According to KETV-7 in Omaha, they conjured their business plan within 90 days after being fueled by their shared love for reading. They discovered they had that in common during a training session with their former employer.
“Since then, we became good friends and ever since then everything took off,” Mahlangeni-Byndon told the outlet.
2 Dads and a Bookstore was created to serve as a second home to the local community while the owners are also paying it forward.
They say 100% of the proceeds of the nearly 4,000 books shelved in their store are given back to the authors.
“Our bookstore is very unique because we are probably one of the only few stores that give 100% of the revenue that the authors make back to them,” Mahlangeni-Byndon explained to KETV-7. “We just want to give them a place and a platform where they can show their work to the community.”
The outlet notes that the community has embraced Cummings and Mahlangeni-Byndon and is faithfully purchasing books.
Ultimately, the founders’ goal for the bookstore goes beyond vanity metrics such as book sales. They are concerned with creating a safe space for their customers and offer such things as popcorn and blankets in the room so readers can discuss books in comfort, according to WOWT-6 in Omaha.
The pair also plans to host events in the store.
Creating a nurturing environment for children as well is a priority because the founders recognize the transformative potential of books in addressing real-world challenges.
“I think that’s why a lot of bookstores have failed or not have done very well, because they just think, ‘I’m just going to sell books and that’s it,’” Mahlangeni-Byndon told WOWT-6.
Cummings added, “Andile and I believe that no matter what problems you have, there’s not a book out there that couldn’t solve it. If you want to learn anything, there’s a book that can help you. If you’re going through something horrible, there’s 1,001 people who have probably written about it.”