On Polly Buxton’s first date with her now-husband Julian, she shared her dream of someday owning a bookstore. But with so many factors against it, the couple never spoke of the idea again until years later, when the phone rang, and it was Julian. “He said, ‘Polly, I think I found your bookstore,’” Buxton recalled.
Anne Cleveland, Director of the Charleston Library, had invited Buxton to lease her King Street space because she believed in what the bookstore would bring to the community. “We shared values of getting Charleston on the literary circuit and bringing compelling authors here,” Buxton explained.
Still, it was a risk. The cart came before the horse, so to speak, with the offer happening before Buxton had even made plans. “It was humbling. It took time and patience to build Buxton Books into something unique—and we continue to every day,” she said.
Like most women, Buxton struggles to find work-life balance but finds it a privilege to wake up each day and try again. She credited her grandmother’s memory for keeping her on course. “She was a woman of strength, faith and vision, and she always deeply cared for her family and her community,” Buxton shared.
Having her own vision come to fruition didn’t always seem likely, but Buxton encourages other would-be-entrepreneurs to remain hopeful. She’s had her fair share of hard-earned lessons — days when she couldn’t see what was coming next. “I couldn’t have envisioned it would all come together in this season,” she said.