Having been under new management since October 8 2014, and now that we have an official fresh start with the beginning of a new challenge - 2015 - first off, I suppose we better introduce ourselves!

My name is Serena Maree, I am 20 years old, and I am the new owner of The Book Exchange secondhand book shop in Glen Eden, Auckland, New Zealand. I finished high school with NCEA Level 3, and - in 2013 - graduated from Yoobee School of Design with a diploma in Computer Graphic Design (something I thought I'd love, but it turns out it's not really my cup of tea).
I am interested a lot in the business aspect of this new venture, and am really enjoying this opportunity to get back into books, after giving them a good break since the end of Harry Potter. I play the guitar and the piano, and enjoy coffee and art.

My pretty much official Assistant Manager is one of my younger sisters, Kaitlyn Rose. She's 19, finished high school with NCEA Level 3 and is now at UNITEC studying a Bachelor of Science in Animal Welfare and Management. A bit more of a bookworm, Kaitlyn has been reading (and writing!) her entire life - Hopefully she can get more into the blog side of things for the shop, and write you guys some super blog posts. She's going to be doing a column or two in the local rag (the Glen Eden Voice, who did a cover on us when we first bought the place - thanks to their lovely editor David), so hopefully that will pop up now and again on this page.

I used to think perhaps utilising this blog as a website might work, or maybe just doing the casual book review might be interesting, but there has to be something to tie that all together - I figured, why not give you running commentary?

So this blog is going to turn into a bit of a behind-the-scenes sneak peak at my journey running my own business, being the youngest business-owner in Glen Eden - taking a leap of faith into the big bad world and learning from all my mistakes.

Thank goodness this what-seems-to-be-rocky start hasn't been worse - I am so so blessed to have an absolutely brilliant lawyer (David J Brown & Associates), an incredible supportive family (our parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins... did I mention my sister is effectively my manager?), beautiful friends who keep me from stressing out for no particular reason, and an amazing, amazing local community.

Next time, when it's not late at night and I'm not awake trying to think of new ways to change around the shelving, I'll lay out some photos and more interesting things. "Before" photographs have officially been taken - let's see how long it'll take before we can get some "after"'s!

Happy Holidays everybody,

S x