The Ripped Bodice is just the second romance books only store in the world. Sisters Bea and Leah Koch opened the store after a rousing Kickstarter campaign that launched last November raising nearly $92K, enabling the sisters to open the doors just four months later.
It’s a colorful store, hard to miss in bright pink in Culver, California. The store was started as an answer to many ‘traditional’ bookstores they will not stock romance novels on their shelves, even though the genre accounts for 1/5th of all adult-fiction sales or roughly $1.1 billion dollars annually. They also tend to make romance books difficult to find, and readers can sometimes be treated with disdain for purchasing them.
The sisters want their store to be a romance reader refuge, and have areas set up for multiple romance sub-genres such as; Time-travel, historical, shape-shifter, Young Adult, LGBT, and others. They have created bundled “Romance 101” kits for new romance readers.
They call The Ripped Bodice a “space for women”, although men are welcomed and encouraged to browse the aisles.
They are also featuring many indie authors that other brick and mortar stores refuse to carry, and plan on creating multiple book, author, and other events throughout the year.