Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Woman's Prerogative Bookstore

A Woman's Prerogative
A Woman's Prerogative Bookstore

Location: 179 West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, Michigan, USA

Opened: 1992

Closed: 2005

One of the many women's bookstores that have been lost over the years. From PrideSource Between the Lines:

A Woman's Prerogative to close after 13 years
By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman

Originally printed 6/9/2005 (Issue 1323 - Between The Lines News)

FERNDALE - After thirteen years, Ferndale's women's bookstore will be closing its doors this month.

Authors Auden Bailey, Therese Szymanski,
Marianne Martin, Karin Kallmaker, and Kelly Smith
at A Woman's Prerogative Bookstore 
"My first priority was to find someone to keep the store open as 'A Woman's Prerogative Bookstore' in order to continue serving the community," said owner Amy Blake. "If there was anyone in the community who was going to step up to the plate, they had six months to do it."

Blake said she originally decided to sell the store because it was time to move on.

Stephanie Newman, the events coordinator for the Triangle Foundation, was disappointed by the news.
"I'm upset about it because it's been such an icon to our community and such a place of refuge to the women of our community," she said. "It's been a pivotal point of feminism, and it's just this amazing place."

Though saddened by news of the store's closing, Newman had kudos for Blake.

"I'm happy for Amy that she is going on to other things that she wants to do in her life," Newman said. "She has dedicated her entire life to that store, to this community. She has been a shining example of involvement - she's not been partisan at all to any group. She's been involved in everything, and she's helped all of us so much that we all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude."

"You can't even fathom the amount of money she has raised for this community," Newman added.

Alice McKeage, a long-time customer and community activist, was also upset by the news.

"I am deeply distressed to see A Woman's Prerogative close. It has been much more than a bookstore to many of us," she said.

Both Newman and McKeage have fond memories of the store.

"It was the first gay place I ever walked into," Newman said. "I had no idea where gay people hung out or where I could meet another lesbian, and Amy was there with a welcoming smile, pointing me in the right directions. I'm sure many people bought their first rainbow sticker there."

McKeage added, "It was always a source of community information, and of course a place to run into friends and get those much-needed hugs. It was also a good place for me to get support. I bent Amy's ear on a number of occasions, and she always made time for me and offered encouragement."

"We'll never get that personal touch at Borders or Barnes & Noble. Nor will we get the selection of lesbian and gay literature carried by A Woman's Prerogative," McKeage added.

As for her plans for the future, Blake said she would be "spending the next three and a half months in Maui and will be deciding from there."

An exact closing date has not been set, but the store will begin selling off inventory and furniture this month, Blake said. She added that gift certificates will be honored until the store closes, and asked that anyone with items on consignment make arrangements to pick them up.

A Woman's Prerogative is located at 175 W. Nine Mile Rd. in Ferndale. For more information call 248-545-5703.

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