Georgetown business restarts after Front Street FireClock Tower Books — A Novel Idea Up Front

  • Friday, December 13, 2013

Risk Taking. This was one of the five core values I wore on my employee badge for seven years working at Intel. Of all the values, this one was the one I came to identify with the most. The other four were equally important, but now, years later I’d be hard pressed to name them. Constructive confrontation was one of them; I do remember that one because every year at my evaluation I was reminded of my ‘opportunities for improvement’ in that area. Where I failed and fell short in other values I would excel in risk taking; it was empowering, and sometimes it worked brilliantly, and sometimes it failed miserably, but at least there was the opportunity to take that leap. And by taking a leap, I do not mean jumping out of an airplane, or leaping into a tank with hungry sharks … I mean the figurative leap of faith that one can comfortably and assuredly do after evaluating and calculating risks. Gordon Moore, one of the founders said “Don’t be encumbered by past history. Go off and do something wonderful.” The intent was to challenge employees, and the rest of the high tech community to continue with the progress and soar ahead without the encumbrances of yesterday. This is all applicable not just to giants in the high tech industry, but to businesses of any size, and not just in Silicon Valley, but on historic Front Street in Georgetown where wonderful things are happening.

It’s risky going into business even if you know what you might be getting into like the owners of Doodlebugs, Zest, Colonial Florist and Boardwalk Boutique who were forced to reset, rebuild their inventory and reimagine their new location. But one of their neighbors, Harborwalk Books would take a totally new direction — not just a change of address, but a change of ownership, and now a change of name — Harborwalk Books is becoming Clock Tower Books.

As new owner Michele Overton says, “We loved the name, but now that we’re not located on the Harborwalk anymore, people are having a hard time finding us.” Her husband and co-owner of Clock Tower Books, Dolphin, came up with the name and they both loved it.

Michele is not afraid of taking risks, which is demonstrated by everything new she is taking on. She is new to Georgetown — her husband is originally from Andrews and they moved to the area to be closer to family. A former real estate appraiser, she is new to the world of being an independent bookseller, but she brings some great skill sets that are helping to get Clock Tower Books off to a fantastic start. Her storefront at 105 Screven Street was once a service station, but is now newly painted — inside boasts fresh white walls that allow the books and artwork to take center stage; outside Michele commissioned Asher Robinson to create the beautiful mural of Front Street. She has already had to reimage a new layout — just a few months ago when they purchased the building it was going to open as the “Coastal Postal” — and now she and her husband are the proud new owners of Clock Tower Books, formerly Harborwalk Books. It is a family affair with three generations working together — and in a few months there will even be a new addition — a ‘first edition’ grandbaby! And the Overtons just announced that they will be publishing books and their first book will be “Willie the Wren”, a children’s book by local author Asher Robinson.

For the new owners of Clock Tower Books, everything is new, except their dream of opening a bookstore. A novel idea, right off Front Street — Clock Tower Books at 105 Screven Street. Make it your business to keep it local.

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