Porchlight Book Company is proud to be a woman-owned company. Here in Milwaukee, we’re also lucky to be in company with a growing number of fellow woman-owned bookstores. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to highlight these community change-makers.
2421 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee WI 53207
Open Mondays through Wednesdays (11am – 5pm) Thursdays and Fridays (11am – 6pm) Saturdays (10am – 6pm) and Sundays (10am – 5pm)
Shelly McClone-Carriere and Cris Siqueira started Lion’s Tooth as a pop-up shop in 2019 before opening their storefront on March 19, 2021. Their bookstore café stocks titles from indie presses, zines, and a wide selection of comics for all ages. They frequently partner with local artists and recently announced the Dandelion Comics Residency, which supports one emerging cartoonist each year in the production of a mini comic project.
Photo courtesy of Lion's Tooth.
How did your bookselling journey begin?
I (Cris) used to have a bookstore in Brazil in the 1990s - it was a tiny room above a cyber café and it was a mix of art comics for adults and indie art, not unlike Lion's Tooth, except we carry a lot of radical nonfiction too, plus books for kids and adults. Our motivation is to offer titles that are hard to find and provide a diverse and inclusive space.
We first came up with Lion's Tooth as a project in January 2019. We opened the LLC in July and started making pop-up appearances around town. In 2020 we debuted a book and graphic novel subscription (still active to this day) as a crowdfunding effort. The goal was always to open a physical location, but those plans were delayed by the pandemic and we didn't open our doors to the public until March 2021.
What are your favorite aspects about being a bookseller?
We love connecting with the customers and making recommendations. It is amazing to have a reader tell you they enjoyed the book you recommended and come back for more. The store is small and highly curated, so we like every title we carry. It is incredible to be surrounded all day by our favorite authors and artists.
What are some challenges you’ve faced as a bookseller?
To all potential/future booksellers out there: you better love opening boxes if you choose this profession! But seriously, boxes aside, bookselling is such a labor of love. Owning a bookstore in particular isn't for the faint of heart. It's a constant struggle and we depend on support from the community. Even if you don't buy anything, showing up for author events, for example, makes a huge difference. We also wish more people knew how damaging Amazon is, in general, but even more so to bookstores. Please go to brick-and-mortar shops or choose Bookshop.org if you need to buy a book online.
What’s one book you’d like to recommend to readers right now?
Why Don't You Love Me? by Paul Rainey (Drawn & Quarterly, ISBN 9781770466319). Already one of our favorites of 2023. Nothing is what it seems in this graphic novel! We can't say much without spoiling the story for you. So dive in blind and be ready to be surprised multiple times by how the plot unfolds. Absolutely mandatory, seriously, go read it right now (and then tell us what you thought!).
Photo courtesy of Lion's Tooth.
Support Lion's Tooth by shopping in-person, on their website, or via their Bookshop.org storefront.