Faces in focus: Flexibility of bookstore helped co-owner find her niche | NevadaAppeal.com

Faces in focus: Flexibility of bookstore helped co-owner find her niche

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Leanne Lowe, manager and part owner of Westside Ink - Books, Pie, Art in Carson City, grew up with six siblings in a home where reading was encouraged. Lowe also attended Fremont Elementary School, where her husband now teaches. BRAD HORN/ Nevada Appeal

Leanne Lowe has had several careers in mind for herself, but it’s in a quaint bookstore at 710 N. Curry St. that the 39-year-old has found her niche.

As manager of Westside Ink – Books, Pie, Art bookstore, Lowe is at home surrounded by shelf upon shelf of books, feeding her love of reading. A far cry from the optometrist or chemist she once thought she wanted to be.

“I had all these ideas,” she said. “But I really love it here. I love books. I would say my passions are my family and books.”

Lowe’s good friend Diane McEachin is a co-owner of the bookstore, along with Bob Skundberg. Lowe has been with them since the store opened in April 2005.

“Bob is our book guy, Diane is the creative influence, and I do the nuts-and-bolts kind of stuff. And I love it. I absolutely love it.”

Lowe also loves the flexibility of the job. She is allowed to take her daughters Regan, 5, and Samantha, 9, into the store. And David, her husband of 15 years, David, comes in to visit and help out.

Lowe’s credits her mother in-law, Cordy Athena, with encouraging her to follow her dreams.

“She pushes me to do the things I want to do,” she said. “Things I dream of or really have a desire for,” like playing guitar.

Lowe plans to cut her hours back to part-time so she can learn to play guitar.

“This is the most fun job I’ve ever had,” she said.

Lowe grew up in Carson City with her parents Dave and Margaret Brode and six siblings. She attended Fremont Elementary School, where her daughters now go to school. She graduated from Carson High School in 1985.

And what does Lowe enjoy reading?

“Right now, I’m reading Anne Rice’s ‘Pandora,'” she said. “I also like Dean Koontz. Stuff that goes down easily. I’m also reading ‘How to Mother a Successful Daughter’ on how to raise my girls right, and self-interest stuff. It’s fun.”

Whether helping a shopper find the right book, serving a slice of pie or cup of coffee, or talking about the eclectic art pieces in the shop, Lowe is in her element.

“I would say it is the variety of people I get to meet and talk to who make this job so great. We get all kinds of out-of-towners – I’ve met people from all over the world.

“This shop is like its own little sitcom. It’s great fun.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.