We had the good fortune of connecting with Michele Yarbrough and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michele, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Without a doubt the most important factor behind the success of The Armory Bookstore is the fact that we are a business built on my faith in Jesus Christ. It’s a unique niche that has been lacking especially after the closing of all the Lifeway Christian Bookstores in 2019. My faith played the number one role in even attempting this type of business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My story began 30 years ago when I worked at The Christian Armory in Tucker, GA. It was there working under Jim Reimann that my love for christian retail began. I left in 1995 to have my first child and over the years my experiences led me back to christian retail when the dream began in November 2020. I’m most proud of the fact that I acted on the Lord’s prompting to bring back the local christian bookstore in my town of Monroe, Ga at the age of 54. I’m so excited every day to see the local and online support and to see the difference we are making in the community. It has not been easy but I have a tremendous support group through other christian retailers across the country that have years of experience! The fact that we offer bible imprinting has been a huge factor in our success. It’s hard to find that anywhere these days. We also offer hands on customer service and that sets up apart from any big box store or online experience. The story behind The Armory Bookstore is a personal one and I bring that passion to every aspect of the store. My staff does that as well and it makes me very proud to see them offer the best customer service possible.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would advise them to spend the day shopping and have lunch in Downtown Monroe on a patio at one of our amazing restaurants like The Roe. Our downtown is also known for antiques so exploring all the many antique shops is a must. The Monroe Museum is also very interesting and you have to stop by Monroe Center for the Arts! It’s truly the best small town in America and had (has) so much to offer!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I don’t know how to narrow down the people that have made this dream possible. First would be my husband, Dave. He’s my prayer warrior, best friend, furniture mover, and my best cheerleader. Next would be my daughter Jenna. She’s been by my side from the beginning entering product in our living room and continues to work at the store while she purses her degree. This dream would not be possible if it were not for my Mom, Rena Bartlett, my uncle and aunt, Don and Jonnie Adee and my in-laws, Carl and Helen Yarbrough. It truly is a family business.
Stacie Renea Photography, Stephanie Myers, and Rebecca Cone Photography