Today's blog is dedicated to our remarkable manager, Alexis Lemoine. Alexis manages Beausoleil Books and The Whisper Room full time, so if you stop by then you are likely to see her mixing cocktails or creating beautiful book displays. We asked her a few questions so we could get to know her a bit better:
What has been your favorite thing about process of opening the store?
I have loved so many parts of the store, but I’d have to say my favorite thing is the creative process and being a part of the community. To be specific, I love the opportunities for growth that I gain from this job. I’m always being challenged to push myself to do things I have always dreamt of, but felt I was too fearful or not good enough to do them. Now, I just do it and then reflect back and feel incredibly proud of myself and fulfilled from these experiences. I’ve really enjoyed sharing what I love about literature with people as well as the creative process behind making this business an enjoyable space and a “destination spot” for the community. It gives me a deep satisfaction to be a part of the community in this way where I can give the people of Lafayette a really great experience and safe space to be themselves, as well as paying attention to the details of every aspect. From the books we curate, the ingredients in each cocktail, how we treat others, down to taking pride in keeping a clean and happy home.
What are you most excited about for the store’s future?
I am most excited to see how we evolve as a business and as a part of the community. I hope to see us continue to be a space for writers and other creatives to come and share their work and art. I look forward to seeing the people here, enjoying themselves, and embracing one another — maybe even having hard conversations that lead to personal growth and expansion. I hope that we can play a role in the growth and development of Louisiana culture & shine light on the importance of healing, love, support, and staying woke! I am excited for how we can help educate others, and continue to learn. I am currently most excited for our Pride Event because we will be celebrating what it means to be a part of and in support of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re not just throwing a big party (although, get ready because it’s going to be LIT), but we want to make it known that we are a safe haven for anyone who feels shame for being who they are. I’m eager knowing that we are here and we are okay with having the tough conversations that will hopefully, ultimately lead to growth, healing, and positive change.
Are you excited about any particular artist whose work is in the store?
I really enjoy Rachel Perry’s work because it’s so thoughtful, and perfectly captures Cajun culture. I love how clean her art looks, and all of the beautiful colors that she implements. It just pops and is a perfect depiction of our gorgeous landscape.
Which upcoming book releases are you most anticipating?
My own *winks* and Ocean Vuong’s novel that I’d like to think he’s working on. I am obsessed with him. I will always be in awe of his brilliance, compassion, and poetic storytelling.
What’s your favorite place to eat downtown?
Scratch Kitchen. Hands down the BEST food in Lafayette.
What, in your opinion, makes Beausoleil Books a unique place for guests compared to big box stores?
Beausoleil Books is unique because there’s this sense of freedom that I get from being here. With this refreshing sense of freedom, it makes all the difference in how we are able to run our business. I think that makes your experience here, as a guest, more personal and inviting. We also host so many options. You have the ability to make this a great place for your family to come and visit - bring the kids to pick out books, drink coffee, and sit and enjoy a relaxing moment in your cozy local bookstore. Then you also have the option to enjoy a nice lounge bar with craft cocktails, hand-picked wines, and charcuterie boards. I’d say that our entire business caters to a variety of people while retaining a personal touch and that’s what makes it so special. We also host many events such as poetry night, ArtWalk, book signings & lectures, book club meetings, knitting club meetings, a meeting of moms who get together to support each other through motherhood, and much more. I think this is what really allows us to stand out and cater to readers, writers, creatives, mental health advocates, and much more. Also, we are the only bookstore/bar in the state — which is very cool.
When you aren’t working on Beausoleil-related things, what do you love to do?
When I’m not here at work, you will find me eating dinner and out dancing with friends, on a camping trip or some type of adventure, or curled up on my couch with my roommate's dog watching Brene’ Brown or BroadCity. I really love to be surrounded by my friends and family, cooking or having really deep conversations. Those moments mean the most to me.
Jefferson Street Journal is Beausoleil Books's online blog for book reviews, news, and more!