By Erin O’neill
All businesses start somewhere. For Aaron Johnson, it started with boards of wood to build bookcases.
Lawn Gnome Publishing Company, founded by Johnson almost a year and a half ago, started as a publishing company and now carries over 10,000 items and is a full-fledged performance venue and bookstore.
“I just kept buying more books, trading and accepting donations – which we still do,” Johnson said.
During the school year, the store holds weekly events to involve the community. Open mics, live music, storytelling, poetry slam ,and writing workshops all occur during the week.
In the backyard of the shop there is a stage and seats for attendees where performances are held. Ariel Monet, a drummer for the rock band Sister Lip, has been performing at The Lawn Gnome for a while , and now is touring with her band all over North America. “I sell my music here too,” Monet said. It is a five-song EP album. She also works at The Lawn Gnome Publishing Company “sporadically”.
Johnson said it is exciting to be a small business owner. “I get to pick my hours,” he said. “How else can someone have a job like that?”
As for advice for anyone looking into entrepreneurship, Johnson said to stay in the moment and keep creative. “Provide what your customers need,” he said.
The Lawn Gnome is located at 905 N. 5th St. in Phoenix. More information on the company can be found at lawngnomepublishing.com.