Small Business Salutes

Romance Novel Bookstore Thriving In The Time Of COVID-19

How America's only romance specific bookstore successfully made the switch from IRL to URL.

Bookstores have notably suffered since the rise of e-readership, which makes Ripped Bodice, the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States, an even more delightful success story in the time of COVID-19. The L.A.-based shop, run by sisters Leah and Bea Koch, has been seeing a surprising surge in interest since stay-at-home orders have swept the nation. We spoke with Leah about how Ripped Bodice has been finding innovative ways to connect with customers and what the romance novel landscape will look like on the other side of quarantine.

In our latest series “Small Business Salutes,” Bustle is celebrating small business owners who’ve been going above and beyond to make it work, as the world grapples with ramifications of COVID-19.

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Executive Producer: Whitney Buxton

Executive Creative Director: Lauren Sofair

Supervising Producer: Irina Dvalidze

Director of Photography: Marshall Stief

Design Director: Andenew Ayele

Motion Designer: Jeff Donlan

Editor: Delia Kelly