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hey there!
kate & abbie.

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Most Barcelona winters boast beautiful blue skies, but this February morning felt literally and figuratively gray. Maybe it was the late-arriving sun. Or maybe it was the never-ending plank pose they were currently being forced to hold.


Either way, as Kate and Abbie neared the end of their Wednesday exercise class, both felt a familiar restlessness—that nagging sense that life was trying to change.

Kate loved books—especially those that offered up some unexpected nugget of insight that could challenge your whole mindset.


So as a business school professor, she liked to end the MBA semester with one such tidbit:

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"So, swerve!"
Kate would

Kate was not a natural-born swerver. She'd spent most of her life marching down the “established path,” first as a management consultant and later as a business school PhD student.

But in 2014, a book loosened something in her brain [or heart]:

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So began the release of the grip

and the start of the swerve.

As luck would have it, Kate landed a job at a business school in Spain. In 2016, she and her husband packed up their two young kids and moved to Barcelona.


A brief tug-of-war — between the “established path” and the “things you really care about” — brought them back to the US in 2018. But the latter eventually won out, pulling them back to Barcelona. They permanently re-relocated in 2020. 


Despite all that, the third transatlantic move still wasn't enough to quiet Kate's sense that she needed to swerve—again. The workout class was ending and her mind went back to her job. She knew academia wasn’t her path. . .  

But if not that, then what?


Meanwhile, two meters away on her own exercise mat, Abbie was trying to savor the last of this week's class.


She'd started her own business [an English kids' book subscription] and it turned out one-person start-ups were a lonely business. This class in the park provided a social oasis in her day.

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If so much magic could be packed into a box for little readers, just imagine what’s in sto

Abbie wasn’t always a big reader, but she was definitely a swerver,  game for whatever life threw her way. So when a fiery Sevillana appeared to teach her first Spanish class in college — and mentioned a study abroad program in Pamplona— Abbie was the first to sign up.


One semester turned into three. Undergrad study abroad turned into a Master’s in Madrid. A job interviewer turned into a future colleague, flatmate, lifelong friend—and the matchmaker who would eventually introduce Abbie to her Catalan husband. 

It wasn’t until later that she simultaneously became an avid reader and a mom. In those early days of motherhood, books became an escape—engulfed in plots that crossed continents and cultures, with characters who always swerved...

And now those books were her business:
stacks of them,waiting to be delivered to her subscribers.

As the exercise class came to a close, Abbie was thinking about how she'd spend the rest of the day dutifully packaging and shipping them out — and maybe [probably] having a solo dance party as she did it.


The class ended.


Between winded sips of water, Abbie and Kate [casual acquaintances who small-talked weekly between lunges and squats] struck up a short conversation, which eventually wound its way around to the topic on both of their minds:


What do we do next?

“Sometimes I just daydream about opening a bookshop,” Abbie confessed.

Kate smiled.

“Have time for a coffee?” 

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