We had the good fortune of connecting with Gene Hayworth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gene, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For me, risk is essential. Without trying new things we cannot move forward. Everyday we are faced with new decisions, and it is easy to sit back and let life happen–but that is not a life worth living.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My two businesses, Inkberry Books and Owl Canyon Press, complement each other very well. I started the press in 2011 and there are over 30 titles in the catalog.
I opened the bookstore in 2018. We sell both new and used books and we host artists, writers, and musicians for events at the store each month. We have a monthly book club, a play reading group, and German and Italian language discussion groups. We like to think of the bookstore as our community hub. Like most businesses, the pandemic hit us hard, but readers are slowly returning to the store and we have begun to have in-person events again. In 2021 my partner and I also kicked off the new Niwot Jazz festival, and we are in the process of organizing the 2022 festival scheduled for June 25.
There is a song in the Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George, that has a line: “The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not. You have to move on.” That line gets to the heart of what I have learned about business (and life) — don’t let any opportunity pass you by. Sometimes you make the wrong choice, but you will never know if you don’t try.
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?
It’s incredible that within 30 miles of Niwot, Colorado, there is something for everyone. I’ve had visitors who love butterflies, art, jazz, hiking, skiing, tea, rafting, cycling, elephants, mummies, and craft beer, If I had a guest who left the day up to me, I’d probably start with a visit to Idaho Springs for a soak in the pool, followed by a long visit to Central City (I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for slot machines). A walk around Central City, to see the opera house and all the beautiful old buildings, and then a tour of Hidee gold mine.
We’d need a day to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad and visit the shops in Georgetown, then stop for lunch at The Alpine Restaurant and Bar, followed by a hike at Red Rocks. It would be hard to choose a place for dinner because there are so many wonderful choices, but I’d suggest Mateo in Boulder, or perhaps Chautauqua dining hall. One night we would definitely have to go up to the Gold Hill Inn for dinner and if it’s a warm summer night, start with drinks outside. Other places we’d dine that week would be the 1914 House in Niwot, followed by drinks at Wheelworks; lunch at the Dushanbe Tea House, and a meal on the rooftop at Flavor of India in Longmont. I love to cook, so we’d probably spend a few nights at home sitting around the kitchen with a nice bottle of Bordeaux (or two) while I cooked up a good Meditaranian or German meal.
A walk along the Boulder Creek path or a tubing adventure could be fun and it’s always great to show friends from out of town the Boulder Public Library. I’d also plan to take them on a Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour, If it was August or September, we’d definitely have to spend a Thursday night at Rock ‘n Rails.
Since opening Inkberry Books we’ve made a lot of fantastic friends here at the bookstore, and I’d have to plan a party at the bookstore to include them all. shout out to Jim Ringel, Chris Teta, Terri Thjayer, Sarah Cioni, Satir DeMarco, Elizabeth Morrow, and all the other cool folks in Niwot!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Through his unwavering faith in my imagination and my determination to succeed, Keith Waters, my partner of 43 years, has given me the courage and confidence I needed to succeed in realizing my most inconceivable dreams. Perhaps the second most important person in my life was my high school art teacher, Judy Morgan, who inspired me to believe I had the ability to be more than the frozen food manager at Winn Dixie; she convinced me I could be the first in my family to attend college and helped me discover that there was an amazing world out there beyond the confines of my little North Carolina tobacco town.
Other: The YouTube channel was created by my alter ego, Naizbat Mapache. A long story. They are mostly silly videos created for my dear friend (since 6th grade) Kathy Bowlin. There are also several links for Owl Canyon Press: www.owlcanyonpress.com https://www.facebook.com/owl.canyon.press/ https://www.facebook.com/owl.canyon.press/ https://twitter.com/owlcanyonpress?lang=en https://www.instagram.com/owlcanyonpress/?hl=en
Gene Hayworth, Keith Waters, Johnna Elliott