Philip Rafshoon wanted to open a gay bookstore. He went through all the normal challenges of starting a business but the most difficult was one he certainly wasn’t expecting.
When I went to approach the landlords I would say, “Hey I’m opening a bookstore.” They would show me the space and show me all around and at the end I would say, “By the way, it’s a gay bookstore.” And they would go, “Ohhh, no, we don’t think that would work in this space.” This would happen over and over again.
It wasn’t until Philip starting being open and honest upfront that doors started opening for him.
All of a sudden doors opened to me. The first place I looked at the people wanted me there and they wanted the store there. The next place I looked at they wanted it even more and I was able to go out and find the space I wanted on the third try. … I kind of learned from that experience that if you’re up front about who you are, not just being out to yourself, but being open about it and feeling positive about it, that it projects. From that point on I kind of learned that just walking with pride and being comfortable with yourself is the key to success.
Continue Reading to watch Philip’s video story.
NOTE: Unfortunately, OutWrite Bookstore has closed since we filmed this story.