Dominique Lenaye of Stoughton-based Itty Bitty Bookstore, the only Black-owned bookstore in Dane County, hand-selects books with the community in mind. “Itty Bitty Bookstore was created to diversify each and every one of our book collections with authors and characters from different marginalized groups. My goal is for Itty Bitty Bookstore to be a place where we can explore our differences together.” Learn about Dominique Lenaye…
Hometown: Sun Prairie, WI
First job: My first job was at MCV Salon and Spa in Sun Prairie.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: My favorite ways to spend my time are thrifting, trail walking and exploring parks with my family.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I am very proud of many things I have accomplished so far in my life, but I believe my biggest accomplishment is still yet to come.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: I think the biggest obstacle I have overcome is the limiting beliefs I used to hold about my ability as a businesswoman. I am still learning and growing every day, mostly through trial and error but this journey is making me a much better person.
Someone who inspires you and why: I am mostly inspired by a variety of artists and small-business owners. I have always been in awe of people who have an idea for what they would like to do with their lives and completely go after it.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Have fun, be yourself and, if you have an idea, turn it into a plan and go for it.
Favorite quote: That is such a hard question because I have so many favorite quotes but the quote I live my life by is “I can, I will.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I think what most people find surprising about me, seeing as though I own a bookstore, is that I didn’t always love reading. As a child, I was a very slow reader and had a hard time with comprehension. I needed help constantly and was even in a special education reading program until middle school. I knew the words, sometimes, and got the point of the book every once in awhile, but I was so far behind other kids my age that picking up a book felt devastating at times. It wasn’t until I was pushed out of my comfort zone and asked to be a reading buddy for younger students in our school’s reading program that I learned about the magic of reading. It took a lot of practice and patience with myself and others to get to the point in my life that I am at now.
What makes someone fabulous: I think what makes someone fabulous is their ability to combine their strengths and weaknesses in order to create something beautiful to share with the world.