Our Origin Story

Posted by Greg Murphy on

We've gotten this question a bunch from folks that are just learning about us. 

This all started during the lockdown

This all came about during the lockdown, which somehow feels like both yesterday and 20 years ago.

I just closed my company Murphy's Used Books, and I was quite the sad sack.

I spent a lot of time in my garage sorting through kids books and trying to figure out what I should do next.

In March of 2020 most of the country started locking down and parents were at home with their kids, myself included.

(Side note: Teachers are rockstars. I would rather do nearly anything else to earn money. Children are terrifying in groups. Like gangs of raccoons, but with more diseases 🤣)

I was a very bad and reluctant homeschool dad, and in the very beginning Sydney just had a bunch of worksheets the schools handed out.

Now this was in the beginning and school administrations across the country were dealing with everything parents were dealing with, plus trying to educate mobs of terrifying children and figuring it all out in real-time.

But for Syd, the print outs were nothing at all. So, we did a lot of reading.

And it turns out, a lot of parent were thinking the same thing.

Parents couldn’t get enough books for their kids that were locked in their homes.

This demand led to us selling over $10,000 a month worth of kids books out of my garage.

I was working 12 hour days 7 days a week in 2020 to keep up with demand, and I was falling behind.

In fact, I only took off work 2 days that year, and neither of those days was Christmas.

I also lost 50 pounds that year from walking an hour a day and working until I couldn’t see straight.

We were lucky enough to rent the empty back half of a warehouse that was deemed essential because they made parts for ventilators and we were essential-ish because we were technically warehousing.

Either way, the feds never came to bust us up and we hired my sister Ashley to run the sortation part the fledgling new company, and we got lucky enough to hire a wonderful woman named Miss Jenn, as our ecommerce manager.

My buddy Sean eventually came back to run the tech side of the company, and I got to play with books :)

Jenn effectively doubled our sales by thinking of new book lots to put together.

A lot of other things happened too, but that’s the gist of it.

And it has all led to right now.

I always try to look at the past as the prologue of my story.

Chapter 1 starts today.

I’m very excited to have you reading this and being a part of what I hope will change the world.

You can learn about our mission here or at www.murphyliteracy.org.

If you’d like to buy some books, you can check out our online store here.

We have volunteer opportunities also for the foundation here :)

Thanks so much for your support and if you are local to Dayton, Ohio, or if you’d like to drive to our city to find a great selection of books, you can join us for our next live sale.

Thanks again,

Greg Murphy


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