man in brown crew neck t shirt and blue denim jeans holding black and white book

Femme Fire Books: a company built from the ground up  

Story by: Grae Barron  

Femme Fire Books is built on the mission of spreading diverse joy to readers around Jacksonville, but it didn’t start with multiple employees and a store front.  

The small bookstore started online as a way to share books written by and for diverse audiences. As COVID continued to spread around the world, it became a way for founder Vanessa Nicolle to share her love of reading to like-minded people.   

As the world calmed, Femme Fire Books made its way into pop-up markets in 2021. Enjoying the face-to-face interaction is something Nicolle said sparked her interest in opening a brick-and-mortar location.   

“So just seeing the joy on people’s faces when they pick up a book is, like, really cool,” she said. “That’s what gets me into work every day.”  

When the storefront opened Jul. 2022, Nicolle needed help to continue fostering the community. Employees were hired to continue going to the pop-up markets and help run the store.  

Company logo inside the brick-and-mortar location. Photo by Grae Barron 

Lindsey Cotti is one of those employees. Cotti works as the event bookseller for Femme Fire Books. She saw the mission of the company as something she wanted to be a part of. To spread the love of reading, Cotti goes to the pop-up markets with a small selection of what Femme Fire has to offer.  

“I participate in the markets that we do, both here and off-site as well. A lot of pop-ups or big neighborhood markets and things like that,” she said.  

Cotti shared her pride in the community surrounding Femme Fire Books, because although it is a small store, it has shown so many people that they are represented in literature.   

Starting as an online store, Femme Fire Books has come a long way and continues to share a diverse and inclusive environment for everyone.