The ScholarShop recently celebrated its grand opening in downtown Plano. The store at 1001 East 15th Street, Suite 200 doubles as both a bookstore and a coffee shop.
It has actually been open since mid-summer. The shop was initially conceived as a way to serve students at the adjoining Texas Institute of Professional Psychology, a free-standing institute that offers continuing education programs for mental health clinicians. Shayla Eberst, a development associate at the institute, said the school wanted to find a more creative way to get books to students.
“We didn’t want to have another bookstore or another classroom space like a traditional campus where the majority of the time when classes are not in session those spaces are unused,” she says. “The ScholarShop is a bookstore, but it is also open to the public. We have books that our therapists recommend or refer to clients, and we have the books that your therapist would want you to read.”
All items sold were curated with social awareness in mind. The shop has made a priority of including merchandise that promotes other small businesses, particularly those that are woman and minority-owned. There is also a large selection of items promoting inclusivity.
On many evenings the ScholarShop hosts a wide array of special events. They include everything from a documentary screening and discussion about the dangers of “gay-conversion therapy,” to an upcoming question and answer session with a professional sex therapist dubbed “Talk Dirty to Me.” There will also be bi-monthly continuing education classes, guided meditation sessions, music, games and poetry readings. It’s a diverse lineup all designed to tie back to some aspect of mental health.
“We wanted this to be a very calm space where people can get some work done or they can just take a breather,” Eberst says. “They can just be here and feel like home.”