Sisters Bea and Leah Koch are fond of romance, but they know the genre is often associated incorrectly with sad, lonely women.
“I think all of the stigma around romance comes from men,” Leah says. “There was an entire generation of men who seemed very threatened and freaked out by the notion that women would have .. .an entire genre all to themselves.”
With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Koch sisters opened The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles to show a bright and beautiful love for the romance genre. The store is filled with rows of both new and vintage books, art made from ripped pages and a crown-topped cardboard cutout of Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And the store isn’t just for browsing and shopping — it aims to build a community of romance enthusiasts through author talks, book clubs and comedy nights.