STELLARTON – Jason Stuart knows that starting his own small business comes with perils and pitfalls, even when the economy is in great shape.
Jason Stuart is pictured at his comic book store in Stellarton. The business has been open for about three weeks. KEVIN ADSHADE/THE NEWS
“I’ve been talking about doing this for the last seven years,” Stuart said of Fly By Knight, a comic book and collectibles store he opened in late January on Foord Street in Stellarton.
“Me and my friends were always complaining about having to go to Halifax or Truro to go to a comic books store. I kept saying it’s not the time, but eventually I figured there might never be ‘a good time’ for it, so I just did it. I felt like I was diving it, feet-first.”
Although he was denied every grant and loan that he applied for, Stuart pressed on, and with the help of Northern Opportunities for Business (NOBL), he’s taking weekly courses that provide him with the skills and knowledge on the various aspects of running a business.
Other than that, “I just decided to do it myself,” said the 28-year-old, who grew up in Pictou County. “And it’s been busier than I thought it would be.”
He doesn’t just deal in comic books (he has the big ones on the rack – IDW, Marvel and DC, with Superman, Batman and The Amazing Spider-Man and some other titles that aren’t widely-known except to the serious comic book collectors), but T-shirts, hats, figurines and other items related to comic books and pop culture are for sale.
Stuart said he relies on Facebook and word of mouth to help get his business out in the public consciousness.
He has a couple of tables set up in his shop, and people can come in and play board games. He said there are a lot of people who are into the types of things he offers and he gives them a chance to “come in and meet each other.”
The world of comic books can get in a person’s blood and the genre is not just for children, either.
“There’s a 16-year-old kid who comes in every week and I have an 80-year-old man who’s collecting. It’s right across the board.”