My name is Susanne Blumer, and I love words. Really love them. I jokingly tell people I’m a storyteller and a storyseller.
Words are magic. You’re reading them right now. They are telling you about me and my life. With words, you can do all sorts of fantastic and wonderful things and go to all sorts of amazing places. Even imaginary ones (and sometimes, those are the best places!).
I write books for young readers. Some on my own and some with my husband, Cole. I used to write with my daughter Annaliese, but she turned into a teenager and lost interest. I’m hoping she circles back around but in the meantime, Piper Periwinkle lives on through me!
I also own two bookstores & toy stores in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. My original store is called Sassafras on Sutton and is in Black Mountain, North Carolina, a magical little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville. A Hallmark movie should be filmed here. It’s that cute. It’s true. It just doesn’t snow enough to be the setting for a Hallmark movie. One floor is a cozy bookstore with a full espresso cafe. The other floor is a chock-full toy store with everything from Legos to Baby goodies.
My latest store is located in another Hallmark-worthy town. Sassafras on Main happily resides on Main Street in Waynesville, North Carolina and is full of all the things kids of all ages love. Same as the OG, we have a floor full of books and a floor full of toys.
Owning a bookstore is as awesome as it seems. Owning a toy store is double awesome. Owning two? Well, I’m blessed.
One of my favorite things to do as a child was go to the library. The smell of all those books just made me so happy. And I could even take them home! Anyone could take them home. You didn’t even have to pay for them. Incredible!
My favorite book was called The Velvet Room. about a young girl and a secret room where she could escape to read and dream. I was a young girl who wanted to escape to a secret room and read and dream. I loved that book and read it so many times! Unfortunately, it’s not in print anymore. I’m old. It happens. Sometimes even the best books go away. Hang onto books you love. You never know what might happen.
Then I fell in love with Trixie Belden and all of her adventures. Y’all, just look at that cover. That is the height of the 70’s right there. The internet says this book was published in 2003, but I can assure you that I devoured these books in 70’s. Sometimes the internet is just plain wrong. Ooooohhhhh….. all the mischief and cases and friends and fun! Who doesn’t want to sneak through that broken fence and hustle on over to that spooky mansion? Me! I do! Such a great series!
I grew up and became a bridal shop owner and a model and a farmer and a mom and wife. I’ve enjoyed every single minute of each of those. But, no offense to my former sheep and chickens, being the proprietor of Sassafras is my favorite so far (besides the wife and mom thing for obvious reasons)! Sometimes I just stand there after everyone has gone home and think, “This is mine. My very own library and just like when I was little, I can take home anything here.” I almost can’t take in how absolutely fabulous it all is, how sparkly the chandeliers, how cozy the seats, how beautiful all those books lining the shelves, how delicious the coffee smells. All of it. Every square inch. God has been very good to me. Then there’s all the toys. Sigh…..
Now I have a son in college and a daughter who will be soon. For some reason, neither one of them is the bookworm I was at that age. I almost take it personally. No, I do take it personally. How did I not pass that gene down to my children? Where did I go wrong?
My son works at our espresso cafe as a barista on his college breaks. We have the best coffee. I know. I drink tons of it. Customers would always ask him what his favorite book was, and he invariably told them that he doesn’t like to read. WHAT!!!!???? First off, your mom owns a bookstore, and you work here. DO NOT tell customers you don’t like to read. How could that be true anyway? Second, just pick a book, any book, and when a customer asks what your favorite book is, say that. That book. His book is Hunger Games. Whatever. It could be worse. Hunger Games it is. I think he’s read it. To be honest, I’m not even sure, but I know he’s seen the movie.
Luckily my daughter does love Harry Potter. She claims she can determine each person’s House just by looking at them. She seems pretty accurate, but since it’s all made up anyway, who can say for sure? She’s a Slytherin. She claims it’s the best House. Doesn’t everyone say that about their House? I took the online test, and it put me in Gryffindor. She refused to have a mom in that House, so now I’m a Ravenclaw. I’m fine with that. Come by either Sassafras on July 31st and help us celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday. We have a full day of activities. SO. MUCH. FUN! We have a whole Harry Potter section in each store, and it’s full of books, tshirts, candy, mugs, candles…. all sorts of Potterhead stuff. We even have a Master Wand Maker create custom wands for us.
That’s probably more than enough about me. Thank you for getting this far. You must love words as much as I do! If you’re ever in Western North Carolina, stop by Sassafras in Black Mountain or Waynesville and say hi. I’d love to meet you!