We had a great time yesterday! The Golden Cactus/Foot Hut/Gatewood Rose patio is one of my favorite places in town. It's a beautiful space with great art work and a welcoming layout. It's exactly the kind of place I wish had existed when my own kiddos were little; a place where my kiddos were comfortable and entertained, and we could grab great beer and food. Now that my kiddos are older, Saturdays are often busy, usually with soccer in the fall, so Sunday brunch time is perfect. Selling books is a side-hustle here and one of my favorite things to do is help connect folks of all ages to the right book. Yesterday my sweet friend called me a "book concierge" and if that's not Life Goals, I don't know what is.
I loved connecting with new and returning customers yesterday. One sweet family bought a book that is brand new to my shelves, Blue Ridge Babies 1, 2, 3, for their little guy, who then choose a new Indestructible baby book for his baby sister, due this fall. These books are my favorite recommendation for baby showers and gifts for little ones. They are meant to be tugged, hugged, squished in toddler fists. They can get wet and be shoved into bags, and they're only $5.95.
I also had a great conversation with a new customer who is looking to learn more about ways to support her biracial son and his growing family. Conversations about the history of racism in the United States can feel tricky, but there are lots of great resources out there. We carry lots of books that address these topics in our store, as well as prioritizing authors and characters of color. I was able to recommend Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide by Britt Hawthorne. We also sold another copy of Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race; these First Conversation books (there are three available now-- race, gender and consent; a fourth is coming out in December) are based on research on the best ways to talk about social justice with little ones (start early-- toddlers are ready!). These books can provide the info families need to start the conversation, even if feels hard.
We've now sold several copies of The More You Give and our last one was scooped up early yesterday (don't worry-- we're reordering!). If you're like me and The Giving Tree always made you feel a little sad, The More You Give is the antidote. Always high on our recommendation list are The Magnificent Makers series and The Unicorn Rescue Society. We try to keep the first in these series on hand but can always bring others if requested. The Magnificent Makers is an awesome STEM-focused series for ages 6ish-10ish and include science projects to do at home. Adam Gidwitz, author of URS, is a personal favorite. We've read all of his books and love to recommend them to others.
Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday! It means a lot to see so many friendly faces (seriously, I have such a great group of friends who show up for me!) and to talk with returning and new customers. I've added a few books to my own to-read list (including Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse) and can't wait to do it again! And thanks to Food Hut Roanoke, Busted Possum Thread, Resin Moon Designs and Isha Devine for the invite. We adore you all and can't wait to do it again soon!
1. The awesome Golden Cactus/Foot Hut/Gatewood Rose patio during set-up.
2. Brunch! Iced coffee and a trio of donuts from RND and uuuhh-mazing chicken and waffles from Food Hut.
3. A beermosa from Golden Cactus. Hands down, this is the best way to drink beer :)
4. Two pups meeting; I'm fairly confident they were discussing book recommendations.
5. A sweet old pup hanging out in his owner's backpack. I love that this space is dog-friendly!
6. A new tumbler from Isha Devine, one of the vendor hosts. Did I need a new cup? Yes. Of course.
7. A hydrangea necklace from Resin Moon Designs. Lindsey is such a talented artist and I've been looking for a gold necklace to buy (I've always worn silver and am trying to expand my horizons). This delicate charm is a single blue hydrangea petal that I kept my eye on all day.
8. Fiiiiiiinnnnnaaalllly adding a Busted Possom Threads hoop to my collection. Lena is the coolest and I'm ordering custom hoops as holiday gifts!
9. Flower stand with Fae Cottage Flower Farm. I bought two bouquets and displayed them on my table because my mama taught fresh flowers make everything better. I had them wrapped up at the end of the day and delivered one of those bouquets to my mama. The other is now on my table and I can confirm that my messy kitchen is made better because of those flowers.
10. The view from our shop.
11. The view of our shop.
12. A visit from My Vest Best Customer, B. Seriously, this kiddo is awesome and I love talking books with him. Yesterday, he took home a copy of Creature of the Pines, book 1 in the Unicorn Rescue Society, and a Paint-By-Sticker Halloween book.
13. My friends Callie and Adam stopped by with their new doggo, Sophia! They picked up a few books, including You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!, by Alex Gino.
14. It's me! Sweaty and happy at the end of an awesome Sunday brunch.
Happy Labor Day!