New Book Store in Bremen - Inspired Books & Giftsby Amy Wenger on July 28, 2014
On an almost relentlessly sunny summer afternoon, when the mercury had crested the 90 degree mark hours earlier, it would have been easy to feel weary, unmotivated, and downright exhausted.
Yet from the observances of an intrigued guest, Michella Smith appeared to be none of those things, as she moved about briskly through one of the most storied buildings in downtown Bremen. While her seemingly overwhelming list of tasks dwindled to near completion, her smile remained broad, her eyes still twinkled, and her enthusiam was palpable and genuine.
For as the community is about to discover, Smith is truly "Inspired."
Her book and gift shop of the very same name will be opening its doors at 118 West Plymouth Street in downtown Bremen on Monday, July 29, with a grand opening and ribbon cutting slated for Tuesday,July 30 at 11 a.m. Smith's merchandise will provide a diverse selection of inspirationally empowering reading materials for every age range, in both new and previously owned formats. "I like to think of our books as helping people to find their moral compasses," Smith smiled. The store's hours of operations will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Inspired will be closed on Sundays.
There will also be unique gift and gallery items, such as home decor and photography, candles, and handcrafted wares, meticulously rendered by local talents. Among the featured artists whose handiwork will be available for sale is James Hurley, a Michigan craftsman who does hand etching on glassware and other items, along with custom designs. Smith also plans to procure other works from area artists, including one who creates shimmed wooden bookmarks embellished with delicate graphics recalling 1850s era Victorian imagery. Smith also offers copies of her own writings, one starring the lovable "Mr. Cabbit" and the adventures soon to be shared in the upcoming book "A Dog Named Zee." Rumor has it that Mr. Cabbit himself is scheduled to be on hand for the opening day fanfare as well.
Of particular interest to Smith is her focus and emphasis on the myriad of ways books and spiritually edifying forms of media can restore a sense of wonderment to children. With those beliefs in mind, Smith has designated several areas of Inspired to be specifically appealing for children, or perhaps also, those young at heart. One room carries a barnyard theme, with handpainted props and scenery providing an appropriate and charming panorama for children's activities. Along with a sprawling, colorful mural that winds along the walls, there will be other areas of the shop that showcase various elements and interests, such as teddy bears and race cars, and a vintage working popcorn machine adds to the festive atmosphere. The rooms can also be rented out for parties and other family-oriented events.
"Our theme for the kids is that it's all about returning joy to the children," Smith says. "Childhood should be about joy and laughter and fun. That's what it's all about."
Smith is a mother herself, so her insights are particularly heartfelt and relevant. Her youngest child is 3 1/2 year old Emily Rose, who is on the autism spectrum and has Down's syndrome. The awareness of what delights children, as well as those with special needs, is a cause that Smith carries very close to her heart.
For those who have used books that they would like to pass along, Smith will have a room set up for both collection and browsing. She will accept items on a consignment basis, through donations, or she will buy a batch outright.
Smith has been astounded thus far by the welcoming and friendly nature displayed by well wishers, and she is eager to embrace Bremen as a place to rise up and move forward both professionally and soulfully. "I am amazed at the warm reception I've had here," she said. "I want to celebrate with this community. I want to celebrate life. That is the purpose of my being here."
To reach Smith, and to place inquires about any aspect of her new business, she can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The second part of her user name is correct in its spelling, "spreag," as a nod to her Celtic heritage. It means, as one might expect, "inspired."