Hand-sewing project with 4-H Sewing Group and tend to the Museum gardens.
White Squirrel Shoppe
Founded in 1989
Same owner since founded
Donna E. Stout, President
I first heard about Transylvania County when I was sitting on an Advisory Board for the U.S. Forest Service at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. At that time I was working for the PCOA (Presidential Commission on Outdoor America under President Reagan) I remember sitting in this room and seeing “Transylvania County, western North Carolina; 250 waterfalls, 250 miles of French Broad River, 45% owned by the Federal Government” It was like a light bulb went on and I decided to explore this area, as a place to retire. When I came here to visit, I also found Brevard College. I enrolled my youngest daughter in that college. At that time it was a 2 year college with 850 students. I have slept many a night on the floor of Beam Dorm when visiting my daughter. I moved here after my daughter received her AA degree and went on to another college. My family still laughs today, that my daughter went to college here, but mom stayed. I came here in 1987 to retire, after two years of retirement I decided to open the White Squirrel Shoppe to give me something to do in retirement. There were two white squirrels playing outside the shop, when I was remodeling the building, I felt that was an omen to call it the White Squirrel Shoppe.
When the shop first opened I had 90% antiques and 10% new merchandise. Today I have 90% new merchandise and 10% antiques. We also started with 2000 sq. ft. of retail and today we have 4000 sq. ft. We also put a 12’ waterfall in our shop and a cabin façade to coincide with the “Land of the Waterfalls”.
We now have on-line shopping and have been extremely successful for the last 22 years. We have scaled down our employees since the drop in the economy. We normally had 9 part time and 3 full time employees, today we have 5 part time and 1 full time employee. The shop has received “Retailer of the year” from Transylvania Economic Development Committee, also was chosen as one of the top 25 retailers in the US from the trade magazine GIFTS AND DECORATOR. And the owner received entrepreneur of the year in 2010 in Transylvania County.
We are “going green” much of the merchandise is recycled, from jewelry made of recycled soda cans to vases of recycled marble. We also give an eco friendly bag to all purchases over $50. The customer brings the bag back to receive 10% discount, so we don’t have to use our bags.
Currently we carry home accessories, pictures, lamps, a large supply of Amish furniture made in Pennsulvania, a large “white squirrel” department from tee shirts, soap, candles, magnets, note cards etc. etc, a Bath and Body dept., we have the largest selection of candles and accessories in the area, Yankee Candles, Byers Choice, Lodge dept., and garden center.