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Susie Busch-Transou is transforming the shopping experience at her newly opened retail and event space, Hearth & Soul.

By Courtney Runn, Photos courtesy of Hearth & Soul 

Susie Busch-Transou believes the home is a sacred place. From conversations around the table to gathering for celebrations, community feeds her soul and she wants to extend that to everyone who walks through her store’s doors.

With a background in the hospitality and theme-park industries, Busch-Transou began reflecting on what her next chapter should entail. Her desire to connect people, build community and curate intentional homes led her to create a unique shopping experience at her new retail and event space, Hearth & Soul.

“Gatherings are absolutely part of the core of the concept,” Busch-Transou says. “They allow people to experience new things, reconnect with an old friend or make a new friend. They provide opportunities to feed the soul.”

Not only does her store double as an event venue, but she also designed it to resemble a home. The space is divided into rooms featuring corresponding and purchasable products. From a library to a pet corner to a kitchen, visitors can feel at home while shopping for their homes. Busch-Transou hopes people leave her store inspired to make their own houses homes and empowered to foster their own sense of community. Here are her top tips for entertaining at home.

INVITE PEOPLE IN.

“I feel like it is the people that make a house a home, and friends truly don’t care if everything is perfect. Being relaxed and welcoming is probably the most valuable part of being a happy host. Hearth & Soul is designed to help take the stress out of various aspects of life, whether it be entertaining, finding the perfect outfit or finding a great gift for a friend.”

INVOLVE YOUR GUESTS WHEN MAKING THE FOOD.

“I absolutely love using my Pizza Box [oven] (Spinach and pepperoni on a flat bread is my favorite!), or [the grill-and-cheese prepping device] Swiss raclette…to involve my friends in making their favorite appetizer or dinner. And, for me, pairing both with a cold Budweiser is the best!

DECORATE YOUR HOME AND PLAN PARTIES TO REFLECT WHO YOU ARE.

“What feeds the soul is different for everybody. For me, I love to have a candle burning and a small fresh-flower arrangement on the table whenever possible. I also love having my favorite coffee mug and a cozy blanket to snuggle up in. But for some people, it may be something entirely different. It may be a great piece of art or an amazing cheeseboard with a great glass of wine. It may be an amazing piece of antique furniture or a timeless coffee table or couch. It may be the perfect outfit that gives you confidence and makes you feel special. It may be [gathering]around a bonfire with friends or watching a beautiful sunset. Or, of course, it may be going to a great UT game with a win! We try to offer a wide variety of interesting finds and experiences [at Hearth & Soul]to help answer that question for each of our friends.”

UPCOMING EVENTS AT HEARTH & SOUL

Fall Tablescaping, Nov. 11: Check out this how-to demonstration on creating a unique table setting for fall events.

Holiday Open House, Nov. 15: Explore Holiday at the Hearth with a life-size holiday window, special tastings and offerings throughout the day.

Girls’ Night Out, Nov. 29: Enjoy a night of samplings and shopping with you create your XO list, Hearth & Soul’s everyday personal registry.

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