I'm LeAnne Woolf, owner of Soda Mountain. I first moved to Sumpter when I was one year old. When I was almost 19, I went away to college. Life happened for 29 years. Now I'm back for good, where I've wanted to be for a very long time.
My heart lies in Sumpter, Oregon, a reformed ghost town in Baker County in eastern Oregon. Eastern Oregon is a wide, open place, with mountains, deserts, lakes, and sky. Lots of blue sky.
March 18, 2012, marked the first anniversary of having real walls. You see, the business started as a clearance site at the Sumpter Flea Market for a closed pet store about 12 miles east of Seattle. I'm always looking for good ideas of items to carry for the animal companions in your life, so the variety of what's on the shelves changes and grows often. You can keep an eye out for changes on the Soda Mountain Facebook page.
While Soda Mountain started up to handle pet supplies, there were also two other arms to the business: Stitchery and Publishing. The Stitchery aspect was more fully developed, with hand-crafted afghans and art sweaters available. For Publishing, I have developed a few postcards. Original books are on the slate, too.
Since opening, I've discovered I need more arms (and, yes, take that as many different ways as you like). The official fourth arm is Gifts. I carry the work of local authors and books about local history.
And the name? No, it has nothing to do with soda water or soft drinks--and the atlas I checked didn't list a Soda Mountain; although, I see there is now one outside Ashland, OR. Soda is a simplified spelling of the council of bad guys (Saodir) in a novel that won me my first payment for writing (prize-winning, unpublished author). I also love the mountains, so Mountain had to be in the name. Why not name it for the heroine of the novel? If you think pronouncing Saodir day after day could be tough, imagine using Shanaralaihathiti on your letterhead.
Back in 2005, this is what my set-up at Sumpter's Flea Market looked like. By 2010, we had a better shelter and 600 sq ft of merchandise.
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In February 2011, I purchased walls that didn't have to be folded at the end of every Market.
Opening week/weekend was Fri, Mar 18, to Mon, Mar 21. By the end of Mon, I was pretty well set up.
And now I've had a 5th Anniversary in my store and the expansion of the selection in here never stops, no matter how hard I try to tell myself there's just no room for more!