The Dancing Dragonfly has unusual gifts

Barbara Hootman

The Dancing Dragonfly opened Feb. 10 at 110 Broadway in Black Mountain with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting and an open house for the public. The gift shop was renovated with 100-percent reclaimed materials.

The gift shop is owned by Norman Gill, Susan Christian, Bland Holland and Michele Ruschhaupt. All four owners bring artistic talents to their roles in creating The Dancing Dragonfly.

“The store is outfitted in 100-percent reclaimed materials from a tobacco barn in Kentucky and an old general store in Texas,” Ruschhaupt said. “There is a business in Austin, Texas called ‘Reclaimed Space.’ We bought the reclaimed materials from them, and they brought them to Black Mountain. We are really pleased with how it turned out.”

Christian will be on site at The Dancing Dragonfly most of the time.

“I retired from the health care business which I loved, and now I am ready to do something else,” she said. “This is my first gift shop, and I am excited. I want local shoppers and visitors to feel that there is always something affordable in our shop that they want. Also, I want people to stop in and visit the shop and tell us what they want.”

The shop got its name from Gill’s mother, whose favorite insect is the dragonfly. “It has an interesting history all the way back to the dinosaurs,” he said, “which we hope will bring us luck to stay around a long time. His art work hangs in the shop, as does that of other local and N.C. artists.

Holland, another member of the ownership team, is responsible for the food products. There are jams, jellies, pickles and much more. He will also be on site most of the time.

“The shop has beautiful locally made crafts,” he said, “like gourds, pine needle baskets, paintings on historic slate tile from the old burned church on Chicken Hill (a historic district of Asheville).”

There is also art by Norman Gill and Kathie Taylor in oils and acrylics. There is pottery by Rob Mantague of Asheville and paper-bound journals by Cheryl DeCristofaro of Fresh Vintage Studios. The jams, jellies and salsa are from Dana Fancy Food and the Sugar Shack in Henderson County. There is also stained glass by Black Mountain artist Barbara Brinson.

The Dancing Dragonfly is open Tuesday-Saturday. Summer hours will be announced later. The business has a Facebook page. Contact it at or 357-9000.