Meet our Staff

FLOSSIE, BUNNIE, & SCOUT

Flossie and Bunnie are the well-loved mother and daughter duo running the show here at Union Avenue Books.

The love for the art of words began young, as Flossie grew up in a house where the walls were filled with books, and as a child would play pretend bookstore with her sister among other silly games. Having always been around books, she knew she wanted to open a bookstore, and decided her hometown, Knoxville, would be the best place for it. 

Bunnie and Flossie have been going on their 10th year here -- the little feisty store mascot Scout has been there for five of those years, barking at the bikes and scooters zooming by, but making up for it by being the cutest one in the store. 

Flossie has always been in retail, and she decided she wanted to work at a bookstore in the 90’s. Sheila, another current member of the Union Ave staff, was right there with her as well. The first one that she was at closed in 2000, and afterwards She tried to go work at Barnes & Noble, where she only lasted one week due to a want for a more customer oriented job. 

Owning a bookstore has always been Flossie’s dream, and to help out her mom, Bunnie started working at the store Carpe Librum out of college. They have the same visions and complementary interests. 

“I would not want to do it without Bunnie or Scout. I love where we are, I love downtown. We opened right at the start of the downtown growth spurt. It’s amazing watching places open, watching places close, seeing the farmers market and festivals. Music and arts and bookstores fit right into that scene. We support the other businesses down here, and they support us, it’s been a nice community here.”

As the bookstore has grown, the opportunities for author events and expansion have grown with it. Authors of all different genres and places, though primarily local, have come to host events and talk about their books. 

“Every day is different, you look forward to what is going to happen every day. People from all over the world come here. Suggesting a book to someone and feeling happy about it is a really special feeling.”

Bunnie was pregnant when she opened, and now both of Bunnie’s kids have also grown up in the bookstore. Bunnie loves to hike and travel and is an avid fan of yoga and camping. 

Flossie spends her days walking Scout and swimming, and she obviously loves to read and go to movies. She’s more of a homebody than most. 

Bunnie - mystery, fiction - The Dry Jane Harper, Daisy Jones and the six, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, American Marriage - Libra

Flossie - fiction, literary fiction - Hearts Invisible Furies, Trouble With Goats and Sheep, Abigail, Pisces

 

BRAN
INFJ  4w5

He loves a good ghost story. 

 

CHELSEA
Pisces - ENFP - 5w4

As a child, Chelsea was very sickly and went to the doctors often.  Living in Nashville at the time, her mom would take Chelsea to Davis-Kidd bookstore after every doctor’s visit. Chelsea slowly piecemealed an impressive library of books that propelled her into a love for books, and it was all thanks to an independent bookstore like Davis-Kidd. With her library grew her deep love and support for reading and independent bookstores. Once a door opened for Chelsea to be welcomed into the bookstore, it was a no-brainer. A friend she had that worked at Carpe Librum said they needed someone to work on weekends, which she picked up and then eventually became full time.

Chelsea has become the fearless leader for independent bookstores. She spends her days here helping run the show, and when she isn’t at the store she tends to her kitten, whose mischief we hear of regularly. 

Chelsea is a jack of all trades when it comes to reading tastes, including genres like literary fiction, sci-fi, intermediate, and history.
 

BAILEY

Virgo - INFP - 4w3


Growing up in Friendsville, surrounded by nothing, Bailey’s perspective on life was understood best by space and scale. There were always woods nearby; which is only mentioned to understand how books were Bailey’s “passport” to travel distances beyond the valleys and mountains in East Tennessee and meet other cultures beyond her familiarity. (Nevermind that most of those books were comics like the Farside and Calvin n’ Hobbes. Look, comics are important, too!). Also, I knows it’s a cliche to call books a passport, but hear me out, Bailey’s fondest family outings to the Blount County library with the parents was her favorite past-time growing up. Now a student at the University of Tennessee field of environmental studies, she is hoping to work to preserve the resilience of our national parks, as well as learning more about the world along the way.

 

TORI

Libra - ENFP - 6w7

As a writer and avid reader from Knoxville, Tori makes a point to fill her plate with all things literature. When she isn't coordinating events here at Union Ave, you can find her director-ing with Sundress Academy for the Arts, barista-ing with a certain popular coffee chain, or friend-ing with her friends. Her preferred genres are fantasy, historical fiction, and poetry, and she is always ready to gush about her most current literary obsessions. You must only ask!