aka Scheumack Broom Company
Evolution of a broom maker
Hi, my name is Thurman Scheumack. People often ask me, “how on earth does one become a broommaker?” I was born and raised in Texas. I never really fit in the conservative environment in which I was brought up. By 1980 I decided to pack up, move to the mountains and learn to live off the land. I bought twenty acres in a remote area of the Ozark Mountains in Northern Arkansas. I learned a lot from the local people ……. blacksmithing, knife making, wood carving, stone masonry, and Broom making.
I was enjoying my new lifestyle ….. gardening, milking the goats, making cheese and butter when tragedy struck about a year later. A motorcycle accident left me with a broken neck in six places. To make a very long story short, it took a long time to rehabilitate. Avoiding conventional physical therapy, I decided to make my acquired craft of broom making my rehabilitation. In 1981 I heard about an old broom shop for sale sitting in a barn much like the one pictured above. It was hard at first, but such were the humble beginnings of the broom shop. My dad said, “why don’t you call it Scheumack Broom Company?” …. and so it has been ever since!
As I started traveling around the country to art and craft shows, I realized what an undiscovered treasure I had stumbled upon. In 1991 I moved and eventually settled in Eugene, Oregon.
When I was a child I was always intrigued by the old Disney classics. I loved the stories but I was also amazed by how he would take the simplest, common household objects and bring them to life by animating them! A broom …. A mop ….. a feather duster ….. or a tree! “That’s the kind of broom I want to make.” Soon, the “Green Man”, Goddesses, Wizards and totems started appearing out of the handles. We added color to the fiber to make them more festive.
While traveling in Southeast Asia I noticed the young monks sweeping the courtyards of the temples with such tranquility. They seem to make an art and meditation of the simplest thing. I learned that the older monks taught the younger monks that the act of cleansing should be their morning meditation. To cleanse should be a joyful act.
I noticed how our customers would comment about how much they “enjoyed” sweeping and what a peaceful act it had become. The most meaningful level was when I realized it was a healing and positive influence in people’s lives. People were using them in their wedding ceremonies, housewarmings and other meaningful rituals.
We really care about our customers. We care about our community, environment and the influence we have on it.
Here we are 35 years later. We know it’s just a small thing. A broom. But, “From simple things do great things grow” and we’re just “Trying our best …….. to change the world ……. One broom …….. at a time!”