Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A New Beginning

A little over a year ago, my BFF and Born to Shop co-author, Suzy Gershman, and I were in London for a research trip. We were writing like crazy, hoping to get a new edition of Born to Shop London on Amazon and in bookstores before the Summer Olympics. 

Suzy and I had split up for the day.  She was revisiting Knightsbridge and I had ventured off to the East End to check out pre-Olympic store openings. Suzy called me and said, “You’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I have no idea where I am.” After a quick conversation, I jumped in a taxi and sped off to find my friend. She was one block from Harrods, on a street she knew well and should have been able to navigate blindfolded.

Fast forward two weeks... Suzy was diagnosed with a highly malignant glioblastoma, a brain tumor that is aggressive and unforgiving. The prognosis was grim and Suze knew from the get-go that there would be no experimental treatments, no miracle cures. I was with her in San Antonio when her brother (who was also her oncologist) gave her the news. After he left her hospital room, she calmly said to me, “Okay Sari, two things…  I want you to have my Hermes bracelets and of course, take over Born to Shop.” She also found comfort knowing her two dachshunds would have a forever home with my family in Tiburon. Suzy hoped to hold her first grandchild and against the odds, she lived to do that. Adeline Michele Gershman was born April 9, 2012, four days before Suzy's 64th birthday.

Suzy passed away on the morning of July 25, 2012.

Suzy was my best friend, my business partner, my adopted sister. I am an only child and Suzy’s only sister died when she was young so we took comfort in the fact that we found each other in mid-life.  I think of her every day, wishing I could call her or meet her at the airport. I wear her Hermes bracelets, to Safeway and CVS, to walk the dogs. I miss Suzy terribly.

Before she became ill, Suzy and I often discussed the future of our Born to Shop travel guides. We knew we should think digital and we debated the merits and disadvantages of publishing print editions. Shortly after Suzy died, Frommer’s (our former publisher) was sold to Google and a decision was made.  Born to Shop has been revamped and will be available to you via this blog. Apps may follow… In addition to the destinations covered in the print series, I’ll be able to write about the best shopping, hotels and experiences wherever I go. Updates will be current and you’ll be able to access information immediately. I hope you’ll travel with me via the Born to Shop Traveler as I shop the world… Here’s to a new beginning and a new Born to Shop!

Coming up soon – New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo!


  1. I am so glad you're carrying the Born To Shop torch! Suzy's book had me in stitches all over Italy while my husband and I drove backroads looking for the outlets she wrote about. My husband came home with new glasses frames from an outlet, a D&G suit from a recommended discounter in Naples, and an insider feeling whenever Vogue mentions 10 Corso Como. C'est La Vie is marvelous, too. I'm so sorry you have to go on without your friend and adopted sister, but I'm so grateful you ARE going on!

  2. Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words! I'm glad you had fun with Born to Shop Italy; Suzy and I loved researching that book. We always drove her little Peugeot from Provence to Monaco and on to Como, Milan, Venice, Bologna.... Great road trips with her two dachshunds (who were always welcome at the hotels we visited!) Sadly, Junior (the "senior" dog) passed away a couple of weeks ago. On a positive note, Suzy's granddaughter will become a big sister in September! The cycle of life continues. XXSarah