If you don't visit mystic or spiritual stores often, you might picture them as mysterious places. But for a lot of people, they're a space to find answers and healing. In the spirit of learning more about unconventional wellness themes, we polled some store owners to see what products were most popular in their shops, and also what types of questions and topics their customers were most interested in. Why? We thought it might be a good way to get a feel for any common trends or themes, any ideas that were maybe on the cusp of becoming more mainstream, and to perhaps discover a new form of wellness.
Take a look at what they had to say below. And if you're considering looking into alternative or unconventional forms of wellness, Marlene Vargas, co-founder of the House of Intuition in Los Angeles has this advice: "Be open to all things, and follow your intuition for what does not feel right for you. Never do anything that does not feel good, but be open to hearing what works for others so you may make that choice for yourself."
Most Popular Products
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"I'd venture to say that we offer more tarot or other type decks than any other store in Los Angeles," says Jeffrey Segal, founder of Mystic Journey Bookstore in Los Angeles. "We probably have maybe a hundred or more decks that we offer. So that's a huge seller for us."
Segal says crystals are another best seller. This one doesn't surprise us, especially since we've covered the healing powers of crystals before. He even opened a crystal gallery and event space a few blocks from his bookstore where he hosts classes and workshops (like yoga sessions, mediumship events, and even a memorial service). "[Crystals] certainly has become a driving force in the healing industry, in my opinion," Segal says.
House of Intuition co-founder Alex Naranjo says one of his store's best sellers is its Magic Candle Collection. The candles are handmade and programmed with intention and magic by co-founder Vargas. "Candles are used in many traditional religions, and they're a familiar product people aren't intimidated to try," Naranjo says. "As we've evolved, so have our candles; we now source locally produced recyclable glass and wax that's all-natural and sustainable palm wax, as we all have become more conscious consumers."
Elaine Guillon and Dalina In, founders of holistic wellness company Eternal-Therapy in San Francisco, say they've seen an interest in their CBD oils. "There's a huge buzz surrounding CBD right now, but what most don't know is that pairing with other herbs can help amplify its effects," In says. "Our ingestibles are formulated with specific herbs that help nourish and replenish the body, in addition to CBD, making them very popular with clients."
Another popular item for Naranjo and Vargas are their smudge kits, which in addition to a sage bundle, include items like an abalone shell, charcoal tablets, an infused candle, matches, and salts.
Many believe that the wood from palo santo trees has healing properties. Naranjo and Vargas say their palo santo spray is another top seller—it can be used on your body or in rooms. It's also popular with Segal's customers: "Another thing we sell a lot of is sage and palo santo. These are things that people use to clear energy in their home or space."
Mystic Journey has readers (numerologists, astrologers, tarot readers, and other intuitives) in its store, as well as workshops, book signings, and healing sessions. Segal says these services and experiences are quite popular with his customers, and it's a huge part of the business. "The other thing that's become very popular lately—and it goes with the same theme that everything is vibration—is sound. Sound and color healing. Every Friday night at our event space, we have a sound bath," he adds.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Across the board, the experts we spoke to said people who come to their stores are looking for answers. "The most common concern among our clients is not having a direction or purpose in their life, which can lead them to feeling lost, hopeless, and low in confidence," Guillon says. "The second most-asked question tends to revolve around relationships."
And a lot of times that requires an individualized, personalized approach, Segal adds. "There are the people who walk in who are looking for something in particular… some type of aid, or tool, or guidance. And the real thing is to see if we can work with them to find what that need is."
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Of course, the experts also get curious, skeptical, and reticent customers as well. Naranjo says his store gets a lot of questions along the lines of "Is magic real or evil?" and "How do you know it works?" "We always answer with 'What does your intuition tell you?" he says. "Don't go by what you've been told in the past; dig into your core of self-experience.'"
But in general, they all say people are open to learning more. And as for why that is, it might be a change in mindset and our current world. "The pursuit of self-care and alternative forms of wellness are really strong currents right now for a multitude of reasons," Vargas says. "First, we're more aware of what's happening to our planet. Second, we're more in tune with self-love and unconditional love for others. Third, in our digital world, it's harder than ever to shut down and rest. The work-life balance is very much blurred, so in a sense, it's easier and more difficult to balance."