“It sounds like a stripper name,” my family teased when I announced at the young age of 15 that I dreamed of opening my own aromatherapy shop named “Scent of Serenity”. It seemed so romantic, I pictured something like the shop from the movie Chocolat, a long glass display case lining the extent of the shop filled with various collections of handcrafted soaps, oils, lotions, and candles, all grouped by aroma and their healing focus. Along the pale gray/sage stucco walls I dreamed of rustic wooden shelving that were lined with large glass candy jars filled with loose leaf teas from around the world that not only held medicinal purposes but also for the enjoyment of my patrons. Sparsely scattered atop the display cases would be occasional “T-Bars” displaying unique jewelry I had crafted, and spread along the kaleidoscopic, faded tiled floors would sit comfortable and unique chairs around small round tables for my customers to gather and enjoy the comforts of my shop. Behind the case would stand long heavy wooden tables, with elaborately carved legs where I would handcraft my product in the open, where my customers could watch and offer out special requests.
In adulthood the vision has extended some, but the skeleton scenery hasn’t changed. I want to hang beautiful mosaic and brass turkish lamps from the tin tiled ceiling. I want an eclectic mix of tea pots from all over the word to be merchandised along the wooden shelves of tea leaves. My expertise in crafting has expanded so that I also include bath bombs, sugar scrubs, salt soaks, and bath teas in my glass cases. I would perhaps open the shop on particular nights to hookah lovers and/or open mic nights. Tarot card readings once a month, or writers workshops from time to time. I want a display to feature local artists of the month in the front window. I want it a hub for the community. I’ve even considered having a hall of private bath areas made for relaxation and meditation, or massage rooms beyond an archway beyond the vintage vestibule.
I picture myself each morning unlocking the sticky bronzed lock of that stubborn antique door to my little shop while holding a chai from the local coffee shop down the street in my hand. I walk in, surrounded by the sweet and earthy scents clashing and warring within my nostrils as I inhale deeply that aroma of my dream. I imagine casting light over the shadow that blankets the shop each morning with the quick flip of a switch and then making my way over to turn the Open sign and then for the first quiet moments of my day, sipping my chai, standing behind my register staring out with that satisfaction that I have waited nearly two decades to enjoy.
In April I am embarking (slowly) on that dream as my family’s financial situation has finally settled, and we have moved to a town that would prefer to buy the true local than from corporate chains or online. My real dream was to open it on the Galveston Strand, but now I will have to make do with my surroundings of present.