In a stressful world, the owners of the new mind, body, and spirit shop Earth Elements are hoping to create a peaceful oasis in the heart of Saline’s downtown at 104 W. Michigan Ave.
Co-owners James McDonald and Kristen Madrid conceived the idea for the shop that offers aromatherapy supplies, New Age gifts, and an alternative health service called Reiki while they were both working at Flatout Flatbread in Saline.
“We were ready to venture out on our own and start something we were interested in, and we had a common interest in spirituality and the New Age, or the ‘Now Age,’ as many people are calling it now,” he says.
The two officially opened the shop July 10 and had about 40 people come through for a grand opening celebration. Since then, McDonald says that nearby business owners have been “great” about telling customers about Earth Elements and driving traffic there.
McDonald says he was questioned by friends about whether Saline is the right atmosphere for this type of shop, but he says he’s not worried. Everyone from millennials to baby boomers are embracing alternative means of self-care these days, McDonald says.
“The world is very stressful, and I think that people are recognizing that some Eastern traditions and alternative spiritual practices like meditation and Reiki have value, and can be a catalyst for self-healing,” he says.
McDonald says he feels he and Madrid are in a good place to run their own shop. He already has experience as a small business owner, co-owning Renew Salon and Spa in Saline with his husband, and Madrid has extensive experience in retail sales management from previous careers, including having worked in a similar mind, body, spirit shop when she was in college.
The two have divided a big back room in the shop into two spaces so Reiki sessions and classes can be held back there. Right now, McDonald is the only Reiki practitioner, but he hopes to bring on a second person to do body work.
The owners also plan to bring in guests to put on events ranging from henna decorating to Tibetan singing bowl meditation to Tarot card readings to classes on the benefits of the stones and crystals the shop sells. Ultimately, McDonald says, he’d also like to have a daily meditation group run every morning so that people can prepare themselves mentally for the workday ahead.
McDonald says he intends to vet guest speakers and practitioners carefully so the community will know that the services or classes being offered are “legitimate and viable.”
The shop has already served as a sponsor for the Saline Celtic Festival and plans to get involved in more charitable efforts in the area.
“Living in Saline and working in Saline, we want to be active in giving back,” he says.
The store is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from noon-9 p.m. Thursday, and from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.
For more information, call 734-470-6801 or visit the Earth Elements Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/earthelementsmi/.