October 2021

In The Spotlight - Aura - The Witches Store Cupboard

Welcome to In The Spotlight

Do you have an amazing business to showcase or an incredible story to tell?

This month emmaheaven.com is shining the spotlight on...

Aura - The Witches Store Cupboard

headline photo

I left school at 18, only knowing that I didn't want to work for other people!

A series of part-time waitressing, bar and shop work had left me exhausted, uninterested and poor. I knew then that I wanted freedom and enough money to enjoy life, to do what I wanted, when I wanted.

I ended up at the outdoor markets, selling a diverse assortment of bags, jewellery, watches and hair accessories, long before the likes of Wilkinsons, Claire's and Sunday trading became the norm.

Life was good and I lived it to the max.

Fast forward 20 odd years, two children and a series of disastrous relationships plus a divorce where he walked away and I was left with a significant amount of debt.

I was sat in front of a district judge, about to have our home repossessed, penniless and clutching three hold-alls, stuffed with as many of photo 1our important possessions as I could fit in, plus two lots of school uniforms and all the paraphernalia involved with two children in secondary school.

My carefree, easy going existence had come to an abrupt halt.

However, this kind soul offered me a lifeline, to work out how to service my debts and come back in three weeks to tell him.

In a desperate bid to save our home, I conjured up all sorts of elaborate money-making plans with no actual knowledge or idea of how I was going to make this happen.

Thankfully, as I sat in front of him three weeks later with a wry smile on his face, he gave me the reprieve I needed. I walked out of that courtroom, determined I wasn't going to let him down. I had to walk to the nearest bus stop, as my car had been repossessed on the back of a low loader weeks earlier…

From there the fight back began.

photo 2I started selling items on Ebay from our kitchen table, slowly at first but gradually over the months I got to the point of renting a small warehouse. Selling online was good, it paid the bills but I had lost the personal interaction with people that I so love.

This is what gets me out of bed every morning and is where my passion lies.

In 2012 I moved premises to a fabulous shop in Angel Street, Neath, in South Wales.
I got the keys on a Friday, bought a tin of white paint, painted every surface white and opened the doors the next day with one cabinet of stock, no shelves, no flags or balloons or fanfare. I quietly sat, day after day, organically building up the stock. It was a hard slog as having been made bankrupt, I had no credit cards and couldn't get a loan.

It was frustrating, not being able to stock a vast array of goods, but it was all there was on offer.
Things were slow, but gradually, through sheer determination I built up a lovely loyal client base.

photo 3Then a few months later my life changed. Visiting one of my suppliers, on the counter was a dish of gemstones - I bought the lot and the rest is history. I could feel their energy, I had no idea of their healing powers I just knew instinctively that these little stones were going to take off.

From this point I wanted to find out everything I could about them and so my crystal healing journey began.

Having suffered from depression for most of my adult life, I realised how miraculous these little treasures were and I wanted to help as many people as possible.

Gradually word spread and people were coming to the shop from far and wide to buy the gemstones and gain some knowledge on how to change the course of their lives.

At this point I was buying gemstone jewellery to sell, but it proved expensive as most pieces were set in silver.

I then decided that I would make my own jewellery using the crystals I already had. A quick search on Youtube and I found the perfect guy to teach me. I learnt how to wire wrap the gemstones and now sell a huge assortment of pendants, bracelets, rings and hanging crystal protection charms.

Unfortunately then in 2020, the pandemic hit and my, and everyone else’s world as we knew it, stopped. The shop was forced to close. However, people’s stress and anxiety didn't stop just because we weren't open, so again I adapted and started selling my stock on Facebook. I even delivered to people's homes who were too scared to come into town, making sure everyone got their fix of crystals, incense and sage.

photo 4photo 5In March this year an opportunity came up to move into the bigger shop next door to us.
When we reopened on April 12th, the town came out to support us and business went from strength to strength. Such is the demand that I have been able to employ my daughter full time. She now has her own daughter Indie, my beautiful grand-daughter who accompanies her to work everyday, just as my two did all those years ago on a market stall.

We are going through exciting times, we are about to launch our very own web-site, and I am signing the lease to my second shop in Carmarthen, a lovely market town 30 miles away.

Again, keeping it in the family, I will be employing my brother to run this shop for me.

photo 6I would just like to add to anyone reading my story, life is tough, really tough but you can get through it and come out the other side, older and certainly wiser. I have amazing friends who have been there every time I have stumbled and there have been lots of those times.

Never, ever be afraid to be yourself and do what you love, because it will shine through. People will want to be a part of it and you will love it everyday.

Thank you for reading my story,

Michelle xx
Instagram: @aura_neath

Aura - The Witches Store Cupboard
10 Angel Street, Neath, Wales, UnitedKingdom SA11 1RS

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