“I wanted to build a community where people can come and not feel alone. Not feel like they’re weird because they’re into something that seems mysterious.”
Opening The Lotus Den, a crystal store located on the Near South Side, was written in the stars for owner Kellie Woods. On two separate occasions, intuitive readers asked about her intentions of starting a business to help people enhance their spiritual journeys.
“I felt that the universe was asking me to do this. I took it upon myself to follow what was being presented to me, and I opened up my store,” Woods said.
Woods first started working in the metaphysical industry in 2006. Since then, the field evolved into what she calls the “new age” as spiritual practices gained popularity with a wider audience.
“New age is just representing us, selling minerals from the earth,” she said. “Things that are a mystery to the majority of the world that have never seen it before.”
The Lotus Den sells a large array of products to help customers connect with themselves on a deeper level. Some of the shop’s most popular items include crystals, candles, jewelry, tarot cards and singing bowls. They also host monthly Reiki classes, a practice involving Japanese energy healing.
Each crystal is carefully chosen and researched before placed in the shop. Woods uses a pendulum to help guide her decision-making process when purchasing new stones. Prior to the pandemic, she traveled all over the world to find them.
“I was everywhere buying stones from you name it — Morocco, Israel, Brazil. I’ve been to a lot of countries to hand pick a lot of stones,” Woods said. “I make sure I work with dealers that are kind to earth because there’s a lot of mining that goes on, so I’m very cautious and thorough about which vendor that I’m purchasing from.”
Ajanae Burr, the inventory manager, has worked at The Lotus Den since it opened in 2018.
“The crystal basically goes off of your energy because it depends on how you are treating it. Everything is energy,” Burr said. “Trust your intuition because that’s how you are tapped in the most. Set intentions with them, that’s how you get the most energy out of them.”
“This is a place if you are new to this world. It’s a starter home for you,” Woods said. “It’s a place where you can come and get the information you need so that you can feel like you’ve been doing this forever.”
“I always say follow the energy when you come into a space like this,” Woods said. “So, for anybody that’s a newbie, I always tell them please follow your first instinct and follow your heart. That’s important in anything you do in life.”
Kirsten Peterson and her friend Fernando Arias are frequent customers of the shop.
“I buy a copious amount of candles, so I like their Reiki candles a lot. They’re charged with Reiki energy and they’re for different purposes,” Peterson said. “We’re both law students, and so we have tests coming up. I would like as much energy as possible to help get me through that.”
The staff takes pride in the community they have created for their customers. They want to be seen as a home rather than just another store.
“We project, push, or try to assist people with knowing that they are loved, and they’re not alone in this journey,” Woods said. “I wanted to build a community where people can come and not feel alone. Not feel like they’re weird because they’re into something that seems mysterious.”
You can visit The Lotus Den at their store located on 18 E. Cullerton St. or their website.
Header illustration by Madeline Smith