Sierra Mace, with Marley, recently opened Gaia’s Garden, a crystal, houseplant and gift shop along with her mother, Summer Birchell in Morro Bay.
Crystals and exotic houseplants are two of the main offerings of a new “rock” shop in Morro Bay, recently opened by a local mother-daughter team.
Sierra Mace, 26, and her mother, Summer Birchell, opened Gaia’s Garden, a crystal, houseplant and gift shop, located at 600 Morro Bay Blvd, Suite C, in a space that’s been vacant for some 6 years. The last business in that space was the first local crystal shop, Ruby Dragon.
Birchell also has Summer Expressions Hair Salon a couple of blocks away on Napa Avenue. And Mace, 26, was an original partner in Goddess Goods, an eatery on Front Street, which she left in 2018.
Why a crystals shop? Mace said the new store is, “definitely a passion project for mom and I.” The shop addresses the different interests of both women.
As for opening a new business during the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic, Mace admits it gave her pause. “I was like, ‘What? Open a shop in the middle of COVID?’” But things have gone well in the short time they’ve been open.
“We’ve been successful so far,” she said sitting at a small table set outside the store, with Marley, the store’s dog. The store addresses the beliefs of many people in the power of crystals and beauty of exotic plants.
The crystal shop part was her mom’s idea, as they are good friends with Penny Harrington, who operated Ruby Dragon. They decided to look into bringing back a crystal shop to town to cater to the many spiritual people who want to “Let Nature Balance You,” as the slogan of the shop says.
Mace grew up in Morro Bay and attended local schools, “From Del Mar Elementary through Cuesta College,” she said, “I’m as local as you can get.”
She said opening the new store was much easier than the restaurant was. “It was a breeze to open this up,” she laughs. “This all happened within six weeks.”
The store is attractive in its presentation of the various types of crystals available, which Birchell selects personally at gem shows, and the plants that are Mace’s specialty. She wanted to have something different to offer.
“With the houseplants,” she explained, “I try to find more specialty plants that you don’t see at Home Depot.” She points out that there are not many places here to buy houseplants.
And on Mondays, when the retail store is closed, she has someone come in to do Tarot Card readings. It’s part of her vision for the store. “It’s a spiritual wellness shop,” Mace said. “A unique healing place for the community.”
She will soon start taking classes in herbalism and wants to also offer herbs, which people use for many things. “We’ll be a little apothecary shop,” she said. Mace is working with a woman that she met when she taught yoga, something she did for several years. They have, “witchy products and gifts,” Mace said with a laugh.
They also put together a vendor’s booth and have been attending street fairs, which has helped a lot to jumpstart the business into a retail store, she explained.
The pair make a good team, as their special interests mix well. “Mom and I work really well together,” Mace said. “That’s unusual for two Libras.”
Mace brings an upbeat attitude to the shop and her interactions with customers, perhaps a reflection of a positive, up beat attitude about life in general. “I love to come to work every day. It’s crazy the similarities between us,” she said of her mom and the work ethic they share. “That’s where I get all of this from.”
Gaia’s Garden is at 600 Morro Bay Blvd., Suite C, in the same building as Morro Bay Drug & Gift on the corner.
But it’s a bit tricky to find the place, as it faces Shasta Avenue, across from Distassio’s Restaurant. The shop is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays (when the Tarot readings are held).
They are planning to host a Chamber of Commerce mixer from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18, with Morro Bay Butcher Shop fixing the food, Mace said.