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New businesses: The eclectic and currency

A number of new businesses have opened recently. One is a combination of metaphysical supplies and eclectic goods and services and another is a buyer and seller of U.S. currency, gold and silver. Both are in the area around the post office.

The Gypsy Shack, opened by Linda Gardner and her daughter Tabitha Armstrong, carries a different type of inventory than most. Gardner said she and Armstrong have been open for almost a month and supplies are steadily arriving. The store is located across from Saddle West at 1200 S. Highway 160, Suite 5 of the Charlotta Business Center.

Gardner said her main goal is to source everything locally. Right now she is having to purchase crystals, incense, aromatherapy oils and medicinal herbs from outside suppliers.

“I know there are crafts people here. Those who grow and collect the sage bundles and sweet grass we carry, and those who make all-natural herbal soaps. We need those, too.”

Gardner makes beaded jewelry from Swarovski crystals and medicinal stones such as hematite, various agates and semi-precious stones. She carries necklaces, bracelets and earrings but said she doesn’t do lapidary work which entails the cutting and setting of stones.

“Even the stones have powers,” Gardner said. “Each one represents something such as strength or has healing powers.”

The store also carries one-of-a-kind pieces such as upscale recycled, re-purposed and refinished furniture.

“Some of the items here are on consignment,” Gardner said. “We have a woman who makes beautiful scarves and hats, none of them are duplicates.”

There are also handmade purses and satchels for sale and yesterday Gardner was waiting on a shipment of “intention candles,” which are used to evoke a specific wellness or state of mind. She said, “I’d love to find a local candle maker and someone who makes aromatherapy oils here.

Tarot card readings are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays, but Gardner said she is looking for another good card reader. She sells Tarot decks and is looking for some Native American animal cards, which are also used for readings.

“I want to support the local economy and source as much as I can locally so everyone has food. The problem is finding the sources. Gardner said crafters are more than welcome to bring items to the store or to call and set an appointment to talk about consignment items which would be a good fit for the store. Her number is 775-253-4340.

Smitty’s Cards &Coins West is right around the corner at 2281 Postal Drive, Unit 4.

Owner Terry “Smitty” Smith said no one ever calls him by his given name, especially in the store. “I got that nickname years ago and it just stuck.”

Smitty buys and sells U.S. currency and coins, gold and gold jewelry, silver pieces and silver jewelry. He said the difference between him and “those big outfits that set up for two days in one of the casinos” is his pricing.

“They pay 50 cents on the dollar when they should be paying 80 to 85 cents on the dollar. I can’t do that. I need to sleep at night.” He said something else which makes him a good businessman is his willingness to take his time looking at a client’s items.

“I remember this elderly woman who came to me with half-a-dozen Wheat pennies in a small box. Most dealers will give you three cents apiece for them. As I took them out of the box I said, ‘three cents for this one, three cents for this one, three cents for this one five cents for this one and $1,000 for this one.’”

“There’s nothing like bringing a smile to someone’s face.” He related a similar experience with a gentleman who didn’t feel he was being offered a fair deal for some baseball trading cards. The client “walked out of here with $2,500 instead of the $50 he’d been offered.”

Smitty said he’s been collecting coins since he was a kid and “became a part-time dealers” when he was 19.

“At first, my wife held down a full-time job until I could get this business going. I’ve been doing buying, trading and selling now for 35 years and for the past 25 years, we are a single-income family.

The store has been open for a few weeks but Smitty said the grand opening will be at 11:45, May 1.

Smitty also has an eBay store called, oddly enough, “Smittys,” and said last year he grossed $134,000 in sales.

“I hope to double it this year. I’m not out to make a killing and I treat people fairly. They will get a better price from me than from anyone else. It pays to be honest.”

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