Mystical Treasures: unique gifts from around the world
Helen Henrikson-Schuler has been fascinated by Wicca, a nature-based religion found in various countries throughout the world and connected with traditions of witchcraft by some, but she said she does not practice it at this time.
People who walk into Mystical Treasures in Albert City expecting to find Wicca symbols or some kind of costumes will be disappointed.
"We have jewelery, bath salts and other consignments," Henrikson-Schuler said during her open house at the new area business.
The Mystical Treasure owner and her son opened the store in just three weeks.
"My son and I wanted to open a store for a few years and then this place (222 Main Street, Albert City) came available. I asked about it, then we signed the lease and started working the first weekend after we had acquired it," Henrikson-Schuler said.
One of the products that she is happy to have is bath salts.
"Aroma Therapy has become very popular and I just love bath salts," Henrikson-Schuler said. "There are different types of salts to enjoy."
Henrikson shoots photography and hopes to also have some space for local artists to sell their works.
"It doesn't matter is it's sewing, photography, jewelery making - just stop in and talk with me," Henrikson-Schuler said.
Henrikson-Schuler is also talking to people to help her put up her store online.
"I hope to have the site up by the start of the new year," Henrikson-Schuler said. "I will admit that I don't know anything about building a web site."
But she does know how to utilize the world wide web.
"I had store in Laurens and I started putting items up on Ebay and I was getting more for the items online then I was in the store sales," Henrikson-Schuler said. "The other store closed and I was working on Ebay and still am but I enjoy being around people too much so I decided to go into another store."
Henrikson-Schuler said she selected the Albert City area because she has lived in the area for much of the past 12 years. She said it is more economical to start up a business in a smaller market.
"I really like the people, they have been very nice to me," the Mystical Treasures owner said. "In a few years, I would like to open a bigger store in Storm Lake or Spencer. I just thought a store where people in Albert City could go to buy jewelery was great instead of having to drive all the way to Fort Dodge or some other other place."
Henrikson-Schuler said she realizes that there could be some pressure from the community or a pastor concerned about the "mystical" name, but Henrikson-Schuler said that she is protected by law. I'm not forcing any beliefs down anyone's throats."
Henrikson-Schuler is willing to open her store's doors to groups who may have questions.
"In any church group or person has a concern they can call me or stop by and ask," Henrikson-Schuler said. "It's not like we have Wiccan symbols on the walls," she said.
"If a Wicca practitioner is looking for some supplies, I will order it for them and have it so they can pick it up discreetly."
Mystical Treasures is open Monday through Friday from 9-5. The store will also be open during Albert City's Winterfest on December 8.