The Alchemy Shoppe
Alchemy is defined by the dictionary as the “medieval forerunner to chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was particularly concerned with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find an elixir for eternal life.”
The history of science and human thought process, from chemistry to philosophy, has been a lifelong fascination for Jamie Phillips. An IT professional by trade and a self-confessed rockhound, Phillips has spent years collecting books, rocks and crystals. He is the owner of The Alchemy Shoppe, a new local business located in the former home of Sangha Bean.
“I used to travel to fairs and music festivals to sell them,” Phillips explains. Originally from the east coast, Phillips has a ‘go with the flow’ attitude. When Sangha Bean closed, Phillips realized he had more than enough inventory for a small store, and the inclination to move to Revelstoke from the Bow Valley.
“I never really thought I could make a living doing this, but here I am,” Phillips says.
His goal is to create a shop with a relaxed and positive feel in his new community. “I’m focusing on being an uplifting space,” he explains.
The Alchemy Shoppe has a large collection of rocks and crystals, salt and selenite lamps, jewelry, singing bowls and resonance tools for spiritual healing. Energy work can, Phillips believes, help people and has made a difference in his own life.
He is excited to offer books on metaphysical and anthroposophic nature. “I have an interest in the occult and the history of science and sacred geometry,” he says. “It’s fascinating.”
Completing his store is a selection of unique kids’ toys. Magnets, light prisms and gyroscopes line a small table. “Science based toys are great,” Phillip says. “They’re well built and last a long time. It’s really something to watch a kid hold a gyroscope and feel that gyroscopic force for the first time.”
With a laid back attitude, Phillips is happy to chat to any customers about the products he carries or get into a philosophical debate. “I don’t want to rush people, I don’t mind it quiet,” he explains. The Alchemy Shoppe is open daily.
Diane and Stephen Bull had talked about expanding Style Trend, the local go-to for fashionable finds, but it wasn’t something they actively pursued. However, when Bette’s Underthings & Clothing closed next door, the Bulls began brainstorming a complimentary retail store.
“We were sad to see Bette’s go,” says Diane. “We reached out to people we knew who had been throwing around the idea of opening a store, but people weren’t ready to jump in. And after all the brainstorming, we found ourselves with a pretty clear picture of what we could do.”
It took a few months to get everything in order, and the Annex officially opened at 202 First St. West on July 10. “To say it was a whirlwind is an understatement,” Diane jokes.
“I grew to dread the question, ‘What is going to be in the new shop?’” she continues. “Essentially, it’s all my favourite things in one space. I have been calling it a modern general store, but I’m not really sure there’s really a great description.”
The Annex is home to Pip and Dex cupcakes, fudge, cookies and a selection of sodas. There are four seats and a small table to enjoy your goodies. Dayna Leonard, the baker extraordinaire behind Pip & Dex is happy to have her cupcakes in the Annex. “It was a smooth transition, and I’m really happy to have Diane run the cupcakery,” Leonard says.
The Annex boasts a wall of gourmet candy from Sugarfina, and artisan chocolate from Karat Chocolates. “Having a sweets selection was a part of the plan from the beginning as we knew Dayna was ready to expand and we thought it would be the perfect fit,” Bull says.
The Annex also carries popular brands and smaller products made by artisans in B.C. and Alberta, including day planners, wall hangings, water bottles, coasters and a good helping of jewellery.
“Almost all of the products are things that Stephen and I already love and have been unable to get in town, or specific brands and products that our customers at Style Trend love and have asked us to bring in but we didn’t previously have space for,” Bull explains. “The Annex is Steve and my way of extending the products we have to offer our customers, bringing a fresh, new shop to our downtown.”