A black cat named Artemis chases a paper bag with handles across the floor of a recently-opened boutique in Downtown Bay City.
Artemis is right at home at Ditch Flowers Crafty Boutique
, 906 Washington Ave., a shop that specializes in alternative spirituality and healing.
Artemis takes his job as “shop animal” seriously at Ditch Flowers Crafty Boutique.
“Every business should have a shop animal,” says the barefoot owner, Laura Lou Call. She and her partner, Chloe Harper, opened the shop in early July, providing a place for spiritual healing. Call says she encourages bare feet because people should feel like they’re at home.
Call, who prefers Laura Lou, says there is nothing like her store for miles around. She compares it to Gypsies, which closed a handful of years ago.
She says the time was right to open downtown, and the city of Bay City has been really receptive.
“Bay City has been so receptive,” she says, “I get emotional over how beautiful Bay City is. It’s amazing what a little bit of unity can bring.”
Laura Lou also gives credit to the universe for the shop opening. “It was divine intervention. It really just happened organically.”
A mural covers one wall of the business, which offers healings, massages, chakra balancing, tarot readings, angel readings, and more.
Harper is the daughter of one of Laura Lou’s friends. “I needed someone to do palm readings at a Halloween Party,” and she was referred to Harper. After that, the rest seemed to fall into place.
“There is such a need for spiritual healing right now,” she adds, and that’s what she wants to offer.
Though the shop doesn’t follow any particular religion, they don’t turn anyone away either. She has items for Buddhists, Christians, Wiccans, and others. Laura Lou also considers herself a medium, and says she can channel spirits. “We would really like to be thought of as a community that accepts everybody,” she says.
You’ll find aromatherapy oils, jewelry, crystals, clothing, and more inside the store.
Along with healings, massage, chakra balancing, tarot readings, and angel readings, Laura Lou says is in touch a witch who makes spiritual tools for spell making. She’s quick to say that it is not dark magic. “We absolutely only work with love and light. We don’t allow any kind of dark magic.”
Ditch Flowers also has about 11 spiritually based artists it supports, Laura Lou says. From jewelry to fiber arts, clothing, and crystals, there is a little of everything, including aromatherapy oils, and potions. One of the artists helped paint a mural on one wall of the store.
Classes are already being offered in yoga, meditation and grounding energy, but Laura Lou hopes to expand the offerings over the next few months. She also offers Shamanic Drum, and Singing Bowl, but wants to provide other healing energy courses.
Classes in yoga and meditation also are available.
Whatever anyone is looking for when they walk into the boutique, Laura Lou hopes they find some positivity to take on their way out. “We have a positive vibe box – if you have one leave one, or if you need one, take one.” She says they also give hugs away for free, and she has people who regularly stop by for “a mama Laura Lou hug.
For updates on classes, artists and healings, visit the Ditch Flowers Crafty Boutique Facebook page