All Things Divine owner Kristy Benaske was traveling hours around Michigan to find basic needs for her spiritual practice for years when the idea struck: Why not bring everything she needed to Mt. Pleasant?
“[My friends and I] would all do our shopping everywhere else. We would get the services we wanted from Grand Rapids and Midland and everywhere but Mt. Pleasant and that seemed kind of silly,” Benaske says.
All Things Divine opened for business just over a year ago - on April 10, 2019 and provides goods and services for individuals looking for a less conventional take on spirituality.
An incense stand sits among spiritual trinkets at All Things Divine.
Benaske watched the one-year anniversary of her business come and go during quarantine and, while she was sad about not being able to celebrate in any normal way, she looks forward to moving the business forward.
“We’re planning events, and we’ve taken time to work on ourselves and work on our personal traits and personal development,” she says.
All Things Divine is a locally-owned metaphysical and spiritual store located on S. Mission St. in Mount Pleasant.One of the store’s upcoming events is its 2nd Annual Psychic/Holistic Fair, which will take place Aug. 15-16.
“This year, we are having more vendors. It’ll be more of a fair – more booths, vendors,” says Benaske. “We’re really expanding that as much as our space will allow.”
The event is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of Central Michigan University students, as many customers at All Things Divine are students.
In addition to being customers at All Things Divine, a few CMU students are also vendors at the store. While some goods, such as crystals and books, are found at online wholesalers or at showcases and expos across the nation, many other items are handmade by local vendors.
One such vendor is Sydney Belz, a 21-year-old Central Michigan University student from Cadillac. Belz is an artist who provides All Things Divine with handmade ceramic bowls and mugs.
Ceramic creations by Central Michigan University student Sydney Belz and other CMU students sit on shelves awaiting purchase at All Things Divine.
“I had already been working at All Things Divine as a cashier and I started talking with Kristy about how much I loved the intro ceramics class I was in last semester. She got super excited and was like, ‘You should sell them here!” Belz says. “I’ve sold a few hundred dollars’ worth of art, which is pretty cool.”
Belz’s roommate is another local artist who sells ceramics at the business, but creates wire-wrapped jewelry as well. The two are part of a community of 10 artists who sell their work at All Things Divine. Alongside the handmade ceramics and jewelry, patrons can choose from handmade soaps, beauty products, canvas and 3D-printed art, stained glass, candles and necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Midland resident Melissa Toper, 43, and her friend Veronica Cain, 32, of Freeland, drive an hour from Midland to Mt. Pleasant at least once a week to visit All Things Divine. It isn’t just the books, the tarot cards, and the jewelry that keep the two coming back, though.
Freeland resident Veronica Cain, 32, examines items at All Things Divine.
“I originally came here for reiki and to have a psychic reading,” Toper says. “My first reiki reading with [Benaske] was phenomenal. I had a friend sit in with me, which isn’t very common, but the energy in that room was amazing. We both left feeling so joyful. I still do.”
Reiki shares space on All Things Divine’s services list with other options that may appear foreign to some: Akashic readings, tarot readings, chakra balancing, and hypnotherapy.
“Reiki helps heal the energetic body.” Benaske says. “Usually a practitioner will touch at the head, shoulders and feet and sometimes in the knee and hip area. A lot of the time the hands are slightly above the body so it’s literally sharing or transferring energy.”
Jennifer Blizzard, one of All Things Divine’s two in-house psychics, says tarot has become more popular as people begin to purchase cards and practice on their own. Blizzard has taught classes on tarot at All Things Divine, but says it’s difficult to go in-depth during classes for beginners, as different cards have a multiplicity of meanings.
“To me, tarot is just another psychic ability, but it’s easier for some people to see it. Instead of me sitting here and telling you all about your life, flipping the cards I can actually say, ‘It shows me you’ve had a heartbreak,’ you know?” She said. “It’s a form to be able to see where I’m getting it from. It’s very cut and dry.”
Jennifer Blizzard, tarot reader and psychic at All Things Divine, pulls a card from her deck as she reviews her tarot.
Similarly, chakra balancing blends spirituality and technology to help clients visualize what happens in their aura field before and after a service. Benaske sits down with her client and has them place their hands on a sensor connected to a monitor in the room. The sensor then measures the client’s electromagnetic field as they discuss everyday items like home life with Benaske while the EMF sensor translates the data it receives into a visual aura field around the client that can be seen on the monitor.
“You can see the energy flowing in and out of your chakras; it’s like a little truth detector,” Benaske says. “We’ll just start having deep conversations and, once again, it’s all energy so you’ll really be able to get a clear, deep sense of the client when you’re looking at these areas because maybe there’s a little disturbance they might not quite recognize.”
Once the initial reading has finished, Benaske will continue with either the balancing, reiki service, or hypnotherapy and finish with another visual reading to confirm a change has occurred.
Homemade bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other items sit around the shop at All Things Divine.
As part of an effort to help people work through their own psychic abilities, help the public understand what goes on at All Things Divine, and better support people sorting through their own experiences, Benaske will be expanding the classes offered at the boutique this year.
“Classes are definitely expanding. When I first started, I thought that would happen, but it got busy in retail,” she says. “Now, we’re going to be offering more training so people have an outlet to express their own personal selves.”
One thing is certain: All Things Divine offers a little bit of something for almost anyone - whether that’s chakra balancing, a class to understand your own psychic abilities, or local handmade art.
“I think overall, this place is for the betterment of everyone’s being,” Toper says. “You want to feel better, you want to get better, and you want to do it on a level that’s not medicinal. This is definitely a place to be for that.”