"Spiritual revolution" stokes Boston Tea Room expansion

When the Navarre sisters and their mother decided to open a second spiritual services store in 2009 in downtown Ferndale, friends and acquaintances told them they were crazy, that there was nothing good in the cards for such a specialized business during such a stall in the economy.

They were wrong about the Boston Tea Room, which has a yoga studio in Wyandotte, a meditation practice in Ferndale and many other services, including  tarot card, tea leaf and other readings, and its future.

"Within two years our Ferndale store was matching the sales of our Wyandotte store without pulling any business from there," says Heathleigh Navarre, one sister in a sister-sister-mother team that runs Boston Tea Room. 

Just short of its five year anniversary in Ferndale, the Boston Tea Room in Ferndale  is proving the naysayers wrong by moving into a 3,000-square-foot space -- more than double its previous spot -- to keep up with demand.

"We're a destination spot," says Navarre. "People drive from Holly, Saginaw, Kalamazoo."

She is a certified meditation specialist, a tarot card and mediumship reader. Her sister, Vanessa Navarre, is a yoga instructor, and their mom, Carole Navarre, who took over the family business in Wyandotte about 18 years ago, is the one who makes sure the customers and staff are happy. Each shop has 8-10 readers on staff.

"We've grown organically by responding  to customer demands and feedback" says  Heatherleigh Navarre. "When we decided to add a second location I don't f anyone was thinking about the future. We were growing pretty quickly. This was not one of those entrepreneurial five-year plans. We were just naturally responding to the market."

And even with the economy in a downturn, she says, the number of people looking for spiritual healing, self-discovery, and internal analysis kept increasing.

"It's part of a spiritual revolution," she says. "People still want products, but they want a product with meaning, something that goes beyond a gadget."

Source: Heatherleigh Navarre, co-owner, Boston Tea Room
Writer: Kim North Shine
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