Tag Archives: The Conjure Shop

Sunday is the Fun Day

September 6, 2018 by

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Pick of the Week—Saturday, September 8 to Sunday September 9: The Rockbrook Village Art Fair is happening this weekend. As one of the longest running art fairs in Nebraska, Rockbrook Village features over 100 independent artists from across the country, with a heavy concentration of Midwest creators. With all that talent in one place, you’re sure to find something to take home. There will also be a food court with live music and a “Mini Monets” tent where children will be able to create masterpieces of their own. Learn more about this unique event and the featured artists here.

Friday, September 7: Nostalgia abounds this weekend at the Shadow Ridge Music Festival where you can catch the local boys of Blue Moon Ghetto opening for everyone’s favorite band-with-a-long-name, Big Head Todd and the Monsters. There will be food, drinks, and obviously plenty of rocking music to enjoy. Proceeds from this first annual event will help benefit the Elkhorn Athletic Association’s future youth sports complex. So get out and relive your childhood while helping out those about to go through theirs. Get your tickets here.

Friday, September 7: Portraits: Wonder Women by Ricky Powell Jr. opens this Friday at The Little Gallery in Benson. This exhibit features portraits of strong women from Benson and North Omaha. Each woman portrayed in Powell’s paintings has worked to make a positive difference in the lives of others and their communities. The opening reception lasts from 6-9 p.m. Find out more about the event here, and learn more about The Little Gallery here.

Sunday, September 9: The Hanscom Park Neighborhood Association, along with the Field Club Homeowner’s League and Vis Major Brewing Co., are teaming up to bring the first annual Center Street Block Party to Omaha. This is a community effort to revitalize the area around the eastern end of Center Street. There will be information about the revitalization efforts, booths from sponsors and community organizations, and a beer garden (and pizza!) from Vis Major Brewery. Local vendors hustling their wares will also be on hand. And did we mention it’s pet-friendly? To volunteer or to learn more about this event, click here.

Sunday, September 9: It’s time for the fifth annual Midwest Conjurefest at The Conjure Shop (below Liquid Courage Tattoos). If you’re feeling a little more drained than usual and need a little spiritual pick-me-up, this is where you need to be. Have a reading done, get your energy healed, and shop the unique wares, all while listening to local blues music from Hector Anchondo. Plus, there will be tasty Cajun food and barbecue to feed your cravings. You can even find a little something for your pup. For a complete list of vendors, head here.

Into the Mystic

March 22, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It’s a golden time for New Age shops in Omaha.

Local stalwart The Next Millennium has operated for 20-plus years, and there have been a few others, such as New Realities, which closed when their lease expired in 2012. But recently, the crystal pendulum has swung, and Omaha’s seen a boom of New Age/metaphysical/spiritual stores open their doors. Local shop owners in the niche say the spurt is a direct result of consumer demand.

“Between online and in-store sales, it’s been more than we were expecting,” says Kelli Miller, co-owner of Awakenings, a New Age store that opened in October 2017.

The professional psychic medium had an office in Elkhorn for about three years. One person asked to buy Miller’s homemade bath salts, which turned into another person asking to buy them, then another. The product requests gradually increased—some selenite (crystal) here, a Himalayan salt lamp there—ultimately leading Miller and fiancé Eric Abts to partner and open a full-fledged shop offering wares, workshops, and readings. 

“It started very small, very organic…and slowly evolved into me growing out of that space and us opening Awakenings,” says Miller.

“New Age” is an umbrella term describing a range of alternative approaches to traditional Western culture and spirituality, and Miller says it’s a good descriptor for Awakenings. 

“I like the term ‘New Age’ [for our shop] because we’re not necessarily metaphysical,” she says. “Metaphysical encompasses more Wiccan, Pagan, conjuring…We don’t do that, because we don’t fully understand it.”

Miller says a big focus at Awakenings is educating clients about the various tools and traditions they sell.

“We want people to understand what they’re buying and the point of them buying it; how various pendulums, rocks, stones, and candles can help us enhance our own intuitive abilities or spiritual connection. If people have questions, we have answers,” says Miller.

Miller believes more people are beginning to expand their personal spiritual journeys. 

“With all the chaos in the world, it seems like people are going inward and really trying to figure out who they are and their connection to god-source energy,” says Miller. “That’s one of the main reasons I became a psychic medium, because I saw so many people in need of that connection—and that’s the point of opening the store, helping people out.”

That desire for connection is one reason why Alex Fernandez defines Hearthside Candles and Curios as “New Age/metaphysical.”

“We have a little something for everyone—Wiccans, Pagans, saint medals, angel items—our slogan is ‘Your friendly neighborhood magic shop,’” says Fernandez.

Fernandez, along with co-owners Kim Hinnenkamp and Chris Dishaw, opened Hearthside in October 2016 as a space to sell the owners’ handmade products and other handcrafted goods, but also to address a growing demand.

“There’s a lot more acceptance these days, so more people are aware of, and seeking out, alternate spiritualities,” says Fernandez.

Fernandez says another major focus for Hearthside is community.

“In addition to wanting a store to feature our products, we opened on the tenet of community—being a place where anybody can walk in the door, it doesn’t matter where else they shop or who they’re friends with, everybody is welcomed, extended a hand, and given a chance to feel comfortable,” he says. 

In addition to an array of paid classes and free meetups, Hearthside hosted its first Heartland Witches Gala, an event benefitting Heartland Family Service, in October 2017.

Nicki McDermott, owner of The Conjure Shop, opened her store in June 2014 after a decade working at Next Millennium. Omaha has a tight-knit New Age community, so it was a big leap, but one she’s pleased she made.    

McDermott likes the increase of options for customers. She also notes that she is always happy to refer folks to Next Millennium for items she doesn’t carry.   

McDermott says The Conjure Shop technically qualifies as a New Age store, and she carries items like stones, crystals, incense, and chakra-related merchandise. She also sells her popular Mama Izzy’s Hoodoo line of oils and candles at The Conjure Shop, and customers trek to her store to buy them.

McDermott sees the shop as more of a spiritual store.

“Mainly what I wanted was to provide a place for people on all types of paths of spirituality and religion to be able to get what that they need,” she says. “People want to come to a place where they won’t be thought of as a weirdo and [The Conjure Shop] provides that.”

The Conjure Shop hosts events like Coffee and Conjure, a monthly meetup where community members gather in fellowship and explore various topics. Every September, McDermott hosts Conjure Fest, a daylong festival with readers, vendors, food, and blues music. New this year, McDermott will launch an Omaha Witches Ball, called Vampire Masquerade, on Oct. 6 at The Pella at Blackstone. Proceeds will go toward supporting children’s leukemia research. She says the Omaha Witches Ball will be an annual event with a new theme each year.

The Conjure Shop has a reader available nearly every day and hosts several classes each month. McDermott also does by-appointment cleanses and consults.

“It’s like a therapist with a little extra oomph,” she says. “The most important thing is that people actually feel like they have some control in what’s going on and don’t feel so helpless about issues in their lives.”

And now, people in Omaha have at least four places to find a therapist with extra oomph.

To learn more about the shops mentioned in this article, visit awakeningsstore.com, theconjureshop.com, hearth-side.com, and magicalomaha.com.

Nicki (Bremken) McDermott, owner of The Conjure Shop

This article was printed in the February/March 2018 edition of B2B.

Beer and Learning in Omaha

February 15, 2018 by

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PICK OF THE WEEKSaturday, Feb. 17: Moving on from the hearts, candy, flowers, and cupids, let’s flip to something really fun—Haunticon Omaha at the Historical Union Stockyards. Take a  class, listen to some speakers, and decide for yourself what’s real. Don’t forget to get a reading done and try your hand at an escape room designed by Entrap Games. Find out all the secrets here.

Thursday, Feb. 15: If you’ve ever wanted to share a personal story with a crowd of (slightly tipsy) strangers, the Show & Tell StorySLAM at The Sydney is where you need to be tonight. Think The Moth (NPR) but with booze. This round the theme is “firsts.” Whether it’s your first love, first job, or first time getting drunk, write it down and share it with strangers and friends alike. To learn more, click here.

Friday, Feb. 15 to Sunday, Feb. 25: Had your fill of wine, champagne, and flirty red cocktails? Get back to basics during Omaha Beer Week. (OK, so technically a little more than a week, but who’s complaining?) A homebrew competition kicked things off on Monday, and tonight you have two potential stops—Infusion Brewing Co. and Liquid Sunshine Taproom. But things don’t really start hopping until tomorrow (Friday), with over 20 local businesses rolling out the barrels. Find the right fit for your palate here.

Friday, Feb. 16: It’s a weekend packed with unique, informative opportunities. Friday gets it going in a big way with “Calming Your Mind to Follow Your Heart” a special lecture from Golden Globe-nominated Native American actor Adam Beach (though he may be best recognized as Slipknot from Suicide Squad). This lecture is part of the third annual John Trudell Distinguished Lecture in Native American Studies, honoring Trudell, who was an actor, poet, and activist. Beach will speak on his own life experiences, including his activism and hope for the future of Indigenous people. The learning starts at 7:30, doors open at 7 p.m. While this special event is free, be sure to reserve seating here, as it will no doubt fill up quickly.

Saturday, Feb. 17: Geek out this Saturday at the Nebraska Robotics Expo at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum. Opening ceremonies start at 8:30 a.m. and this dynamic display of ingenuity lasts until 3:30 p.m. Watch local students compete and show off their robotics knowledge and creativity. There will be a CEENBoT Showcase, a Creative Visual Arts Expo, and a First LEGO League, which includes a Hydro Dynamics Challenge and experimentation with LEGO Mindstorms technology. Find out more about the event here.

Sunday, Feb. 18: Continue getting your education on this weekend at The Civil Rights Movement in Omaha workshop at the Great Plains Black History Museum. This free 90-minute workshop will cover the civil rights movement in Omaha and the city’s own struggle toward progress. This is a good opportunity for the family (middle school age and up) to learn together. Be sure to head to the new location at 2221 N. 24th St. in the Jewell Building. To find out more, click here.