If you a penchant for things that are a little off-the-beaten-path, there’s a new place in town ready to deliver.
Free Byrd Shop is one part boutique and one part holistic healing hub, offering customers retail therapy with a side of alternative remedies for the mind, body and soul.
At the front of the store you’ll find all sorts of gift items and décor—and in the back you’ll find a series of rooms that are used for psychic readings, and within a few months, Reiki Energy healing, intuitive vibration healing and Feng Shui. The space will also eventually offer alternative healing classes, and serve as a meeting place for women’s groups and other local organizations.
Encinitas locals Melinda Ries and her mother April Crane collaborated to create the concept, each calling on their strengths. Ries, who has run an online store for a few years, says she will oversee the boutique inventory—and “mom will handle the holistic side” because she’s done psychic readings for years and has long been steeped in alternative healing methods.
“I’m a very inside-the-box person, so to get outside the box, it took my mom. My mom and aunt have done readings as long as I can remember, so it’s always kind of been in the family,” Ries explains, but adds that she realizes a lot of locals may be hesitant to see a psychic. “My best advice is stay open-minded.”
If you’d like to try it out, you can get a free reading during Free Byrd Shop’s grand opening celebration, slated for Sept. 8 and 9 from noon to 6 p.m. In addition to free readings, you can also enjoy free mini-massages, and free food and drinks.
If you swing by Free Byrd Shop, you’ll soon notice a bird theme, hence the store’s name—though the spelling of “bird” is intentionally “a little different, to catch your eye,” Ries explains. A lot of the gift items and décor feature owls, the symbol for wisdom and the store’s logo. You’ll also spot t-shirts featuring an owl that Ries designed. Ries—who still works at a nearby CPA firm during the day is a self-professed “numbers person”—took up art a few years ago after her twin sister Brenda died.
“She was the artsy one, so when she died this creative side washed over me. I think it was because I always looked up to her and admired that about her,” she says. “In a way, this is how I’m honoring her. My mom and I both are. We talk about her all the time and know she’s above looking down on us as we do this.”
Ries and her mother both belong to Blue Gems, the Encinitas chapter of the Blue Thong Society. Through that organization, they plan to use the store to support the group’s designated beneficiary, the .
Free Byrd Shop is located at 246 N. Coast Highway (next to ). The store is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed Monday. For more information call 760.230.2185 or visit freebyrdshop.com.
Do you know of another Encinitas business that’s new in town or about to open? We want to hear about it. Email editor Marlena Medford at email@example.com.