Tracy Geary was raised and baptized Catholic, but has always found herself drawn to more nature-oriented and Earth-based spiritual beliefs. She says her Cherokee grandmother helped her get closer to nature—teaching her about things like useful plants and where they grow, and Native American culture and traditions. After looking into many different teachings, and meeting other like-minded people, Geary found herself identifying most with Wiccan beliefs, but found the actual practicing to be sometimes difficult. Between ordering supplies from online retailers and driving upward of two hours out of Chico to specialty stores, she knew there had to be a better way. So, in February, Geary started The Enchanted Forest online, and in July opened up a brick-and-mortar shop in Chico’s Garden Walk Mall, before recently relocating to 220 W. Sixth St. At the shop, you’ll find metaphysical tools and supplies, along with incense and smudges, tarot cards, candles, clothing, jewelry, local art designs and more. Call 809-0298 or visit enchantedforestchico.com for more information.
How did you come to live in Chico?
I was born on the East Coast, and was an Army brat. We grew up all over the place, but eventually when my parents divorced, my mom settled here in the area. When it came time to really plant my roots and settle down and decide who and where my home was, it was Chico. I’ve tried to move away several times, but there’s just something about Chico that always makes you come back.
What inspired you take the leap from online to brick-and-mortar?
When I first had the idea to open the store as more than a website, I decided I wanted to try out the community first and feel it out, because there is that stigma behind alternative beliefs. So we decided to dive right into the Thursday Night Market and see how that turned out, and see how the community would grasp it. We had a lot of really positive response, and people asking, “Do you have a store?” It became very clear to me very quickly that it was something that Chico was ready for, and that I was ready for.
How has the transition been?
You know, a lot of businesses run into a lot of hurdles or hiccups, and we didn’t really run into that. We had some opposition here and there when looking for a building, but it was fine. We just moved on and it really … happened very naturally, which of course means something to me—if something is meant to be, it will happen.
What’s your favorite part of owning your store?
I really like to take the time to spiritually connect with the customers, and other like-minded people. We have customers from all different kinds of faith, all different age groups, and all different walks of life and we accept everyone here. There’s such an overabundance of nastiness in the world right now and so in my own way I can bring a little more positivity to Chico.