The Crystal Mirror rock and metaphysical shop at the Reed Opera House is not just a store.
“Ten years ago, we started as a food bank and spiritual guidance service with nothing for sale. We’ve expanded seven times in retail and we still offer the spiritual guidance,” says Owner Carma Cole. She says she feels people’s energy and can read cards and crystals “to help people along their journey.”
The products include an array of healing tools, rocks and crystals from around the world and eclectic gifts for all ages. Cole says there’s a relationship between the items and the shop’s philosophy: “It’s all part of caring for people and helping people. The objects are meant to positively enhance people’s lives.” During the holidays, she donates food and gifts and helps seniors and the physically challenged with rides during snow storms. “Whenever people in the community need help we try to accommodate them in any way we can with whatever is needed,” says Carma.
The Crystal Mirror won first place for “Best Downtown Shop” and “Best Customer Service.”
“I’d like to say thank you to all our customers for supporting us throughout the years,” says Cole.
Ranch Records is in second place. “I think it’s really nice of [Salem Weekly readers] to pick us out. We’ve been downtown twenty-eight years and we’re the last real record store in Salem because they’ve all gone away. We’re happy to still be here!” says Kit Close, who owns Ranch Records and is a self-proclaimed “record nerd.” His favorite record is the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, but from the most recent ones, Typhoon. “And Funhouse Strippers … Oh, wait. They don’t have a record,” he said, hinting at David Ballantyne, who works at Ranch Records and is the lead singer of the band that won second place for best band.
Close wanted to tell Salemites, “Stop by and say hello to my dog, Newman. He loves records, too.”
Third place went to the downtown boutique Cherry Redd, where fashionable Salemites have been sexying themselves up for three years. The shop specializes in pinup and rockabilly, and fun gifts to go along with that. They also have a low-brow art gallery, with some of the burlesque posters drawn by Owner Derek Tall.
“We found a lot of receptive people who were really excited to have something a little bit edgy and different,” says Tall. “We wanted to help support the subculture.” In doing that, Cherry Redd also runs burlesque shows, car clubs and car shows, and they periodically do pinup classes and photo shoots.
Tall and his wife Nina met at a medieval reenactment club and they now represent the revived retro look. “We found a way to make costumes a central part of our lives,” says Tall. “She’s generally dressed up as a pinup doll and I’m usually sporting a bowling shirt or some type of retro western shirt for my rockabilly look, and my classic curlicue has become infamous!”
Cherry Redd won first place for “Best Naughty Business” in town and was selected third “Best Unique Shop” as well.
Tall is flattered to receive the awards. “I’m glad that we’ve been able to help make an impression on Salem and make it a more exciting place.”
Best downtown shop
First place: The Crystal Mirror
189 Liberty St. NE # B5
Second place: Ranch Records
237 High St. NE
Third place: Cherry Redd
155 Liberty St. NE #160