A Modern Day Mystic Shop
Hundreds of crystals, big and small, adorn the industrial surfaces of the small apartment turned storefront. Their shimmering glow catches the shop’s eastern light, illuminating the open space in streams of rainbow sun. The smell of incense fills the 700 sq. ft. space from the slate gray tray on the shop’s glass check-out counter. Wooden, hexagon-shaped shelves located on the shop’s southern wall display unique finds, such as energy clearing room sprays and love potion candles. The quiet, peaceful shop exudes a sense of relaxation and warmth, as patrons mosey around in silent appreciation at the shop’s one-of-a-kind finds.
KIN, the self-proclaimed modern-day mystic shop in Des Moines’s East Village, functions as a welcoming space for customers to shop for crystals, vintage jewelry, apothecary items, and more. Beyond the purchasable storefront items offered at KIN are events hosted nearly every weekend. Most noteworthy are the shop’s reiki healing sessions, aura photographs, and astrological chart readings. Shop owner, Heather Ann Parker Roe, said her goal with KIN was to create a space where people would feel welcome to learn about intentional living and crystal healing. “I want customers to leave my shop feeling happier and lighter,” said Parker Roe.
Located near the corner of East 4th Street and Grand Ave, sits the small mystic shop, with its always evolving inventory. Large white letters on the shop’s tinted storefront windows indicate its bold presence in the surrounding community.
At the front of the shop, KIN customers are met with a small sanitization table filled with face masks and crystal-infused hand sanitizer. The small table exemplifies the shop’s thoughtful nature and unique treasures. To the right of the sanitization table is the shop’s jewelry selection, boasting one-of-a-kind, vintage pieces found at estate sales and auctions across the country. A popular item in the shop’s jewelry section is the zodiac pendent necklace, sold in both silver and gold. The subtle round pendants are one of the few items the shop replenishes after being sold.
The East Village shop opened its doors in 2017, fitting into a community of like-minded crystal lovers and curious Des Moines shoppers. KIN, once known as KIN Vintage, started as a successful Etsy shop in 2008 and grew to become the brick-and-mortar shop seen today. Lauren Hickman, a former KIN employee and frequent shopper, said she was drawn to the shop by their carefully curated Instagram account, @kin.dsm. “Beauty is what led me in, but comfort and community is what made me keep coming back,” said Hickman.
At the left side of the shop is KIN’s staple geometric shelves, filled with incense, perfumes, candles, and more; all sustainably and ethically sourced from female collectors and creators. A favorite among customers and staff is the ‘Seduction Potion Candle,’ created by the small mystic brand, Spitfire Girl. The candle is admired for its sensual abilities and distinct scent of mandarin, patchouli, and amber. To the right of the candle’s display is the glass ring case turned check-out counter, where knowledgeable workers stand ready to help curious customers with background information and recommendations.
“What makes KIN stand apart from other places with similar items is that it’s a neutral space,” said Hickman. “Anyone who is curious about intentional living can enter and feel welcome, regardless of their faith, background, or knowledge about crystals.”