Shop Talk: Zodiac
Zodiac opened at 69 Mill St. in Gahanna on June 20, 2008 or, more precisely, the summer solstice.
Zodiac’s owner and chief astrology officer Jennifer Lopez (no, not that Jennifer Lopez) didn’t tell me whether this was a coincidence or not, but I’m guessing it wasn’t. I mean, what better day to open a business than the longest day of the year?
Essentially, Zodiac specializes in products and services that help you get what you want, and knowing the pros and cons associated with your zodiac sign is critical, Lopez said.
“We sell everything that will give your intentions a boost− anything that’s helpful to your ‘manifesting’ of things, including books about how to manifest,” she continued. “For example, we sell lots of malachite and other green stones to customers who want to manifest money.”
Zodiac staples for luck and good fortune are intention candles and incense, gemstones that are loose or set in locally designed jewelry, merchandise related to each horoscope sign, books about the law of attraction, pendulums, and sage for “smudging,” or clearing negative and/or stale energy from your home or office. (In fact, sage is the shop’s top selling product.)
The Astrology Shop in London served as Lopez’s inspiration.
“I started buying astrology books and tools from this shop and always thought there should be astrology shops in the U.S.,” she said.
When Lopez was a journalism student at Bowling Green State University in the ’80s, one of her professors said there were two things that would always appear in newspapers: obituaries and horoscopes.
“I knew right then that there must be a huge number of people who care what the planets have to say about their future, especially since people have been following the planets since the beginning of time− literally− and astrology is mentioned, if not a major theme, in all bibles,” she said.
Lopez’s initial interest in astrology was also personal.
She and a friend were both married to “a horoscope sign that didn’t match ours according to most astrology authorities −our matches didn’t get five hearts in Cosmos’s annual ‘Astro Love Guide’!− and so we spent many hours researching to find out more,” she said.
One of Zodiac’s biggest attractions is its network of 10 psychics whose schedules rotate on a monthly basis. Psychics can be found in store on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to close, and from noon to close on Sundays.
Psychic readings constitute about half of Zodiac’s business.
“Psychic readers come with various specialties: palm readers, tarot card readers, crystal ball readers, mediums, angel and spirit guide readers, tea leaf readers− think China, coffee grind readers− think Macedonia, numerology, etc.” she said.
Meanwhile, astrology readers like Lopez use the position of the 10 primary planets on a person’s birth date to interpret their characteristics and life path.
Additionally, Zodiac offers classes on a variety of topics, including numerology, feng shui and meditation, on a quarterly basis. Held in Zodiac’s upstairs loft, the classes are taught by the shop’s psychic readers, as well as special guest authors, mediums and spiritual dignitaries.
“Our customers love that we operate under the principles of karma,” Lopez said. “If something isn’t right for the customer, then it isn’t right for us to sell it to them, so we don’t push. If the customer is supposed to have it, she’ll get it− either here or elsewhere. This eliminates almost all the sales pressure on both sides of the counter.”