Occult Boutique WitchLab Opens in Franklinton
Tiffany Boggins has been using the name WitchLab for several years to encompass all of the “witchy” products, classes and events she offers. With Tona Miller Pearson, an art and oddities collector, the two have offered everything from dream interpretation classes to tarot readings through their homes.
Boggins says she had been looking for a larger space for over a year, but ran into issues every time she would tell property managers or companies what she was doing. Suddenly, spaces weren’t available, or they weren’t taking her calls. “Because there’s a lot of people that have some discomfort when you tell them you’re doing a witchy-type store,” she says.
The Franklinton block WitchLab’s new shop is on is owned by the same company that owns the Vanderelli Room, 400 West Rich, and Chromedge. Boggins said they got really lucky, because there was already a relationship there. “We were dealing with people that weren’t afraid of what we were doing,” says Boggins.
Having a space much larger than their living rooms has opened up a lot of possibilities for what Boggins and Pearson can now offer. Plans include witch bottle and perfumery craft workshops; tarot palm and oracle card readings; an in-house astrologist providing classes and readings; and lectures by dream interpreters and anyone meeting the magical, supernatural theme of the shop.
There are also plans for a four-month elemental magic series, and many more ideas in the future, like tutorials on altars and broom making.
“We’re still learning and constantly forging into new areas of magic,” says Boggins. “As we learn more, we’re going to offer more.”
The space is also being filled with occult items from Boggins and Pearson’s collections: For-sale oddities, taxidermy bones, some unusual antiques, and a few pieces strictly for display. Boggins will incorporate a number of Ouiji boards from her collection, including one with an eerie backstory about a premature death, and a board said to specifically contact suicide victims.
“This is a collection that [Tona] and I have been working on for tens of years, just decades of collecting,” says Boggins.
The shop will also have a small library open to the public, and an art gallery that will host a few large exhibits each year, with smaller solo shows throughout.
Pearson says the shop will also have charity events and provide different opportunities to engage with Franklinton residents, in an effort to show they aren’t scary.
“We want to use our shop to teach people who maybe aren’t interested in what we’re doing that we are still kind, loving, giving, good people,” she says.
WitchLab opened Monday Dec. 17, but will hold a special grand opening event to coincide with the Winter Solstice. The evening will include a vintage, Victrola phonograph-playing DJ, plus giveaway bags, games, and a raffle.
The event got over a thousand responses within the first 24 hours of being announced. Boggins says the shop continues to have a large network of support, even from people they have never met before.
“We don’t really have anything like this in Columbus. We don’t have anything that’s specifically occult oddities and antiques,” she says. “This is something new.”
Boggins says part of the reason she wanted to open up WitchLab as a brick and mortar space was because she missed community.
“We just want to offer a place where people who are looking for this path can come and find it, and feel comfortable doing it, and feel safe about it,” she says.
“We want to create a safe space — a queer space, a feminist space — that people can come regardless of their backgrounds,” says Miller Pearson.