Business undergoes a 'funky' transformation
Jan 13, 2013 (The Gazette (Colorado Springs - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Stephanie Ezzat spent 17 years trying to live a dual life. Her work days were filled with brokering insurance and other financial products for companies in New Jersey and New York. But her personal hours were spent working and lecturing as a psychic and medium, a person who communicates with the dead.
The two lives came crashing together in February 2008 after Ezzat gave a public demonstration of mediumship, which appeared in the local newspaper the next day. While the story did not threaten her job, Ezzat said it forced her to choose between her two lives. Two years after the article, she moved to Colorado Springs to focus on her psychic and medium side.
In April 2012, Ezzat opened Soul Illuminations at 2606 W. Colorado Ave. where she held private consultations and classes as a psychic and medium and sold holistic and inspirational products. Last month, Ezzat opened a new retail store at the same location, The Funky Caravan.
Question: Why did you turn Soul Illuminations into the Funky Caravan
Answer: From a retail perspective the store was not as busy as I had wanted it to be. So I wanted to reinvent the retail side of the store to take more advantage of the property and to have more interaction with the community.
Q: What are you focusing on now
A: Now we are a mixture of all local artists from fine art to functional art, which is artwork like towels, jewelry, bath products, candles, knitted wares like scarves and hats, sculptural artwork and handbags. Everything is made locally. We represent 30 artists.
Q: Are still offering your psychic and medium services
A: Yes, and I teach classes in being a medium too.
Q: But I am guessing that is not enough financially to support the building, or am I wrong
A: I am not just competing against other physics or mediums, I am competing against people's negative beliefs or religious beliefs. So, yes, it can be difficult.
Q: How does being a psychic and medium mix with your new business
A: It is really the same thing in what I am trying to achieve, which is to bring people together and have them express themselves but through a different product or experience.
I was raised in a Catholic environment and hid my abilities (as a psychic) till I was in my 20s. Many times you feel isolated or unsupported because you don't have the support you need. That is the biggest part of my passion, providing an environment for people to feel connected and supported and creative. So at the end of the day, if I am helping an artist sell their products, or helping someone through a crisis in their lives as a medium, I am still helping that person nurture themselves and giving them a way to help themselves.
Q: How else does the new business help support the artists
A: Some of our artists do this to supplement their lives. One of our artists was a graphic designer who was laid off, so now she has an income still coming into the household. Some are stay-at-home moms or housewives and some are men who have been laid off.
Q: Are there any other ways you offer support
A: We are trying to live and embrace the whole of nature where we have a reuse, recycle and reinvent philosophy, except that we are taking it to the next step to have the artists reinvent themselves, to have the artist who has not been an artist their whole life see how they can reinvent what they have and still feel what they want to feel through their product.
Q: When was the first time you remember talking to someone who had died
A: I was 3, and between the age of 3 and 12 I communicated with a lot of people, but I did not recognize or know them because no one in my family had passed away yet.
Q: Have you finished reinventing your business
A: No, we have a phase two. There is beautiful room in the back that we are going to be redesigning to provide artists a platform to teach and have private shows. We would like other artists to come in and teach budding artists business classes too, how to open online, marketing and also other business aspects of art.
Questions and answers are edited for brevity and clarity. Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.
___ (c)2013 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Visit The Gazette (Colorado
Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]