Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium, 400 E. State St. Suite A, opened in May 2021 and features many local artists’ work. Kelly Lawrence, owner of Chosen Pathways, has made a home for her business in Athens and continues to cultivate people together. Through the personalized art and goods, Lawrence believes there’s something for everyone at her business.
The Post sat down with Lawrence to discuss settling into her new, growing business and the events she has in store.
The Post: How has your business been doing since its opening in May?
Lawrence: It's been doing great. It’s been holding its own. More people find it every week. I have people from all over the area come to my shop. I've had a lot of people come up from (the) Parkersburg areas and then all over the whole southeastern Ohio region. I think I may be one of the only shops in the area like mine, the only metaphysical store in the area.
TP: Have the people of Athens been supportive of your business?
Lawrence: Oh, yes, I had a soft opening back in May, and I had so many people in the community come into the shop for both of my openings and in between. It's been really nice to see how I've been embraced. A lot of people are familiar with the artists that I have in the shop. That's really great, too, because I have a lot of artists in there who don't have art in many other shops. If any, some of them are only in my shop. I've been very happy to be able to support the artistic community of Athens. I've known the people who are spiritual in our community for many years. We've always had to go to Columbus or Cincinnati to find anything that we need. I didn't want it to be someplace that made people uncomfortable and wanted everybody to feel like they could find something that spoke to them in the store. My main theme is coexist. We're all here together. I don't want people to feel excluded.
TP: What events does Chosen Pathways have coming up?
Lawrence: First of all, this coming Saturday, I am going to have Penni AlZayer, who is “The Henna Faerie.” She's just a wonderful artist and beautiful human being. She is going to be doing henna in the shop this weekend. I think we've decided from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. She has all kinds of designs. She can do traditional hand ... just about anything you want. Next week on (Sept.) 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., I have Sue Zano, who is a master astrologer coming in to do a workshop on healing and the moon. Attendees will give me their birth date, time and place, and I will turn that over to Sue, and she'll look up the moon — all the attributes that are attributed to them specifically. She's very knowledgeable.
TP: Are there any events happening for Halloween?
Lawrence: I haven't filled out all of October yet, but on (Oct.) 23, I plan to have a Halloween party, and that will go all day long until 10 at night. I'm hoping vendors will want to set up, and we'll have games and ghost stories and snacks and stuff. I definitely want to really advertise that I'm having it until 10 at night because I want kids to be able to enjoy having something after dark. On Halloween ... from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., I have Gina Kruzel. She's a paranormal investigator. She's going to be talking about her experiences. She's fascinating; she's experienced some pretty interesting things.
TP: Do you feel your business has added anything to Athens?
Lawrence: I'd like to think of it as a safe place. I was very much involved in the LGBTQ Pride Month, so I like the idea of it being a safe place for people who may feel disenfranchised, not to say that it's only safe for the LGBTQ+ community. I was one of those kids, too, where I felt kind of weird about the things that I was interested in, and I didn't know if people would be accepting of me.
Lawrence has been working hard to create a space bringing exciting, never-seen-before events to Athens. She hopes to continue filling her fall calendar and encourages students and those in Athens to join her and her business in the ringing in of fall. More information can be found on the business’ Facebook.