Imagine, if you will, life 20 years ago.
The year was 1994.
Super Nintendo. Overalls. Boyz II Men on the radio.
And over in Eastown, Jaye Van Lenten and Jackie Bess were just getting started with their store with a conscience, Spirit Dreams.
Just as I’m sure you have changed in the past twenty years (though if you’re still listening to Boyz II Men, more power to you), Grand Rapids has also moved forward in time.
For Jaye Van Lenten, this forward progress has been a very good thing. Specializing in unique products and resources for all aspects of the self, Spirit Dreams was on the cutting edge of holistic health and wellness in West Michigan.
Jaye reminded me that 20 years ago, things like massages and yoga—where physical health is combined with mental and spiritual health—were not nearly as common as they are today.
“Oh yeah,” I said, as if I did know this at some point, though I was only 2 years old in ’94 and yoga was about the only thing I was capable of.
So I had to take Jaye for her word when she told me about the progression of awareness and spiritual diversity that she has witnessed over her years as a business owner in Grand Rapids.
“A lot has evolved over the last 20 years. We have definitely seen a change in attitude and growth of awareness about holistic health and spiritual diversity, and it’s been great to be a part of.”
But listen up consumers, because it’s time for the hard truth: it’s not all about you.
The owners of Spirit Dreams are concerned with not only the complete health of their patrons, but also their suppliers, their city, and our earth.
Their commitment to being “the store with a conscience” results in supporting artists directly through featuring local artists and working with fair trade organizations for their international products. It also means recycling and being conscious of the ethical implications of all their business decisions.
So what does the future hold for Spirit Dreams?
The year is 2014.
And over in Eastown, Jaye and Jackie are continuing to enrich the lives of their customers and their producers. If Jaye has anything to say about it, the next 20 years will probably look like the last 20, but completely different: basically, continuing to help change hearts and minds in Grand Rapids.
“20 years is a tremendous milestone for us. Hopefully we can continue to do what we do and continue to love it.”