Photo by David Colburn
Owners Marianne Frost (left) and Betty Hacknet pose near the fountain display at Mystical Journeys.
ALTON — Some might say the home of Alton’s new shop, Mystical Journeys, was directed by the “powers that be.”
“Whenever we walked through that door, we knew this would be the right spot,” co-owner Marianne Frost says.
On Aug. 31, Frost and Betty Hacknet opened the doors at 3090 Homer Adams Parkway, the culmination of a dream years in the making.
Hacknet confesses she’s held an interest in New Age philosophy all of her life, citing a “different type of thinking family,” while Frost credits a neighbor she met in the early 1970s as her introduction. Upon meeting 13 years ago, Frost and Hacknet knew they someday would like to go into business together.
“It’s something Betty had talked about for awhile, but once I knew I could financially retire, it became a reality,” Frost explains.
“I worked as a temp at AARP, but I left to open the shop once Marianne was able to retire,” Hacknet adds.
Both Frost and Hacknet have used their respective experience in corporate accounting and collections for American Water to start up and maintain Mystical Journeys. Since opening, the shop has steadily expanded in services and inventory.
“We carry tarot cards, vegan cookbooks and plenty of literature on astrology and mediation, among many other subjects,” Hacknet says.
The owners are looking into “Reiki healing,” a practice involving the energy of the healer traveling through the participant’s body as a healing agent.
“Betty also does psychic readings and is a certified yoga instructor,” Frost says.
Frost and Hacknet believe Alton is the perfect location for Mystical Journeys.
“We’re filling a niche,” Frost says. “It’s wonderful to have a like-minded variety of people in this area.”
The pair say they considered locations farther south before choosing Alton for its open-minded demographic.
“Alton haunted history and ghost tours are a great indicator of the town’s mindset,” Frost says.
In three months of business, Mystical Journeys has already expanded business and drawn regular customers.
“We had a large increase in November with both new and regular customers,” Frost says. “Some come in to visit on a weekly basis. Our main goal is to get the word out and add more inventory. We’re making an effort to fulfill personal requests and establish a consistent schedule for yoga and meditation.”
On Dec. 12, Mystical Journey will offer a class on yoga for stress-relief from the hectic holiday rush.
“After the first of the year, we also plan to start a discussion group for people interested in different topics related to New Age philosophy and concepts,” Frost says. “They can come by to share their thoughts and learn new things.”
On the morning of Saturday, Jan. 30, author Brenda Schnable will visit Mystical Journeys to lead a chi-infusion yoga course, and plans are under way for a psychic fair in the early spring.
“Other psychics will come to our 20 by 40 room used for yoga sessions and classes to set up tables for readings, Reiki mini-sessions and aura photography,” Frost says. “We’re looking forward to all of next year’s possibilities.”