Instead of Amazon.com, try Cosmic Depot | Small Business Saturday | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Special Issues & Guides » Small Business Saturday

Instead of Amazon.com, try Cosmic Depot

342 NE Clay Ave

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By Erin Rook

Tucked away down a winding path just off Third Street, Cosmic Depot looks like the home of the friendly neighborhood witch. A black cat named "Shadow" roams between the butterfly-bedazzled shrubbery and the bright yellow house speckled with purple stars.

Inside, the shop is bursting at the seams with all manner of metaphysical, esoteric, and New Age spiritual accoutrements. But in addition to the expected—singing bowls, crystals, incense, dream catchers, statuettes of Hindu deities, essential oils, glass pipes and vaporizers, Grateful Dead paraphernalia, tarot cards and tapestries—the shop also has items that appeal to a more mainstream set.

The Cosmic Depot attracts people of all ages, from 80-year-old grandmas to wide-eyed babies, says owner Christy Graham. The one quality that connects them, she explains, is an open mind.

"If you're a fly on the wall for one day, you'd be amazed by the variety of people we get," Graham says. "I think there's a misconception because we sell pipes and vaporizers that we only get a certain type of person in here, but that's not true. We get peace-loving open-minded people."

One of the shop's highlights is an extensive jewelry selection, hand-picked by Graham, which includes radiant gemstone rings and necklaces in a variety of hues. Cosmic Depot also carries handcrafted items made by artists from Bend to Nepal—including felted birdhouses, glassware and wands—as well as DIY terrarium kits and air plants for aspiring green thumbs.

"I have a real passion for helping people create beauty in their own lives in whatever way I can," Graham says.

For younger customers (and the young at heart), Graham stocks gifts and novelties such as ant farms, jaw harps, glow-in-the-dark ping-pong paddles, fart machines, and excuse generators.

Graham says she realizes that the products she sells may be found online, but emphasizes that Cosmic Depot offers both a unique assortment of items and a level of customer service that can't be found on Amazon.com.

"You could never find a website that would be a Cosmic Depot because no one shops like I do," Graham says. "If we create a world where we're purchasing everything online, there's no texture to that. When you come into a store and you talk to a human and you have a reaction—that is life."

And like so many small business owners, she drives home the point that money spent in the community circulates in the community, supporting not only shop owners but the goods and services they purchase.

"In a community this small, we belong to each other, in good times and bad," Graham explains. "Even if it costs a few more bucks, it comes back in time, I believe that."

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...

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