The visual treat outside of Happy Buddha is enough to draw anyone’s attention, and it gets a whole lot better once you enter the store. Owners Steve Hannah and Billy Collingridge started the eclectic and esoteric shop 10 years ago on Front Street. Steve was born in Perth but has lived in Belleville for 30 years.
“We started with 85 dollars worth of soap, then expanded into our downtown location. We do Reiki healing and intuitive psychic readings and sell natural products, everything from salt lamps to crystals to natural organic foods, beeswax candles and what-not. We cater to all forms of esoteric spirituality. We also stock very striking home and garden decor. We try and have something for everyone. If you are looking for that one-of-a-kind and unusual gift idea, you will probably find it here. We try and instill old fashioned values like great customer service and a look of antiquity in the store.”
Formerly called Reiki on Wheels, the name was changed because they no longer do outdoor events, thus the Wheels part.
“Most people know that Buddha stands for being happy and enlightened, so we are getting more clients coming in as a result of the name change. I went into this business because I have used healing crystals since I was young. As I got older, I gravitated to natural product.”
Collingridge, Belleville born and raised, is on the exact same wavelength.
“We have people who come from as far away as Niagara Falls, specifically to buy wellness products from our store. One customer had a medical condition and came here and bought a certain product. Months later, her puzzled doctor asked her what she had done because she was healed. A store like this has relevance because people are tired of only one option when it comes to wellness. If we go back 30 years, whatever, and look at the health industry, doctors were all about prescriptions. Today, you get new doctors who are no longer black and white on the issue of healing. They will say, we have pharmaceutical, but we also have holistic. We have choices. You need to educate yourself with what is out there and then decide what works best for you. We even have old school doctors who say, explore alternative avenues. New school says, definitely look at new avenues. I rest my case.”
Another wavelength the owners share is their life philosophy.
“Live one day at a time and don’t stress over the small stuff,” Steve said.
Billy said, “Keep a positive attitude and be grateful for whatever you can do, and thankful for whatever you have.”
And business at the Happy Buddha is extremely good – another model of success on Front Street because of innovative owners giving people what they want.
Broaden your horizons, visit Happy Buddha located at 223 Front St, Belleville. Call (613) 779-8036.
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