When Krystal and Tom Harrell opened a small health store in Seymour in the spring of 2016, a lot of people didn’t think the business would amount to much.
Sure, a few friends and family would be interested in buying vitamins and supplements, but could they attract enough customers to keep Krystal’s vision alive?
“When we said we were going to do it, nobody believed us,” Krystal said.
But the response to The Herbal Alternative has been more than the couple ever expected.
“It’s amazing,” Krystal said.
“There’s more people looking for this than what you would think,” Tom added.
Besides local support, The Herbal Alternative has become a destination shop for customers from Indianapolis, Brown County, Bedford, Bloomington, Versailles and other communities, Krystal said. She’s also shipping products to customers across the country.
After a year at their location at 828 N. Ewing St., the Harrells realized they were out of room and needed to expand.
“We actually looked at purchasing an existing store and decided we’d rather build our brand,” she said.
Tom ended up purchasing a vacant building at 2015 N. Ewing St. in April 2017. The building most recently had been used as The Body Shop, a gym and fitness center, but is well known in the community as being the old Spencer craft and hobby building.
“It was going to go to ruin,” Krystal said of the building.
After undergoing about five months of renovations, the new Herbal Alternative opened its doors in September 2017.
With the new location, Krystal said she’s seen an increase in drop-in traffic which led to the decision to add Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“There’s still new people coming in every day,” Tom added.
Now, instead of having just 900 square feet to set up all her products, teach classes and take appointments, Krystal has more than 2,500 square feet to work in.
The expansion has allowed The Herbal Alternative to offer new products and services, most notably CBD oil. The store also is carrying Carlota Gardens authentic Mexican pottery, an expanded selection of Himalayan salt lamps and new organic items, including coffees, teas and chocolates.
Other items the store keeps stocked are herbs and supplements, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, detoxes and cleanses, essential oils and diffusers, chemical-free bath and body products, makeup, weight-loss products and organic spices.
Services offered include copper treatments, massage, health and weight management classes, and now even art therapy workshops and lessons.
Customers are invited to join the store’s loyalty program to receive a discount every time they shop there.
But Harrell said she won’t bring in a product or offer a service without learning about it and approving of it first.
“I’m not going to compromise the quality of my products to appeal to the masses and sell cheap items,” she said. “When it comes to something, you get what you pay for.
She is a certified holistic health and wellness coach and herbalist and also employs a master herbalist and two certified massage therapists.
Krystal also brought in local artist Kay Fox, who teaches group art classes and offers private art lessons on the business’ second floor.
“You need an outlet and what better way than to paint or draw,” Krystal said. “Something that quiets the mind but feeds the soul.”
She wants The Herbal Alternative to be about much more than selling health and wellness products. It’s about educating people and empowering them to become healthier and happier, she said.
“To me, that’s why I opened this store,” she said.
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Where: 2015 N. Ewing St.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Information: Call 812-271-1850 or visit theherbalalternatives.com or facebook.com/herbalalternative/