The journey to small business ownership is as much a spiritual as it is entrepreneurial for the Vogts.
“She has always wanted a place like this,” Barry "Bear" Vogt says.
Bear and wife Kathy Vogt opened downtown metaphysical shop Enchanted Spirits, which is tucked on the cozy corner of Broadway and Scotland Avenue, on the fall equinox of 2010. The shop offers tools to help guide people in their search for spiritual knowledge and enlightenment
“Spirituality should not be something that is hidden or be ashamed of, and the businesses that guide you on your path shouldn’t be either,” Kathy Vogt explains. “We welcome every religion here. We are all seeking and sometimes we need encouragement to ask questions in love and safety."
Worklife wasn't always that way for the Vogts.
“I have been in retail since I was 16,” Kathy Vogt says, “but after 20 years in management for a major retailer, I looked at my company and I felt they were choosing profits over people. I didn’t want to be a part of that any longer.
“Every morning when I went to work, I said to myself, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution."
Back in 2010, the Vogts felt in their gut that Dunedin was the perfect city for their store, but they did not want to compete with The Purple Moon, so they found a space in Gulfport. They were still wishing they could be in Dunedin even the day before they were to sign the lease. That night at a Gulfport zoning meeting someone told them that the Purple Moon had just closed. “As soon as we heard, we went walking around Dunedin looking for a space,” Kathy Vogt says.
After quitting their respective jobs on the same day, the Vogts ventured off the beaten path into the unknown life of small business owners. Bear Vogt, who previously worked 30 years as the head of maintenance for a wealthy retirement community, was not expecting to discover he had a jeweler inside him.
“Before we opened the shop, we were at a little trade show type thing, so that Kathy could make a necklace for work," Bear Vogts says. "So I said, ‘Let me do one, too.’ And I made a necklace. Kathy said, ‘That’s pretty.’ And I said, ‘Wanna bet? Wait until you see the next one.’ She kept me going and gave me a lot of encouragement.”
That was it for Bear Vogt. Everything just fell into place.
“I do what I love, but it took me awhile to get here.” he says. He finds his inspiration for his jewelry from the earth and infuses it with nature itself. His pieces are cast with rock salt, bark, hay and any other natural textures that inspire him. His work is constantly evolving and advancing as he seems to be bubbling with inspiration. The beautiful organic designs and one-of-a-kind pieces make the shop a gem in itself.
While Bear Vogt is following his path to artisan jeweler, Kathy Vogt has had her own rebirth from running the store. “One of the main things the shop has done for me is it has softened me. When you come from a corporate background, you still take those bad behaviors with you because that is all you know. It was really important for me to let go and be open to doing things differently,” she says.
"At Enchanted Spirits, we assist you in your own path with books, candles, aromatherapy, herbs, pendulums, and stones. We honor where you are, and whatever background you come from. This place is about love and healing. This is a place of peace.”
Want to go?
Make an appointment to have Zona, a psychometrist, read an object’s history or find something lost. Or come in and get an original Bear Vogt necklace, buy a book, or sniff some essential oils and then review your experience on Patch!