By Jennifer C. Swiger
“Welcome to Paradise ROCKS! Because it does and so do you!” That’s how I greet my customers. It usually gets a chuckle. My name is Jennifer Swiger, owner of Paradise ROCKS!, the newest and coolest rock shop in Butte County where I sell rocks, crystals, fossils, minerals, art, jewelry, and gifts.
I fell in love with crystals for their natural beauty; it’s only in the last few years that I became interested in learning about their metaphysical and healing properties. I read somewhere that as a society we have polluted our waters, air, and soil, rendering the food we consume toxic. The only things that remain mostly undamaged are the minerals within the earth. I see more and more people turning to stones, rocks, and crystals for metaphysical healing. I’ve been using crystals and rocks in my personal development and growth. Crystals have many uses, including in healing, protection, meditation, Reiki, shamanic work, and energy movement, as well as decorative appeal in the home and in jewelry. And let’s not forget the geological fascination for both young and old!
I had the pleasure of collaborating with my family to create Paradise ROCKS! Debbie had the idea to open a rock shop, John named the shop, and I designed the logo. The logo is meant to capture vintage Paradise along with the influx of new people moving to the area. As a visitors center on weekends for the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce, I have noticed that travelers are coming to visit Paradise from the Bay Area and Southern California. I am honored to say that even the guests from much larger and more sophisticated areas offer overwhelming responses that the shop:
- Has very good energy;
- The rocks and crystals are displayed beautifully; and
- It smells great in the shop! (The good scents could be the SoapRocks, incense or white sage.)
Every day in my shop is a blessing. I meet the neatest people who are excited to see a rock shop in Paradise. We are very popular with little kids. I had one little boy bring in his little toolbox to show me his rock collection. It was darling! We also get a lot of adults who are excited to see a rock shop in Paradise. It brings up a lot of nostalgia and good feelings for people. I hear comments such as “I used to collect rocks with my grandfather” or “My kids and I used to look for heart-shaped rocks.” More and more each day, I get customers who are curious about the metaphysical and healing properties of the rocks. When people in the shop are drawn to a particular rock, I share the stone’s affinities with them. More often than not, it is exactly what they need at the time. If a customer is not sure where to start, I recommend rose quartz because it is a stone of unconditional love.
One of my greatest pleasures has been introducing the community to some unique and talented artists using a wide range of mediums. One of our local artisans beads animal skulls in the style of the Huichol people in Mexico. There are approximately 121 beads per square inch; one piece could have thousands of beads. She also makes decorative gourds using various artistic techniques such as watercolors, gold leaf, or pyrography (wood burning). We have several artists from the Yosemite area. Marti Houchard carves the most beautiful angels from manzanita. Native Americans believe manzanita has healing properties. Guido Stauffer uses jet-black India ink, colored ink, pencil, and occasionally watercolor to create his drawings. Courtney Konapacki has a unique, organic, and whimsical style. She uses digital photography to create her work. Jamie Owlhawk makes medicine tools for use in shamanic, Reiki, or energy movement. Jamie’s medicine tools are unique and handcrafted to enhance one’s spiritual journey. All of our products are handpicked with exceptional quality, social responsibility, and positive energy in mind.
We are a fun, family-run business with a commitment to strengthening our Paradise community and promoting art and culture in the area. Paradise ROCKS! loves the idea of bringing family and community together. One of my favorite ways to promote Paradise ROCKS! is painting rocks that say Paradise ROCKS! Then I hide them on the Ridge for people to find. I painted Darth Vader and a stormtrooper for Star Wars Day, May 4. I posted a picture of the rocks in their hiding place with a clue to find on the Paradise ROCKS! Facebook page. The mother of the little boy who found them posted on our Facebook page that her son carried around those rocks for two days! He was so happy, it made me happy! The best part about painting rocks is that anyone can do it! It also fosters creativity, builds self-esteem, relieves stress, and develops our appreciation of art. Paradise ROCKS! is encouraging members of the community to tap into their artistic and whimsical spirit by painting rocks that they will hide in their favorite spots on the Ridge for others to find. For more information about the rock hunt and how you can participate, please visit our Facebook page @paradiserocks530.
Our vision is to create a rock shop that everyone can enjoy. The shop is continuing to evolve as we add new specimens, treasures, gifts, and activities each month. You will find our shop at 5660 Skyway Rd., Ste. C, in Paradise, CA. Paradise ROCKS! opened its doors on February 23 and has been ROCKIN’ it ever since! Please stop by to check us out and say hello!