Nicole Thompson said she opened her specialty imports store "Purple Myst" in Portales to provide residents with a slice of culture and the unique.
Been there myself: Thompson said she always had to drive out of town to buy imported items.
“My idea was that I was tired of having to leave town to shop for these items, so why not open a shop,” Thompson said. “This is my way of adding some culture to the community.”
Where does it all come from: She said that most of the items in her store were imported from Africa, South Asia and India.
“I get to deal with customs and is that ever fun,” Thompson said. “Every once in awhile, I’ll get an item that was broken while in customs.”
She said that some of the items are locally made or made in New Mexico.
“The smudge sticks are hand wrapped and blessed by a Native American in the Jemez Mountains,” Thompson said.
First time around: She said that she enjoys watching a customer walk around the store for the first time taken in by entire feel of the store.
"This is much more then just a store. There is an atmosphere, a vibe, a spirit, if you will, about the store."
She said that she has had some people walk in the door, look around, then leave. Those people that are adventurous and curious enough to explore the items and engage in conversation don't regret coming in, she said.
It is all about expression: She prides herself on offering something different for customers to buy, but her true goal is providing an environment for people to express themselves.
“When someone walks in, I want them to feel like they are in a living room and not just a store.”
She said getting to know her customers is one of the great things about the shop.
“I have had the pleasure of meeting the hidden talent of the area,” Thompson said.
"There are so many talented local musicians, writers, poets and sculptors here.”
Talent search: She hosts a open mic night every third Saturday and she encourages anyone to come in and express themselves and share their talents.
The writing is on the wall: She said that promoting local artists is important to her.
There are many local artist drawings and painting in the back room of the store called “Lucid Dreams.”
“Artists hang their paintings in here and many local artists helped to paint the room,” Thompson said.
Location: 600 S. Ave. C
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday