Abitha's Next Chapter
In 1988 Marilyn Perry and Edythe Crook (sisters) decided to open Abitha's Herbary. Abitha's is a spiritual supply shop that caters to all catagories of beliefs.
Marilyn and Edythe found a small store front and soon open their doors. Not sure what the community might be in need of Marilyn posted a sign that read "If you do not see what you need please ask and we will order it for you." With this Abitha's grew and grew quickly. By the Fall of 1989 Abitha's moved into the space where it is today, on Route 66 in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque, NM.
Abitha's has over 250 herbs and over 1160 oil blends that customers use for spiritual needs and desires. There are over 200 different scents of incense and over 50 blessed candles that are made in house to help in a variety of needs.
In 2004, Marilyn and Edythe thought it might be best to sell the shop in hopes that it would continue to go. Unfortunately about a year and a half under new ownership it became clear that the new owner did not have a decent business moral and Marilyn reclaimed Abitha's. In truth he was pocketing the funds instead of being decent so Marilyn went in demanded the keys and booted him for the establishment.
Marilyn and Edythe set forth to get Abitha's back up and running in a productive fashion.
In 2007 Marilyn's husband became ill and passed away. Once again the topic of selling the business came around. This time, mid 2008, a young lady took the reins from Marilyn, looking to be a good fit to carry Abitha's through the upcoming years. With that it allowed Marilyn to close this chapter of her life and move to Florida to be with her daughter.
In the Fall of 2009, the young lady contacted Marilyn stating that she did not want to be a business owner, she wanted to go back to school. Requested that Marilyn release her from the contract. Marilyn contacted Edythe stating " I am retired, like in Florida retired. I do not wish to return to Albuquerque." She asked Edythe if she would like to take the business over. With that once again it was in family hands.
This is where I feel I should introduce myself. My name is Reta, Marilyn is my Aunt and Edythe was my mother. I had just started college when my mother took over control of Abitha's but in my spare time I helped with where I could at the shop. The shop had it's ups and downs but continued to serve the spiritual communites to the best of its abilities.
Towards the end of 2010, I was working the shop for my mother that day due to everyone being unable to work due to coming down with the flu. Around 4 pm I was working on inventory in the back room, when I was assaulted. A friend of mine arrived at the shop as I started to regain consciousness. I do not know all of what happened and I lost almost 2 hours of memory, that to this day I still can not recall.
I could not work at the shop after that. I focused on my studies and began therapy.
At the beginning of 2012, my mother approached me and asked if I could take over Abitha's. Her health being what it was and she knew that the shop would not do well in the control on someone other than family. I thought about it and it even consumed several therapy sessions. I spoke with my boyfriend of 12 years and my kids. Weighed all the pros and cons. Finally I decided that I would take over the family business.
On April 1st, 2012, while finishing up the Spring semester at college, I became the newest owner of Abitha's.
I began revamping the shop in hopes to bring it into the 21st Century. Researching what was in demand in this day and age, as well as how could Abitha's support the community.
Functions Abitha's began getting evolved in:
*Every year we participate in Girls' Night Out, a fundraiser supporting the Ronald McDonald House.
*Collecting donations of clothing and money for local charities and groups in and around Albuquerque.
*Contributing to the various events that happen throughout the year.
While getting into the swing of how the business is ran, I found a few things that I have been trying to rectify.
When my mother took over she had a bankrupcy on her record, she used my information to established Net 30 accounts for the shop ~ Net 30 is a short term credit line that gets paid within the 30 days of the transaction~ as well as a radio ad. She had also not paid the business taxes during the 5 1/2 years. When I inquired with her about these things she stated that, she did not make me pay for the business that was "gifted" to me.
With the discovery of these things I began discussions with the businesses that "Abitha's" owed. I set up payment plans and options to help with keeping Abitha's on the map.
~Unfortunately my mother passed away June 2015 due to complications following a heart attack.~
In May of 2016, Albuquerque started the A.R.T. Project (Albuquerque Rapid Transit). It stretched 9 miles of the main street through Albuquerque. The city started this project with no "real" funding and has had several setback in the past year. Abitha's is on this construction line.
From the beginning we are being positive. Figuring there is enough negative happening that being positive would help move things along fast. We started offering free meditation night and more classes to help get folks over to us.
In October 2016, my boyfriend of almost 17 years, passed away suddenly from a heart attack, I could not handle being at the shop. The individuals that work at Abitha's are spiritual counselors and offered to help out until I was able to be at work more. This time away was short lived.
After being open for 28 years, one does become accustomed to the day to day expensives, hence the luxury of setting the utility bills on auto pay. Two of the individuals at Abitha's were conducting a 10 week workshop that was held on a day we were closed and that started in January. The instructions given to them were, everything you turn on make sure you turn off when you lock up to leave. The class would be at 4pm on Sunday and the shop would open for business at 11a on Tuesday. Either my manager or myself would go to open on Tuesday and the heater would be on full blast. I would mention it to the individuals conducting the class and they would state that they would remember to turn it off. I came in before time to open at the beginning of March to check on a few orders to find a note from the New Mexico Gas Company stuck to the door. The gas had been turned off. The autopay had been paying the usual amount but there was a carried over amount that had almost reached $400 due to the heater being left on. This in turn started a snowball effect.
~~With the debt that my mother had put the shop in when I took over, I had set up agreements for payments. The biggest one being that what was owed would be reduced as long as I did not miss a payment. If any payment be not made in the full amount or past the due date the full amount of debt would be owed and interest would be added. ~~I paid the past due to the gas company but that made the payment towards the debt 3 days late. I ended up so angry and hurt over the actions and the simple disreguard of the 2 individuals that I had to ask them to stop working at Abitha's. They gave me excuses and still have not offered to help repay any of the money.
Since then I am back at Abitha's and a lot of the customers no longer freak out when I start crying in the middle of the conversations. Unfortunately since the passing of my significant other, Abitha's landlord has not been as pleasant to work with. Mind you since I took over in April 2012 I have requested a lease several times and still do not have one. I lost my business insurance due to a rate increase after I filed a claim of lost inventory due to a leak in the ceiling from the swamp cooler. The claim was denied due to the fact that the landlord did not use a licensed ac person. He will not allow me or anyone I might be able to hire on the roof to repair anything to help with the leaks. The newest leak is across the floor since the building is spilting from the foundation.
The landlord also built a garage onto the back of Abitha's, taking over the employee parking, later getting cited by the city for not having a permit. Now he has requested taking a foot or so of the work room to expand the garage so he can fit another car in there.
My boyfriend and I pulled up 3/4 of the carpet, which happens to be covering what looks to be asbestos tiles, I have tried to fix all the holes or cracks I can due to pests getting in and eating the inventory. The water in the bathroom reeks due to the age of the pipes and the landlord says there is nothing wrong or if he has to have someone come out I can pay for it. The is a section between Abitha's and the shop next door that I have a blocked off due to the fact that it is open to the outdoors. Birds and such fall between the buildings and the smells is beyond terrible. Dominos pizza is just to east of Abitha's and for the past several their drivers have a heck of a time seeing the building ~ they keep running into it. I have talked to their GM and his main response was "deal with it." So I contacted their corporate office where I was told " That location is independently owned but they would notify the owner and the safety department and get back with me" that was 3 years ago.
I am constantly picking up syringes, clothing, trash, and various other items from the side of the shop. And just recently a homeless man chooses to bath on the front porch at least 2 a week.
Had a surveillance camera on the front porch after 3 of our windows were broken and the shop next door kept getting vandalized. The camera is gone and the wire just hangs there.
The construction is still going on and with that is why I need your help.
Folks do not wish to deal with the headache of going through the contruction to get to us, roads are constantly blocked making it hard to even get into the driveway, and the laying of the new asphault has damaged the building even more.
On top of everything else a Potter's House Church has gone in across the street and there are days that they will block the driveway and have stood between the customers and the front door. I am not sure why this is now a thing all I can figure is because of the supposed content of Abitha's as well as the other businesses in the plaza.
The $10,000 is the minimum amount to help square away the situation that Abitha's is in and hopefully open the doors for us to be in a more secure place. I really do not wish to close the shop. Abitha's has come a long way since opening its doors but I believe that we are not finished yet. Please I really to enjoy meeting and helping the people that seek us out. I do not think I can help these folks without your help. I would be beyond grateful if you could help me continue serving the spiritual community.
Many Blessings to your and yours.
Been a couple of fast paced months! Wanted to get everyone up to speed. As of March 1st we will be in a new location ~ it is a little smaller than what we have now but it is newer and in a more positive location.
This is a fresh start for Abitha’s and we hope that all our current clientele will like the ease of finding the new location as well as all the parking that we will have!!!
New location ~ 2231 Wyoming Blvd NE ABQ NM
It will be a while before we get our mail order back up and running as we get everything in order after the move.
In other news like updates
We have not heard back from the FDA so I am not sure of our case status with them. There have been a few places near us that were also targeted and have been fined but nothing with Abitha’s at this time.
With the donations here and in shop we have been able to get so much closer to being on the path to grow and help others grow in a more positive and productive manners.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Still have not heard back from the FDA on whether or not they will be filing against us.
Still trying to find a new space that is more in our budget.
The plumbing at the current location is being more and more temperamental every day and the landlord has stopped responding to my messages. And those who I have inquired with on what to do have informed me that since I do not have a lease there is not much they can do for me and my business.
The construction has cleared a bit on our block and I hope to see the new buses rolling out soon.
Our prayer is that in the next few months that we will find a new place and hopefully will not lose much business with the move.
Thank you all who have contributed and those who are spreading the word.
Blessed Holidays and a Wonderful New Year to all!
Still hoping to find a new store front that will not cost us so much to keep from falling apart!