By: Laura Schulte at the Wausau Daily Herald
Brooke Ventura Rodriguez has always been curious about things that are a little out of the mainstream.
That's what led her to Reiki, an ancient Japanese practice that aims to realign energy in the body. It focuses on one's spiritual dimension to reduce stress and promote relaxation by the laying of hands on a person's body.
After finishing her schooling on Reiki, Ventura Rodriguez was looking for a way to support her part-time gig as a healer, in addition to her job as a hair stylist at Absolute Hair. That's when a friend suggested a retail space.
"That kind of started me on a journey," she said. "And it blew up into a full retail store."
Eccentric Co. Emporium offers a wide range of products, from hand-made jewelry to incense and herbs. (Photo: Laura Schulte/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)
Ventura Rodriguez opened Eccentric Co. Emporium on May 1 in downtown Wausau's Washington Square building. It took her a few months to prepare, but the small store is packed with goods ranging from herbs and incense to books on rare religions and hand-bound journals.
"It's a conglomeration of my hobbies and things I've been interested in learning more about," she said. The tagline for the store is "metaphysical oddities."
Eccentric Co. also features the work of local artists such as Elizabeth Johnson, also known as LittleMissLizaBean, who creates one-of-a-kind jewelry, and hand-blown glass art by local artists whose company is called Jellyfish Joy.
"This is a place, no matter who you are, you can feel comfortable coming here," Ventura Rodriguez said. "I guess part of why I wanted to open is so people would have a place to find things out of the box and feel comfortable doing it."
And Ventura Rodriguez will continue to offer her Reiki services for those who are interested. She'll close the shop down on Sundays, and allow customers to book time slots in the shop for personal appointments, and someday, she hopes to be able to host classes as well.
Eccentric Co. Emporium will be open varying hours through the month of May, but the schedule will likely be more steady once she finds help in the shop. The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Washington Square mall is at 300 Third St. in Wausau.
For more information, visit the Eccentric Co. Emporium Facebook page, or call 715-393-4493.