Indigo Moon – Bartow’s Hippy-Bohemian Gift Shop
By Donna Kelly
A “hippy-bohemian” shop in Bartow offers locally-made arts and crafts for that one-of-a-kind gift—as well as special classes and services.
With many folks using online shopping to avoid big box stores, Indigo Moon in Bartow gives customers a reason to leave their homes to find something locally made and truly special.
Nestled among shops, restaurants and offices on Bartow’s bustling Main Street, Indigo Moon invites customers inside with bright purple, green, and orange walls and a calm, cheerful atmosphere. One wall is filled with shelves of books written by local authors and the opposite side holds diverse artwork from local artists.
In between, displays hold treasures as varied as handcrafted jewelry, clothing, wallets and purses, puzzles, paint-by-number kits, and coasters.
Why handmade items?
“I just like different,” says owner Deanine Mulpagano, who opened the store with her husband Mark in August 2017. “I’m always looking for new.”
This is exactly why Bartow resident Sharon Casey has been a dedicated customer since the store opened. She describes Indigo Moon as an “artsy fartsy” store,” a phrase she says with a chuckle.
“I mostly go in to browse,” says Casey. “I go when I want to buy a gift that isn’t going to cost me a fortune, but it’s going to be nice.”
Some of her favorite purchases include bracelets, candles, and customized coasters.
“They’re homemade. They’re all artisans who crafted these things with their own two hands,” says Casey. “I appreciate that.”
Artisans say Indigo Moon is a fun, no-hassle place to sell their creations.
For Carmen Gobble, a middle school language arts teacher who creates paper crafts such as cards, notepads, and albums, the shop is a welcome alternative to outdoor craft fairs and art shows where she must battle wind, rain, and humidity as a vendor.
“Mark and Deanine are wonderful to work with. They encourage my creative side and are open to new ideas and products,” says Gobble, whose work also includes dioramas fashioned by using paper cutting techniques. “The shop is in a fantastic location in an area of Bartow that is growing with the addition of many locally owned small businesses.”
Artist Trish Pfeiffer, who sits on the Bartow City Commission, also enjoys selling her artwork at Indigo Moon. Having sold out of her graphic monogram wall pieces, Pfeiffer is currently developing a new line which she describes as being totally different from the mixed media pieces for which she’s best known.
Her Rescue Kitty Cat Line, which features images of rescue cats, is a labor of love for Pfeiffer.
“They are all photos that I took and then created graphic compositions. They can be printed on paper/cards, canvas, or vinyl,” says Pfeiffer, who constantly adds to the collection.
She’s been selling her art through Indigo Moon for two years.
“I decided to sell in their store because I liked their location and their vibe, and they’re delightful,” says Pfeiffer. “So, it was an easy decision and it gave my work some exposure and opportunity for sales.”
As customers progress to the back of the store, the merchandise takes on a focused healing quality. Some of her most popular items, says Mulpagano, include incense and oils, aromatherapy bracelets, and crystals.
“I like to find alternative ways to heal,” says Mulpagano.
In addition to selling items related to healing, she offers the following classes:
• Paint Along Sessions
• Guitar Lessons
• How to Use Pendulums
• Tarot Card Interpretation
• Empath Classes
• Reiki, an ancient form of healing art
• Crystals and Gemstones – Uses and Processes
Mulpagano also brings in specialists to provide several services, including:
• Chakra Balancing, which restores a harmonious flow of energy to the mind, body, and spirit
• Psychic Readings
Casey was pleasantly surprised when Mulpagano introduced her to Chakra balancing. This healing practice has its roots in an ancient East Indian belief in seven energy centers, called chakras, thought to be located at certain places between the base of the spine and the top of the skull.
“I went in as a skeptic and I came out of there feeling absolutely wonderful,” she says.
This is how Casey recounts the experience: “She (Mulpagano) never touched me. She started at my head and went down to my feet. It was an incredible feeling. You walk away thinking, what happened to me? But in a good way. I’d never heard about it until Deanine, but I would recommend it to anybody.”
Chakra balancing costs $25 and Casey says “it’s worth every single penny of it.”
Mulpagano says these types of services are increasingly in demand.
“There are people in the shadows who don’t know where to find these things,” she says.
However, she doesn’t describe Indigo Moon as a metaphysical store.
“It’s more of a hippy-bohemian store,” she says. “People like to connect with who does what. I want to connect artisans and customers.”
Pfeiffer believes the shop’s fun, energizing environment make it a vibrant piece of downtown Bartow.
“Indigo Moon brings a great artisan/maker market to our Main Street District. I’m really excited to see this type of use here that is arts-related and offers local artisans an opportunity to have their work seen and purchased,” says Pfeiffer.
For more info, find Indigo Moon on online: Facebook.com/Mulpagano.