BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Tanya L. Nichols and her husband Ron have launched Kokopelli’s, a new retail business in Bellows Falls specializing in a variety of southwestern décor, rugs, and handbags, jewelry, and gemstones, Shearling products, and handmade items from other local vendors.
A first-time business owner originally from Bellows Falls and now living in Hinsdale, N.H., Tanya has long aspired to own her own business. “My husband thought I should have a business of my own and always encouraged me to follow my calling for working with people and not for someone else,” Tanya said. “Due to an injury that was becoming problematic along with some divine intervention, it was clear that I needed a change in my life so we decided to open our own retail store.”
The Kokopelli’s name and logo is derived from the Native American fertility god, prankster, and storyteller. The Kokopelli character presides over childbirth and agriculture and also represents the spirit of music. “Playing his flute everywhere he goes, I fell in love with this little character that symbolizes joy, abundance, and the spirit of the southwest more than 200 years ago. We could all use a little more joy and abundance in our lives, hence the name of our new business.”
The idea of opening their own store started back in February, as the Nichols began creating a business plan and inventory, and enlisting the help of family members to bring it all together. The store opened Aug. 22 and, although a grand opening is not yet scheduled, they plan a store opening celebration once we are all officially out of the pandemic.
“Our business is a true labor of love and that’s what we hope every customer feels when they walk into our store. We offer a diverse selection of jewelry, crystals and gemstones, Southwestern-style décor rugs and handbags, as well as a variety of candles, incense, sage bundles, and other gift ideas. We also carry Shearling products locally made by my daughter and future son-in-law.”
Kokopelli’s is located at 4 Atkinson St. in Bellows Falls and the store hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although a website is still in the works, you can view the store at their Kokopelli’s LLC Facebook page.