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Heart of a Gypsy

A Small Shop in Scituate With Lots of Soul

By Paul Lonardo

Deborah Lewis Paine is a local artist with varying talents, including making jewelry and sewing. Last fall she opened her own retail store in Scituate to offer her handiwork to the public. Her store offers an eclectic mix of gifts, and besides her own creations, features products from vendors as well as other local artists who place their items in her shop for sale on a consignment basis.

Deborah started out in business early, when she was just nineteen and worked as a hairdresser. She owned her own spa in Cumberland called Salon Euphoria, which she sold after eight years prior to getting married and starting a family.

“I’ve always been very crafty,” Deborah says. “I always liked to experiment with different techniques, painting, and taking art classes or sewing classes whenever I could. It was just a hobby. It was something that was very relaxing to me. Whenever I felt a little stress, drawing or working on these crafts and using my hands really helped.”

Deborah continued her craftwork, including refurbishing pieces of old furniture, and selling her jewelry and other creations at house parties. It was the consistent encouragement she got from her friends and family, suggesting she go into business for herself to sell what she made on the retail market that ultimately emboldened her to look into pursuing a business opportunity.

“I had been thinking about opening up a little boutique-type of craft store one day,” Deborah says, “but after owning a shop previously, I knew what was involved, and I was intimidating taking on the responsibility, especially in the retail marketplace, which is unpredictable. It was a big commitment.”

This stay-at-home mom was itching to do something, and when her daughter started school, she ultimately did commit, opening her own store, aptly named Heart of a Gypsy. The building she bought for her store is unique and as one-of-a-kind as the pieces she makes.

The log cabin-style dwelling was built in 1960 as a residential home, but it exudes an old world feel. Painted red, it resembles a barn and sits just steps to the Scituate Reservoir off Danielson Pike. Its interior features an open layout, with hardwood floors and cathedral ceiling, with a second level loft that lends itself further to its rustic appeal.

“It’s the coolest looking old barn/house you can imagine,” Deborah says. “It’s got a really warm feeling to it, and the energy in there is amazing. Everyone that walks in is in awe. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect place for my store. I had to have it.”

While Deborah purchased the building in the spring of 2016, it took the rest of the year to convert the dwelling from a residential to a commercial property, which involved some unforeseen red tape due to zoning restrictions. Bringing it up to code took a little extra time and money, but in the end it was all worth it. Deborah is very happy there, as are her customers. She has a regular clientele that frequent her stores, and steady foot traffic thanks in large part to word of mouth.

During this time Deborah became a Reiki practitioner, taking the required classes and getting her certification, initially in Reiki 1. For those unfamiliar with Reiki, it is a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate problems of energy flow on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. The therapy is used in much the same way that traditional massage therapy is used; to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions.

“More and more hospitals today are using Reiki, particularly for treatment in cancer patients,” Deborah says. “It’s an amazing form of holistic medicine. Everyone is made up of energy, and sometimes that energy can be off a little off. Reiki, I say, is a massage for your soul.”

A lot of the jewelry on the shelves of Heart of a Gypsy is relative to Reiki therapy. She uses a lot of chakra stones, considered healing crystals, in her charms, rings and bracelets. Deborah offers the stones and crystals for individual sale, as well as herbs that are used for a variety of purposes, including helping someone stop smoking. Whether it is handwoven blankets, quilts, handbags, incense, candles, dreamcatchers, and aromatherapy sprays and items, there is very little you won’t find at Heart of Gypsy, and plenty of items that you will not find anywhere else. Deborah is also involved in selling a men’s custom clothing line, J. Hilburn, which she also carries in her store.

So stop in and visit Heart of a Gypsy at 24 Silk Lane in Scituate, call 401-764-5216 or visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/3gypsygirl3/.