The Rockford area has always had spiritual and metaphysical folks, but it seems like they were all in hidden pockets tucked away, except for Psychic Denise Guzzardo and Cleo’s Apothecary who have been mainstays for years and a blessing for so many.
When I moved back from France in 2006, a year in Europe had opened me up big time in all kinds of ways. Things were happening in me that I couldn’t share, or felt I couldn’t, in this “conservative town.” (Oh, how we label! So not necessary!) Finding Womanspace is what kept me anchored. Meeting people who were expansive in their thinking, their creativity, and their compassion allowed me to grow and welcome all that was shifting in me. Womanspace has been in Rockford since 1975 and I had not known it existed. Now I tell people all the time to check out all the offerings and absolutely visit the labyrinth. (My HoneyMan and I married there on May 1, 2011). Two progressive nuns, Dorothy and Elaine, founded our beloved Womanspace, and we (this whole community) are forever grateful.
In 2017 when Eve Harker opened Luna Datura, I thought YAY ROCKFORD. When Tamika Brown opened Infinite Soul Vibrations in 2018, I thought YAY ROCKFORD.
In 2020, HoneyMan and I moved out of state, then bounced back, and in late 2022, I was called by Spirit to bring the “spiritual and metaphysical” people together for a day of healing, sharing, and communication. The overwhelming turnout for our April 2023 mind-body-spirit expo proved that this area is ripe and ready. YAY ROCKFORD.
In the process of organizing the expo, I was blessed and blown away. Many folks I already knew and loved were willing to join. Many I knew of, like Pastor Frank at Emmanuel where they offer a full line-up of all-inclusive events, were all in.
I met so many more wonderful people.
One of the first to jump on board was Steph at Synergy Collective in Roscoe. She had opened her retail shop (crystals, candles, boho, more) because it was what her soul needed. She also has several local people who make jewelry, etc., and others who offer classes and readings. Synergy made up 10 of our roster of 67 vendors and Steph was always ready to help in any way. When I had to tell Steph that the floor plan space for her crew was way less than I had originally thought, she was nothing but kind and gracious. Her integrity continues to move me. (She could have ripped my head off, but instead calmly said she would make it work.)
Ally and Jaime of 815 Yoga Collective also inspire me. I fell in love with them before I even met them. Ally and Jaime have evolved to rebrand as Sattava Yoga Spa and are opening their new space in Edgebrook Mall this fall. They are so much more than yoga and are a home to a growing spiritual community as well.
Kim at Quiet Souls in Freeport is sharing Native American traditions with retail, classes, and events. On and on it goes. Healers, readers, services, merch, the list is endless and inspiring.
Launching this expo was a growth experience for me, in every way. My world has opened and continues to expand.
And just like I was called to bring it to life, I am being called to pass the torch.
The AccessSOUL Mind Body Spirit Expo will continue – now as part of the successful Holistic Health Fairs. Operated by Debra Smith-Anderson, Debra’s story of her first event is similar to mine. She felt called to bring to light all the resources in her town of Kenosha. The success of that event inspired her to do more, all across Wisconsin and some Chicago suburbs.
The Universe connected Debra and me in crazy guided love. I am happy to announce Rockford will continue to have a mind-body-spirit expo now under the name of Holistic Health Fairs. The date will be in APRIL 2024. As soon as the exact date is set, I will let you know.
THANK YOU for the support and interest and for showing up! YAY ROCKFORD!