On June 26th, 2016, fire struck and destroyed Mystical Mae Moon shop in Ontario. The little shop located at 1666 Tecumseh Road in Windsor, ON served as a local destination for all manner and make of spiritual and Pagan seekers and celebrants. The realization of a dream, the store’s owners Ron and Melissa spent the time and sweat equity to create a focal point of Canadian Pagan and spiritual communities in the welcoming space. This week it was condemned, and with it the blood and resources of local Pagans were stirred into action.
Mystical Mae Moon‘s story does not stop here at ruined bricks and mortar. They plan to build again from the ashes. Supporters of festivals, meet ups, groups, businesses, artisans and more, they represent a spiritual heartbeat that must not be silenced. This is their story.
Please tell us who you are and what this shop means to the community.
I am Ron Story, and my wife is Melissa ‘Mae’ Story. Our store hasn’t been open one year yet. We are very new. We have only been exposed to a small percentage of the community. I would like to think that we benefit the community with our workshops and classes. Not only do they help educate and spread knowledge, they also help people who are alike find one another.
I know connections have been made through our shops (sic) that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We also offer products at an affordable price. We try to keep our markup low. The economy isn’t doing well in this area. We would like to give everyone we can the opportunity to acquire the things they would like to have.
And now, what is the plan to bring it back?
We are waiting on insurance. Once we know where we stand with them, we will start looking for a new place.
How long had you been working towards this shop?
Not sure if I can recall accurately. We opened Sept 23, 2015. The summer prior we vended at various local markets. If I recall, we started planning late 2014.
How did this happen?
I assume you mean the fire. We are in a building that houses 5 commercial units, with 5 apartments on the 2nd floor. The fire started in the Laundromat which is owned and operated by the landlord. From news reports, the fire started at 9:30ish. We received a call from ADT at home (our alarm service) at 10:30 am that both doors sensors had been triggered. This was Sunday evening.
What is the damage to your inventory? How heavy is this loss?
Inventory is 100% loss due to smoke damage. Fixtures and furniture has yet to be determined by insurance. From what I was told, the building will be written off, that damage well exceeds the value of the building. So we are relocating as well. I had put a lot of money and work in renovations, which I will not be compensated for. We also lost our shop pet birds, 2 budgies named ‘Yellow’ and ‘Green’.
Emotionally, where are you right now?
What is getting you through this?
Emotionally, we are both a wreck. I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. I didn’t fall asleep until 3pm Monday, for a few hours. We are with very heavy heart. Our friends, that we met through our shop, have been very supportive and encouraging. My wife and I are leaning on each other, and our friends and the community are a great help with moral support. We are overwhelmed by the response.
The support system that you have earned through the esteem and good works you have done are rallying together to make the path back to regular operations faster. How does this make your work flow right now?
It’s to early to say, the work flow hasn’t begun yet in rebuilding. Everyone is volunteering to help when the time comes. I’m sure it will make it a positive experience, and fruitful one.
On a spiritual level, where do you feel the push for coming together to uplift you is coming from right now?
From the Pagan Community.
The Fat Feminist Witch is really sounding the cry to arms. Who is she to you?
The Fat Feminist Witch, also known as Paige, is a part-time employee of ours, who also has her goods at our shop on consignment, and does workshops out of our shop. She is not only an employee to us, she is family.
The staff and families of the store, how are they affected.
Our kids are upset over the loss of the birds. My youngest, who is 7 yrs old, asked us if the birds spirits are free and flying around us.
Paige is our only employee, and she has put our stores revival in front of her own survival. I believe she took it hard initially, but she became very motivated to ensure we rebuild.
Is there a move toward helping right now, other than the gofundme?
I’ve heard there is an online auction in the works. I don’t know the details.
Where can folks send their help?
Go to the page Help Mystical Mae Moon! on gofundme.
How else can people become involved in making this happen?
To be honest, I don’t know. I have never experience community pulling together like this. It’s overwhelming. I’m used to doing things on my own.
Is there anything you would like to say to the people just now hearing about this?
Hmm. Don’t take anything for granted. Things can turn upside down in minutes.
Sorry, struggling to put these emotions into words…
The community spirit that is pulling together to support us is amazing. I thought it was something that was lost. (the tribe spirit) I am so grateful for this support that I can not express it. I am sad and ashamed to say I was losing faith in humanity. It has been restored.