2012-06-07 / 52

Phoenix Rising welcomed to city

By Brian Keely

Scott Tarbox, owner of Phoenix Rising. (Brian Keely photo) Scott Tarbox, owner of Phoenix Rising. (Brian Keely photo) There is a brand new jewelry and gift store in downtown Biddeford. Phoenix Rising is a great place to find unique gifts and handmade sterling silver jewelry. Located 289 Main St., Phoenix Rising opened its doors about a month ago and is quickly becoming known for its unparalleled inventory of gifts and jewelry. It imports items from all over the world, which ensures great shopping finds. Phoenix Rising carries handmade jewelry, gemstones, spiritual items, incense, herbs, candles, a variety of statuary and more. I spoke with owner Scott Tarbox, who was excited to open his business in the downtown.

How did you get interested in making jewelry?

I have been making jewelry for over 30 years. When I was young, my mom always wore jewelry, she loved wearing it. I started to make jewelry for her as gifts and her friends started to notice it. They asked her where she got it. When they found out, they asked me to make some for them. It just blossomed from there.

What is your definition of a spiritual item?

Spirituality is a sense of enlightenment. A spiritual item is something external that is used to help a person go internally where spirituality exists.

What is incense used for?

People use incense for many reasons: relaxation, meditation, stress relief and for prayers and petitions. There are incense designed for specific things too. We have an incense called “Love Drawing” when burned will bring true love to you. “Protection and Blessing” is an incense burned to protect and bless you or your home.

What is your favorite incense?

My favorite is Hekate. It is a very pleasant smelling incense. It’s what you smell in my store right now. I burn it in here all the time, it is very popular and everyone seems to ask what it is.

Is there anything in here people are surprised to find out when they come in?

In here there are lots of things people might not expect. We have such a wide variety of items that don’t stick to one genre. People would be surprised to know that I am actually an ordained minister. I do weddings, funerals, home blessings and cleansings.

Why did you decide to open your business in downtown Biddeford?

There were lots of people online and in person who said I should open here and that I would do really well in this area. I was told it’s a great area with a good customer/client base.

What aspects of the downtown appeal to you?

I like that it is a close-knit community. I already have got to know a lot of people and local business owners. I like the architecture too, I really love old buildings.

Is there anything the city could do to attract more businesses to the downtown?

They could do a little better job with its appearance. People putting their trash out too early is an issue. They could do a little better with cleaning the streets.

What types of businesses would you like to see open in the downtown?

I like to see stores that cater to a wider variety of people. I’d like to see some hip and trendy stores open. Clothing stores and businesses like that.

How was the process of opening your business?

The overall process of permits and inspections was fast and easy. The only problem, I am still waiting for my sign. It has been over a month waiting for the historic preservation committee to review it and pass their recommendations on to code. In my opinion, that is too long to wait for a sign.

How is parking for your business?

It’s OK, but there needs to more free parking or parking without time limits. I see everyone moving their cars every two hours to avoid a ticket. I would like to see a free parking lot for this end of Main Street.

What has been your favorite downtown moment?

(Smiling) Getting my store open. It’s only been a few weeks, but I have to say meeting the snake guy comes to mind. His name is Dave and he walks around town with his two red tailed boa constrictors.

52 is written by Biddeford Downtown Development Commission Chairman Brian Keely (husband of Editor Molly Lovell-Keely). The DDC’s mission is to promote, market, improve and revitalize downtown Biddeford. For more information, contact Keely at ddcbiddeford@yahoo.com.

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