Some businesses begin with an idea. Others start out of necessity. Heather Erb began hers with a revelation. While mourning the passing of her stepfather, Heather took time to reevaluate her career as an art teacher in the Lynchburg school system.
“After diving deep into my own spirituality, I began to find myself attracted to the idea that spirituality was bigger than any idea I had previously held, and spirit started to show up in my life in ways I hadn’t expected,” Heather relates. “Fortunately, it led me to crystals.”
Heather realized that starting a business of her own could look different than she imagined, but still provide the fulfillment she sought. She explains, “I had always had the inclination to start a business of my own and had seen it in my life through my parents, as they both successfully worked for themselves. However, I was under the misconception that my business would be one that supported me as a local craftswoman.” She went on, “That’s when it occurred to me that if I couldn’t find the type of healing I was in search of, then I could create my own healing and open a store that catered to the needs I had, in the hopes that it could also cater to others in need like me. And so the idea was born to open a crystal shop.”
Grounded Earth was born. In addition to crystals and gemstones of all types, the shop offers Reiki, energetic clearing and chakra balancing, as well as psychic readings, and other spiritual guidance.
Heather explains that Grounded Earth has thrived thanks to direct support from the SBDC-Lynchburg Region Center Director Stephanie Keener. “Working with Stephanie has been a godsend. She was very knowledgeable and made me feel confident that opening a new business was actually not scary. She answered my questions and gave me resources that exponentially propelled me forward,” explains Heather. “Stephanie continued to check in with me after I started the process, encouraging future meetings with her to make sure I was going to be successful at starting a new business,” Heather adds.
For Heather, Grounded Earth is a small retail shop with a big mission. Heather sees the SBDC and Stephanie as a critical part of that mission. They worked with Heather and Grounded Earth to design and build a website for the fledgling business free of charge.
“Stephanie took a process that felt overwhelming and broke it down into steps that made it easy for me to manage,” Heather says. “She went above and beyond my expectations and presented me with opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Thanks to Stephanie Keener and the SBDC-Lynchburg Region, Grounded Earth can begin establishing a presence within the community.