Burgess Hill's new wellbeing gift shop: Alchemy opens at former site of barbers
A new wellbeing gift shop has opened in Burgess Hill at the former site of Headmasters The Barbers.
Sophie Boulderstone, 42, opened Alchemy at 10 Cyprus Road on Saturday, June 11.
The store sells plants, lotions, potions, and handmade candles and currently has a ceramic art installation in the window.
Sophie said: “The products that I make are 100 per cent natural as I don't like any preservatives myself.
“We've got floral waters and I make blended facial oils, which are very much for people who don’t want to put any ‘nasties’ on their skin.”
Sophie, who lives in Bolney, said her plants are particularly good at clearing the air of toxins and moulds.
Her herbal teas are full of minerals and can be good for helping people sleep or wake up naturally.
Sophie said she also wraps her gifts in recycled eco-friendly packaging.
Alchemy is not the first Sussex business that Sophie has owned.
She said: “I had a coffee shop in Ditchling before, and before that, many years ago, I had a shop in Brighton.
“I was trying to sell online but I’m much more of a ‘meeting people in person’ person. I like chatting to people, I like to lay the stuff out and make the windows nice and I’m very happy in a retail unit, especially one like this that’s very pretty.”
Sophie said the recent refurbishment work was challenging because she had to ‘bring it all back to a blank canvas’ before redecorating. This involved taking out basins, mirrors, hardboard and vinyl on the floors, plasterboard on the walls and redoing the ceilings.
Sophie said: “When I pulled down all the plasterboard and ceilings I found this gorgeous old tongue in groove panelling so I’ve exposed all of that and sanded it down and painted it.”
She also put down some ‘eye-catching’ old tiles.
In addition to her retail business Sophie does graphic design work and builds websites from her office in the back of the store. She also sells gifts online but loves working in Burgess Hill itself.
She said: "Lots of people have stopped by and everybody has been so unbelievably friendly.”