In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Downtown core sits an inviting oasis at the northeast corner of Laura and Adams streets. Diversions, one of several great shopping options Downtown, specializes in stress-reduction products and recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Below, hear from Diversions owner Ida Metzger on why she loves her shop and Downtown Jacksonville.
Describe what Diversions offers its customers in nutshell.
We offer products and services for relaxation and stress recovery. That means everything from essential oils and herbs, soaps, teas; meditation and yoga supplies; Reiki and massage services; and even life coaching.
How did Diversions come about?
After having suffered through the stress of losing our own jobs and home in 2008 and seeing how stressed everyone around us had become, we decided that our knowledge of the products and different ways to relax, could help others. We then launched our first website in June 2010. July 2011, we participated in our first Art Walk and loved the vibe! In November of that same year, we were discovered by Brenda Kato, the owner of the Bee Gallery, which was located at The Landing. Her marketing company kept her so busy she was unable to have the gallery open on a regular basis. She asked us to bring our products to sell in her gallery to keep it open and give us a home. Subsequently, the Bee Gallery closed, and we went looking for a new home.
Why did you choose to stay Downtown?
The Art Walk gave us our start, and we wanted to give back to the community that gave to us. We found the Laura Street space and knew it was where we belonged. It is the hub of the Art Walk and many other events that happen Downtown, and we love being a part of it.
Since opening last year, how has Diversions grown?
We have added the services of Reiki, chair massage, life coaching and classes on the benefits of honey, meditation, yoga and even an upcoming class on relaxation chocolate! We are adding new products every month based on the desires of our clientele. We’ve also recently started our radio broadcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, each week discussing topics related to relaxation. We helped form the Jax Pack Downtown Merchants Association and began working with other businesses in and around the community as well as an international organization whose focus is on developing sustainable communities. We also continue with our social media presence both with Facebook and Twitter as well as several others.
What do you love most about having a business Downtown?
Our customers love us, and we love them! They love that we bring something unique to the Core. Downtown is a neighborhood just like any other, and the businesses down here all support each other and stand behind their community. We’ve become like family.
What would you tell someone considering opening a business Downtown?
Now is the best time to open your business down here. Downtown is on the verge of amazing growth! New businesses are coming in all the time, and the more unique the better! There are many incentives to take advantage of now before things really start to take off. There are also many resources such as the Downtown Merchants Association or Downtown Vision, Inc. that are there for support.
What’s next for Diversions?
Diversions is always looking to expand. Our true vision is to create a holistic living center or an “oasis” for Downtown that will provide services, classes and products dedicated to all things relaxation. We will continue to listen to the needs of our customers and bring them the stress-free life they deserve.
Anything else to add?
We also do special orders for certain products. If you don’t see it, ask!