On Anapamu Street, across from the library and art museum, ethereal music has wafted out from Paradise Found for the past 33 years. Founded in 1986 with the original mission of “healing through music,” the shop has become a haven for folks interested in exploring conscious living.
As such, shop owner Teresa Taylor keeps Paradise Found full of myriad tools for that purpose. “We are here to lay out the most scrumptious feast of wisdom of the ages and then invite you to come and pick and choose whatever delights you,” she said.
Raised in Southern California, Taylor had spent her career as a commercial set decorator and a development director for arts nonprofits, living a nomadic existence, which included a stint in Australia, before settling in Santa Barbara. While deciding what to do next job wise, the opportunity arose to buy Paradise Found, and she jumped at the offer. Although Taylor had never worked in retail, she wanted to give it a go because, as she said, “I love variety. This shop suits my personality — the client base and the products.”
Although the music isn’t the main focus of the store any longer — streaming services having made CDs mostly obsolete — Paradise Found is still chock-full of items to help bring about calm, meditation, learning, and comfort. Whether you are seeking knowledge “through aromatherapy, books, or the accumulated wisdom of the ages represented by many different traditions,” Taylor said, you can find it there.
Tarot cards, dreamcatchers, glow-in-the-dark saints, scented candles, crystals, and books on a multitude of subjects pepper the shop’s cozy nooks and crannies. Astrological items are also on hand. “I think of astrology as a tool and as a connection point to something that’s outside of myself,” said Taylor. “So, tapping into cycles and rhythms that are larger than my little life of getting up and making a cup of tea broadens my perspective, my orientation.”
And what does Taylor have to say to those unfamiliar with Paradise Found who think it might be too “woo-woo”? “I think that anything in here can be used in ways that are superstitious, but my value is to empower people to decide for themselves,” she explained. “So come explore; don’t just take anybody’s word for anything. Try it on yourself and ask, ‘Does that resonate; does that fit; does that make sense in my brain and my soul?’ Otherwise, we are just taking one belief system and plopping it onto another, and we aren’t taking responsibility for our own growth and development and our own views.”
17 E Anapamu St.; (805) 564-3573; paradisefoundsb.com