Angela Wehnert never lost her sense of childlike wonder, and it is that uninhibited joy that makes visiting her 6th Avenue store, Crescent Moon, such a delight.
Crescent Moon, a standalone building featuring a whimsical mural and its own parking lot, is full of the same wonder as its founder.
Angela calls her store “a magical gift shop and tea lounge” and that is a pretty accurate description. There are so many kinds of art, figurines, jewelry, trinkets, candles, books, journals, and game sets, that one could literally while away an afternoon at Crescent Moon. Of course, the tea lounge helps.
Having opened the shop in 2003, Angela runs the store with her husband Daniel. Before he joined his wife full-time, Daniel worked as a software tester engineer at Microsoft. “He’s great with people and is so happy to be out from behind the desk,” Angela jokes.
Crescent Moon came to be after some trial, error, and experience. In 1993, at the age of 19, Angela opened a store in her home state of Illinois. “Wrong place, wrong time,” she says about why that endeavor came to an end.
After working in corporate retail for several years, things fell into place, and fortunately for Washingtonians, she was able to make her dream of being her own boss a reality right here in Tacoma, after an auspicious, albeit mobile, start in Lakewood.
“My business actually started on the weekends at the Star-Lite Swap Meet in Lakewood,” Angela explains. “After my fourth weekend there, I had folks asking where my store was and the vendor next to me said ‘you better think of a name because you’re building a business.’ I went home and thought about a necklace I had once that had a crescent moon with a wizard as a face and, as I was currently selling mystical items, it was the inspiration for the name.”
Today Crescent Moon serves as a community gathering place that offers a myriad of events and activities, from tarot readings to classes to festivals.
“We run two large community festivals and offer more than a dozen events and classes in store every month,” says Angela.
In addition to Angela and Dan, the store employs four part-time employees and five independent contractors who provide rune, oracle, palm, and tarot readings in-house.
Candles, crystals and incense are Crescent Moon’s consistent bestsellers. Many people shop at the store for statuary, tea, books, and jewelry, too.
As far as the festivals go, the store’s Spring Fairy Festival was so popular that an additional fairy festival was created. “The Spring Fairy Festival started as a fun after-hours party for our customers and over the last nine years has grown into a sizable street fair event drawing over 4,000 people in 2016,” Angela explains. “It brings together art, music, dance and workshops that inspire creativity and encourage people to be themselves, dress up, and have fun. It fits well with the theme of our store and was so popular that we introduced the Fall Fantasy Faire to complement it in the fall.”
Classes and other events popular with Tacoma residents include the monthly drum circle and the store’s “make and take” workshops, where you can create your own custom oils, crystal bottles, candles, and more. Other classes offer a variety of cultural topics, including Norse, Egyptian, and Celtic studies, as well as astrology, tarot, Wicca, and aromatherapy.
Aside from how much she loves working with her husband and being her own boss, Angela really and truly cares for her customers.
“We meet the most wonderful people. My heart still sings whenever someone exclaims they just found their new favorite store, or that just coming in uplifts their spirit. That is the best feeling in the world,” Angela shares. “Some of our customers have been with us since the beginning and I have seen their children grow up through the years. It’s amazing how time flies.”
The store and its cozy tea lounge provide an escape from the stress of everyday life and it truly does offer something for everyone. “We encourage people to let their inner child out to play, we offer a safe haven for all walks of life, and support a strong sense of community.”
She continues, “I have always had a fascination with fantasy, mythology and spirituality,” says Angela. “I have created a world where I can live my fantasy to never grow up, enjoy the magic in all things and look at life with childlike wonder.”
Crescent Moon Gifts
2502 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98406