Golden Braid Books: Compassion, Community & Consciousness
Golden Braid Books is dedicated to elevating consciousness, whether that be through in-store aura readings or the words of local Indigenous authors. Store manager Jennifer Rugg says that the efforts of Golden Braid come down to compassion, community and consciousness. This unique shop’s team is hard at work to make as many responsible, uplifting choices and purchases as possible.
In 1982, Jackie Pratt opened the shop on Broadway and 300 South with zero sales in the first month. Following Golden Braid’s gradual growth, it moved to its current location at 151 S. 500 East with major, sustainable efforts and a whole lotta love. As Golden Braid co-owner Pamela Brown explains, Pratt decided to open a cafe within the store. “Oasis [Cafe] is known and successful, and so people think that we’re the bookstore in Oasis Cafe, but [the two businesses] have always been married,” says Brown.
“Products that take care of the people that are making them [are] a really high priority for me, [as well as the] relationships I’ve had for 25 years.”
As a book buyer, Brown’s job has been to maintain the long-time relationships made by Pratt over 30 years ago with local authors, companies, publishers and representatives. All the vendors Golden Braid works with are carefully researched and selected, and long-lasting collaborations take precedence. Brown says, “Products that take care of the people that are making them [are] a really high priority for me, [as well as the] relationships I’ve had for 25 years.” Something important to the Golden Braid team is ensuring that all spiritual traditions are represented on their bookshelves as well as an array of genres: fiction, creativity, poetry and non-fiction focused on conscious living with children’s books among them. Product-wise, they sell local jewelry, lavender wraps, wind chimes, journals, tarot, oracle decks and so much more. Non-physical services, such as readings, are provided alongside free events—a book club, guided journaling classes and storyteller workshops.
Golden Braid sells non-material experiences in addition to items you can love all year round. Rugg explains that they don’t wish to create unnecessary waste and clutter. The two applaud younger generations who won’t stand for unethical and single-use, disposable mindsets. Brown says, “We’re providing what people are demanding, which is a result of a new consciousness about consumerism.”
“We’re providing what people are demanding, which is a result of a new consciousness about consumerism.”
With 10 readers—eight in-store and two phone-based—Golden Braid offers a plethora of different tellings: “We have tarot and oracle readers and a palm reader, someone who does astrology and human design, a psychic medium, a couple of astrologers who do birth charts/full natal charts and an angel card reader. Any day, we have at least one reader in the store,” says Rugg.
Since sacred, religious and spiritual items are sold within Golden Braid, Brown—who studied English and anthropology—makes ethical practices a priority. “The first thing I did when I took on buying was to have authors that were from the cultural origins for whom they were speaking. I wanted to include the original 13 tribes in Utah,” says Brown. “I’m very aware of … cultural [and] spiritual materialism. Education is important.” They often have others come to the shop to educate them about the specific items. Recently, for example, a Rinpoche came in from Denver to teach Brown and her team how to present katas, a traditional Tibetan offering scarf.
“I’m very aware of … cultural [and] spiritual materialism. Education is important.”
Brown also encourages people to look toward their own lineage and traditions, as well as inward, before looking outward at others’ spiritual practices. Golden Braid represents many traditions and spiritual holidays but puts integrity, education, sustainability and representation before any sort of profit. During the holidays, Golden Braid is not just a shop to stop at for Christmas stocking stuffers: “There are a lot of spiritual holidays. There are holidays of light in almost every tradition (Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, etc.). We want people to be able to come and celebrate all of those,” says Brown.
You can look into Golden Braid’s services and readers on their website, goldenbraidbooks.com. Give them a call at 801.322.1162 to schedule a reading or to ask questions regarding their services.
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