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ALTON - Donna and Dave Nunnally of It's Raining Zen have expanded into yet another area of Mineral Springs Mall, making "Indigo Moon" their second expansion since entering the building and third overall.
Starting as a part of a consignment shop on Homer Adams Parkway, the metaphysical and holistic shop keeps growing to fit its customers' needs. The newest part of the shop, called Indigo Moon, is across the hall from It's Raining Zen, and has more of a holistic feel with its bath bombs, essential oils, soaps and extensive tea collection. The store is currently managed by Ashlan Wilkins, the fourth employee hired by the Nunnallies.
"When we first started, we had zero employees," Dave Nunnally said. "Now we have four local people we have given jobs. I think that it's great."
Donna Nunnally said the idea for the new shop began in the summer of 2017. She said a lot of time was taken to ensure it had the best opening and first impression possible. When it opened a few weeks ago, Indigo Moon was stocked to the brim with dozens of different bath bombs, scores of soaps, special dog treats, more than 50 essential oils and the shop became the only place in Alton to get Republic of Tea brand teas.
Some of the soap names are based on what inspires the Nunnallies and their employees as well. Titles such as "Piasa Bird Poop" reflect the comedic spirit of the shop and Alton as a whole, while names such as "Help Me, Obi Wan, You're My Only Soap" (named by Wilkins) reflect some of the interests, passions and humors of the people who run the shop.
Wilkins said the shop's popularity since opening has continued to grow, with the most sought-after items being the bath bombs.
"Our bath bombs are going like crazy," she said. "You can still feel the essential oils on you after the bath, and that's really good. You won't get as many options for such good prices anywhere else around here."
Both Donna and Dave Nunnally agree the expansion is yet another showcase of their ultimate business philosophy of giving back and reinvesting into the community. While they are transplants, the couple has grown to love Alton and all of its people for the history, the folklore and their "never give up" attitudes.
"We do all of it in the spirit of giving back," Dave Nunnally said. "We help organizations and people around here as a priority. Of course businesses operate to generate revenue, and doing that is a priority, but a very equal priority has always been and will always be, 'are we doing the right thing?,' and 'is what we are doing helping people?' Ultimately, we want to spread happiness and love throughout Alton."
Donna Nunnally said a lot of the items for sale in both It's Raining Zen and Indigo Moon as well as the classes offered, which range from awakening empathy to channeling spirituality, help bring people inwards from the fringe. She said she wants people to come away from the fringes and become a part of the community and feel accepted, and she believes her business helps people connect in that fashion.
Dave Nunnally agreed with his wife, adding as a business owner, he can gather around a table with his employees, share a snack, share a meal and engage in conversation. He said those moments feel as if he is a part of their family more than they being his employees.
Overall, the two said the expansion is less about retail than changing people's lives. Donna Nunnally said many of the customers of It's Raining Zen and Indigo Moon leave feeling inspired. She said she has done special favors for customers and ordered special objects with the intention of making their lives better. She said she has been pleased at how they react.
"I've had people come in and want something, but they didn't have enough," she said. "Sometimes I'll give it to them, give them a discount or maybe even just ask them to pay what they can, and every time they leave inspired. All I ask them to do is pay it forward. That doesn't necessarily mean doing something financially. I just want them to feel inspired to do something for someone else."
It's Raining Zen and Indigo Moon are each located within Mineral Springs Mall, which is located at 301 E. Broadway in Alton.
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