August 2019 ~ A Note
This page text is over 15 years old. Many things have changed since then, particularly me :) The information, below, is an archive of that old page. If you are curious about how I have changed, you can visit our newest website's about us page, here.
Grandpa's General Store is owned and operated by me, Erin Gjertsen. We are a tiny mom & pop business, located in rural Wisconsin.
It was my Grandfathers idea that I should open a store and I did, after he passed in 1996, naming it after him..
Until then, I worked mostly in a customer service capacity for a variety of companies, from customs clearance documentation in Australia and the USA, to international freight forwarding, managing a messenger service, to waiting tables in a steak house, to bartending and listening to people's troubles. One customer, who worked for McDonnell Douglas, used to call me "mimi", meaning "ear" in Japanese.
Besides my work experience, I have always had a strong interest in animals, the theater, and what makes people tick. Although I had my first tarot deck by the time I was 12, my real interest in metaphysics did not come about until 1990 or so.
Back to Grandpa's:
Grandpa's General Store started in Sparta, Wisconsin, in April of 1996 (with a lot of help from my husband Ralph). At that time, Grandpa's merchandise was a mixture of antiques, unique gifts, and novelty toys and candy, hence the General Store name.
After we expanded our candle lines, added incense, oils, and "hippy" merchandise, we began to attract a different type of customer, someone more interested in the spiritual life, many "seekers of wisdom".
There were many antique shops in Sparta, but no metaphysical supplies for 26 miles.
After 4 years, many more changes, trials, and minor defeats, we finally had the "right" location, the "right" mix of merchandise, and enough loyal customers to be able to make it.
As fate would have it, a family member's bout with cancer gave me an opportunity to rethink my own priorities. We closed the retail store in November, 2000, and are now strictly online, allowing for time off when the challenges of balancing the business and family life become too much.
People who know Grandpa's, know they will find that unusual or unique item they are looking for. They know if I don't have it, I can usually get it or tell them where they can find it. They know they can count on good quality, at a fair price.
At Grandpa's, we want you to be happy! We try to treat you the way we would want to be treated, if we went to your store. It seems so simple, but it is hard to find people in business who still feel this way. Shop with confidence at Grandpa's. We will treat you right!
Thanks for visiting and happy shopping!
With Love and Respect,
What I Believe:
I believe we are here to love, to learn, to share, and to grow. My "God/Goddess" is nature, including every naturally occurring object on the planet. It is in me, it is in you, it is in my cat, the ladybugs that inhabit my kitchen, the rocks I collect, even the I don't know what I saw climbing up my wall in my front entry, late, the other night ;0)
I find my higher power in the wind, the snow, the oceans, the Sun, Moon, the lake, the trees in the backyard, and the ring of mushrooms outside my front door in the spring. I admit, it isn't always easy loving some of these things. I have a lawn that gets Creeping Charlie(I let it grow) I have plants that get infected with mealy bug( I remove them, with respect).
I believe in many forms of "divination", tarot, astrology, and such. I believe they show us the sign posts of our life, where we are headed, this moment, now, IF we do nothing different. If we change our path, then our future changes, as well. Simple.
I am NO guru, swami, or enlightened being, simply an ordinary human, like you, traveling along my path doing the best that I can and making mistakes along the way. Hopefully, I am learning from most of those mistakes and am becoming a little more enlightened. : )
I believe in reincarnation, by the way, so does Grandma.
I believe that we are all on a spiritual journey and that each one of us has chosen a different path to follow. I believe there are lessons that you have chosen for yourself, in this lifetime.
I believe in magick, the infinite power of the mind to manifest whatever it dwells on consistently, as reality.
I believe there is so much about the Universe, we have yet to experience. I believe that is why we have this gigantic brain, that we use so little.
I have been "firewalking"(twice) and believe me, if you can walk, for 40 feet, across a burning bed of bright red hot coals... it changes your concept of "reality", bigtime. I believe that I am not special, hardly, that if anything, it was harder for me than the average bear : ) However, I am pleased that I did it, and it changed my life for the better.
I believe that you change so much over your lifetime. One of my rules: Never be afraid to change your mind or to let others know that you have changed. What you think today maybe totally different from what you think 5 years from now.
And so, this is what I believe, today, right now. I do not ask you to believe it, and I hope you do not ask me to believe what you do. I only ask you to accept my right to my beliefs, just as I accept yours. And Please, do not email me with arguments about religion. As Yasir Arafat was wont to say (paraphrased here), War on religion is nothing more than people fighting over who has the better imaginary friend.
That is what makes America so wonderful, to many who strive to get here. The right to voice your opinion, the right to protect yourself, the right to your religious views, the right to representation, and on. We(most Americans) have no idea what it is like to be tossed into a prison, with never a lawyer or a trial, for YEARS, or to be a woman stoned with rocks, in public, for showing our bare arm or face in public.
I believe it is important try to help those you care about to be better people, to follow their own path, and to help those they love to do the same. They say we are only removed from any other person on the planet by six people. So, I say, try to love everybody, the best you know how. You never know the ripple effect you may cause...
My Current Goals
To rebuild this web site and create a friendly place where people will feel welcome to come and share whatever spiritual, magickal, or metaphysical knowledge they have to offer.
The store needs to be here to support the site and we are working on making it easier to shop and easier for us to update, as well.
As our community grows, visitors like yourself, will be able to offer links to other item sources, and we can offer the links to get them the information that they seek. We will have an area for contributions, such as crafting and "how to" articles, product reviews, and community forums, all without leaving Grandpa's!
With well over 500 pages, already, it is no easy task, but it is getting closer to completion.
To do the above without sidestepping my own path. Opening the store, led me to new people, who allowed me to see things I never noticed before. The store led me to opening the website, the website led me to new people, who allowed me to see things I never noticed before...
What is next, I don't know, but I am curious to find out.
Well, if you read this far, you must be very curious yourself, and maybe even understand a little where I am coming from.
Have fun, enjoy the site, feel free to share whatever bit/vault full of information you have.
Thanks, for dropping by!
With Love And Respect,