A NEW business has set up shop in the city centre.

Selling unique wares and starting from humble beginnings, Luna Amatores has this week opened its shop on Castle Street in Carlisle.

Near Bookends, the shop sells things you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the city, such as crystals and obscure curios, and also sells locally-sourced and made items like handsoaps and jewellery.

Korin Thompson founded Luna Amatores as an online-only business nearly ten years ago, and after a residency in the Fisher Street galleries in Carlisle, she has now upgraded to a city-centre shop front, with great success.

Speaking about her first day, Korin said: “It was really busy that day, which was fab, and the day after.

“I didn’t expect that on a Wednesday.”

On her beginnings, she said: “I started online in 2014, and I was still working full time. I think around two years ago, I started doing pop-up shops and since then, I’m here.”

You wouldn’t expect a shop that sells mainly crystals and may seem to cater to a more niche market to be so busy on a Wednesday in January, but Korin said her business has become more popular than ever: “It’s all mainly because of word of mouth, and also social media.”

Korin also offered insight into why crystals are becoming more popular: “Crystals are coming more popular with the younger generation, for a variety of reasons.”

She explained that for some, people are more into the spiritual side of crystals, whereas others simply like the way some crystals look and want to keep them either round their house, at work, or as jewellery.

Many people, she said, were influenced by celebrities who have started wearing or using crystals, and have been getting involved in crystal healing practices, and want to do the same.

From where she started to now, Korin said it’s been a mission, but a fun one: “On my first day I had a queue out the door which was really nice to see.

“I think there is definitely more of a demand for smaller, unique shops, because people prefer to know where their money is going to, and they can share a connection with the people that work there or own the business.”

Luna Amatores is open from 10am to 5pm.

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