From the Print
Donna Blackman, here with her dog Rosey, opened Heaven On Earth Emporium earlier this month. The store features a variety of new and antique products, such as ladies apparel, jewelry, chocolate and soap. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Donna Blackman, here with her dog Rosey, opened Heaven On Earth Emporium earlier this month. The store features a variety of new and antique products, such as ladies apparel, jewelry, chocolate and soap. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Bit of ‘Heaven’ right here, right now

Heaven On Earth Emporium, the most recent retail store to open downtown, is filled with both the unique and the functional — sandals, pillows, home decor, flavored mustards, sweaters, jewelry, bricks of fudge, soap and salt water taffy.

The store, which opened earlier this month in the spot vacated by Basho Apparel and next to the News, combines new products that owner Donna Blackman makes or sources from inventory buyouts with recycled goods she picks up from antique and thrift stores.

“It’s a place to buy a yard of fabric and a cookie,” said Blackman, who has similar stores in Xenia and Waynesville. “I find so many interesting things, I had to name this an emporium.”

Visitors to the store, at 253-C Xenia Avenue, will find racks of clothes and accessories, stands of jewelry, cases of chocolate, shelves of soap and a gallery room filled with art.

Blackman said the theme of the store is eclectic with a mix of products from antique to contemporary, Victorian to bohemian, for tourists and locals alike.

“I want to offer things to give the tourists a touch of Yellow Springs,” Blackman said, hoping everyone can take home, “a little bit of heaven.” They might gravitate to the store’s beaded jewelry and handmade aprons, both created by Blackman, and its bulk candies, vegan purses, paintings and pottery.

But the store also has goods that locals might need, such as bulk organic cleansers, shea butter soaps, fabrics and trims, pre-packaged seasonings, garden supplies, umbrellas, new and antique apparel for ladies and kids and, eventually, furniture. Blackman plans to fill the large space in the rear of the store with chests of drawers, cabinets, tables, chairs, beds, headboards and more.

“I like to think I’m not a thrift store,” she said. “It’s more of a higher-end boutique experience without the higher-end boutique prices.”

Environmentally-conscious shoppers can pick up a bracelet that reads, “Save the Earth,” fill their reusable container with organic baby shampoo or liquid soap, and take their goods home in a recycled bag filled with recycled tissue paper.

Blackman, who lives in Fairborn, opened her first store in the area one-and-a-half years ago when she returned to the Dayton area, where she grew up. Previously she had a southwestern boutique and nail salon in Dallas, Texas. The Xenia location specializes in antique clothing and glassware, with French country, shabby chic and Victorian home decor, while the store in Waynesville additionally has teas and coffees. The Yellow Springs location will include more holistic health items and environmental products.

“I like the market, I like the town, I like the values and what [villagers] stand for — peace and organic, holistic, healthy living,” Blackman said of Yellow Springs.

Blackman looks forward to meeting people in town, introducing patrons to her tiny 1.5-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua dog named Rosey, and delivering a satisfying shopping experience for everyone who comes.

“I want to provide a higher-end experience for people,” Blackman said, where everyone can afford something, even if it’s from the $2 rack, and gift-wrapping is free. “Everyone gets the experience — everybody’s special.”

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