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How a death in the family gave life to a new business
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Jennifer Walter is opening Cosmic Fox Trading Co. at 950 Washington Street in Gainesville. Walter's shop sells clothing, home decor, incense and aroma therapy and other items for the mind, body and soul. - photo by Scott Rogers

When Jennifer Walter’s father died in March 2018, all aspects of her life seemed trivial.

“I wanted to do something that would truly make me happy,” Walter said. “I questioned the meaning of life and mortality. It started pointing me in the direction of making some huge changes.”

She left Verizon Wireless after working at the company for 19 years and shut down her online store.

After a year, her life focused on a new purpose — starting up her own brick and mortar shop in Gainesville, Cosmic Fox Trading Co., offering off-beat and unique items. 

“Last month I had a random dream that I just found the perfect place,” Walter said.

She told her husband about the dream, and he encouraged her to entertain the idea. After six hours of driving around Hall County, she found her ideal spot in the old Garment & Grace Boutique at 950 Washington St. in Gainesville.

Walter signed the lease in early May and plans to hold the grand opening of her business,

Cosmic Fox Trading Co., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 15.

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Cosmic Fox Trading Co. is gearing up for a June 15 grand opening at 950 Washington Street in Gainesville. The shop sells clothing, home decor, incense and aroma therapy and other items for the mind, body and soul. - photo by Scott Rogers

The store sells incense, wrapped sage, CBD oil, jewelry, salt lamps, clothing and what Walter describes as “other unique treasures.”

“I’m surrounding myself with things that I’ve always loved,” Walter said. “When I was a little girl, my dad used to take me to this place in Texas that was very similar to this. I felt like I was in heaven every time.”

The store’s purple and blue walls are covered with mandala-style and other vibrant tapestries. Gemstone necklaces, lotions and handcrafted goods fill antique cabinets and a small lounge area takes up the shop’s back right corner.

Walter said the shop reflects her love of different cultures and spirituality.

The inspiration behind the name Cosmic Fox Trading Co. — like the building— popped up when she least expected it. While driving through Flowery Branch, she saw a fox for the first time.

“Foxes resonate with me and it made sense,” Walter said.

She aims to use her store as a means of supporting other small businesses, whether selling a local’s handmade soaps or someone’s original artwork.

“Ever since I met my husband, I’ve had a huge respect for small business owners,” Walter said. “I saw a quote somewhere that said, ‘When you spend money at a small business, you’re not paying for a CEO’s vacation, you’re paying for a little girl’s dance lessons.’”

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Jennifer Walter is opening Cosmic Fox Trading Co. at 950 Washington Street in Gainesville. Walter's shop sells various clothing items along with bits of home decor, an array of incense and aroma therapy and other items from around the world. - photo by Scott Rogers

Walter said she has begun to truly understand and appreciate the struggle of building a business from the ground up.

“On the surface it may look like a pretty place with things, but it’s building a website and taking 15 phone calls a day from vendors,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but I like it and enjoy it.”

With over a week before Cosmic Fox Trading Co. opens, Walter said she is excited about her dream store. Even if someone spends 30 minutes in the shop and doesn’t buy anything, she said it would make her happy “because it’s a place where people want to go or think about.”

“My hope is that Cosmic Fox will become a local fixture of the community,” Walter said. “A familiar living, breathing expression of culture, curiosity and spirit, for those who are drawn to like-minded individuals and anomalous treasures that speak to the soul.”

For more information about Cosmic Fox Trading Co. visit its Facebook page or mycosmicfox.com.

This report has been updated from its original version.

Cosmic Fox Trading Co. grand opening

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 15

Where: 950 Washington St., Gainesville

More info: mycosmicfox.com

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Cosmic Fox Trading Co. is preparing for a grand opening on June 15 at 950 Washington Street in Gainesville. Owner Jennifer Walter has recently left the corporate life to follow her dream of small business ownership. The eclectic shop sells clothing, home decor, incense and aroma therapy and other items for the mind, body and soul. - photo by Scott Rogers
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