Seance at Tiffany’s boutique owners excited to do business in DeKalb

DeKalb city to give final consideration on permanent body art license to Seance at Tiffany’s, no decision yet

Seance at Tiffany's is seen Feb. 5, 2024 at 150 E. Lincoln Highway in downtown DeKalb.

DeKALB – A new boutique dubbed Seance at Tiffany’s is seeking a body art establishment license from the DeKalb City Council to enable the business to operate fully as its owners intended.

The establishment, 150 E. Lincoln Highway, makes for the latest addition to the downtown DeKalb business scene.

Seance at Tiffany’s is run by Randi Lockhart and Shari Potter, who are sisters-in-law.

The business will treat patrons to an array of metaphysical offerings, including anything from skin care and candles to crystals, spell kits, tarot guidance and tarot readings. If approved to operate by the city, the boutique also will perform permanent make-up services on site.

At a recent City Council meeting, Lockhart said the boutique had already opened its doors to patrons for one Saturday earlier this month, much to both her and the community’s excitement after announcing plans online.

“Our first day, we did incredible,” Lockhart said. “We made rent. … And we’ve had a lot of support online. Either way, I promise to stay within code, even if this [permanent body art] doesn’t happen. It’s just been incredible being part of the community the one day we’ve been open.”

Seance at Tiffany’s plans to host a grand opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 22. The following day, the establishment will begin with regular hours of operation.

Lockhart said she and Potter couldn’t be happier about setting up a storefront in DeKalb.

For the past year, they have been vendors working at various craft fairs and community events.

“Just to be in downtown DeKalb, I mean, it’s a dream,” Lockhart said. “We could not believe that this storefront opened. I think everyday we stand outside and stop. I’m just so excited.”

When asked what separates her establishment from Herbal Oracle and other similar type operations, Lockhart pointed to some key differences.

“We more or less complement each other rather than compete,” Lockhart said. “[Herbal Oracle Owner Dezarae Haley] said if somebody wants to know how to detox their liver, she’ll know the herb for that. But if somebody wants to know the best herb for a full moon ritual, she’ll send them over here. So, ours is more of a spiritual side of things. … I think she’s a psychologist. So, hers is medicinal and ours is spiritual. We also plan on connecting with her and doing some classes or events together.”

Lockhart said she and Potter look forward to the prospect of collaborating with other women-owned businesses in town to host events or classes, as well.

“We want to come up with something with all the women-owned businesses on the street and try to do something, all-of-us-together type thing,” she said.

No decision yet from city

2nd Ward DeKalb Alderwoman Barb Larson speaks at the Jan. 8, 2024 meeting of the DeKalb City Council.

DeKalb city leaders intend to give final consideration to whether to issue a body art establishment license to the owners of the boutique at a future council meeting.

It would allow the establishment to perform permanent make-up services around eyebrows, eyeliner and freckles, in addition to scar camouflage and scalp micro pigmentation.

Lockhart said she is aware of one artist at a nearby tattoo shop who performs some of the services that Seance at Tiffany’s is seeking clearance for.

“There’s not a lot of places to get it done,” she said. “I also feel like there’s not enough education about it or people want to know about it. So, I was really excited to hopefully bring that into the storefront, too, because it’s going to be an open comfortable place for people to come in, look at candles, ask questions.”

City Manager Bill Nicklas said city staff is recommending that the council reject the petitioner’s request for a body art establishment license.

“Our estimation – and different voices in the professional city staff – feel there really isn’t any wiggle room with the best of intentions,” Nicklas said. “It actually fits in with the definitions that are already in the code.”

But Mayor Cohen Barnes said it’s clear that the community would be supportive of the petitioner’s request.

“I think I’m hearing a lot of support for this,” Barnes said.

When asked if the boutique may feel like it’s in competition with tattoo shops, Lockhart negated the idea.

“Sometimes it’s intimidating to go into a tattoo shop for that,” Lockhart said. “We’ll have an area in the back. It’s a private experience while they’re getting that done but a very calming environment surrounding by a bunch of positivity.”

People who commonly receive permanent make-up services may include cancer survivors, domestic abuse victims and anyone with acne or scars.

Second Ward Alderwoman Barb Larson said she can see the need for a business that may offer permanent make-up services.

“Normally, this goes against what I view, but I can kind of see it, and if not there, then maybe you can find another place,” Larson said.

Regardless of the final decision the City Council makes at a future date, Lockhart said she and Potter intend to move ahead with their grand opening, even if that means finding a new location at a later date should their request be denied.

Seance at Tiffany’s regular hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to city documents. The establishment is open Sundays by appointment only.

Lockhart said she and Potter are overwhelmed by how the community has embraced their boutique from the start. She said she understood it may take some time before the city would give consideration to the establishment’s request for a body art establishment license.

The mayor and the council have so far directed legal counsel to prepare a modified ordinance that defines the boutique and its use. More discussion on the matter is expected at another public city council meeting.

“We’re extremely excited,” Lockhart said. “We almost want to cry, so we’re very, very excited to see this come to life.”

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