Where aloha meets the Adirondacks
At Unicorn Square, a silky pearl-colored curtain hangs directly across the front door. It advises all who enter: “Behind this magic curtain you will see the most magical, beautiful and amazing creature in all of Unicorn Square.”
It’s a sweet surprise upon entering. The whimsical shop is beyond even a child’s imagination. Children’s laughter echoes as they point at themselves in the mirror behind the curtain. Sometimes, the adults giggle, too.
“We’re always looking outside of ourselves,” says owner Bridget Hinman.
We’re in awe of mystic creatures like unicorns and fairies, but why can’t we see the magic within ourselves?
The hallway to the right of the mirror leads to Hinman’s illuminated crystal bar. Dainty glass bowls cover the countertops. They are filled to the brim with a variety of powerful, polished and rugged crystals. Their description cards list information on each jewel. Certain types correspond with specific zodiac signs but all serve a multitude of purposes.
Certain crystals are conducting energy within our hand-held devices and costly computers. “Every electronic has a component of a crystal,” explains Hinman, “so they’re precise conductors of energy.”
Just like the complicated inner-workings of a computer, our bodies are similarly complex. It is believed by many meta-physcial enthusiasts that crystals can connect the emotions within us. Using the crystals could help conduct our energy in beneficial ways. People may apply this to the energy of their intentions. As humans, there is mindfulness to where we want to move our life. Crystals can be a support system for that.
Hinman has many stones for daily needs and spiritual intents; rose quartz for love and anxiety relief, citrine for concentration, aquamarine for enhancing spiritual communication.
These stones can be found in the glass bowls on the crystal bar. The baby blue refrigerator behind the bar is stocked with all kinds of kombuchas and teas imported from a Hawaiian paradise.
The room to the left of the mirror leads to a wall of wildlife illustrations created by Hinman’s father, Thomas. There are handcrafted crowns and wands made by Hinman around the room. Hinman also crafts handsewn emotional support fairies for customers. Their hats feature dried lavender, their hearts are full of corresponding healing crystals and their wings offer positive affirmations. Each one is unique.
A wooden table sits in the back, awaiting a guest in need of a reading. This is where the magic happens. Tarot and oracle readings, dating back to the mid 15th century, consist of cards used for understanding and awareness. As they get shuffled and spread out, each card has its own qualities. Together, they can tell a story and the one having their cards read can take whatever messages resonate with their lives. Readings can be done pertaining to love, career, money and other basic human needs.
While spreading spirituality has always come naturally to Hinman, it hasn’t always been what she envisioned for herself.
From working at a ski resort in Colorado during the 1990s to her position as a marketing director at the nearby Whiteface Mountain, Hinman’s always had a sense of adventure and zest for the outdoors.
In 2012, she had a choice. Hinman loved her life in the North Country but felt as though she needed another challenge. She moved to New York City but quickly realized she preferred to be near the water. She was contacted by a friend to rabbit sit in Maui one Christmas. Hinman went on to spend nearly eight years in the “Aloha state.”
“The Hawaiian culture is my favorite part,” she says. “I look at it as the greatest privilege of my life to have learned a little bit,” she continues, “and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface.”
She worked as PTA president of a local elementary school and was also a member of the Maui Orchids Society. Hinman lived in a rainy part of Maui with a beautiful community.
“It’s not as loud and people don’t talk about themselves all the time,” she says. The state of mind is laid back, revolving around storytelling and relaxation.
The energy is very real and profound in Hawaii, as she describes it, and that is also the energy she brings to Unicorn Square each day. Hinman’s shop made its debut in Hawaii in 2016 before she relocated to Wilmington, New York. to be closer to her father.
“I’m happy to be here and it just feels right,” she says. “It’s fun to spread and offer what I’ve learned to people up here.”
She describes how the deep appreciation for nature in the Adirondacks truly resonates with her experiences back in Hawaii. “It’s just fun to bring a different take on it.”
The beauty within Unicorn Square is its lack of a label. It’s not necessarily a metaphysical shop but more or less anything visitors desire it to be.
“I don’t know what the word is yet but it’s like if you take Times Square in New York City and combine it with magical creatures and all the magic of nature.” That’s what it is, a cultivation of everything magical with the personal touch of Hinman’s spiritual journey.
Story by Hales Passino