They’re creepy and they’re k Pandora’s Box & Oddities: Your One-Stop Weird Shopooky, mysterious and spooky: Pandora’s box is husband and wife team Heather & Gregg who love the strange, odd and macabre. They have been buying, selling, creating and trading together for over 15 years. Originally founded in Massachusetts, USA the couple now operate out of their wonderful store in York, UK close to the infamous Shambles and Minster. (Check out our Punky Mom Look Book we shot in York here, Heather makes an appearance)
I’m a huge fan of Pandora’s box, my skull candle has pride of place on my living room shelf. In addition to selling unusual curated finds, in-house created skulls and biological specimens, new and antique taxidermy as well as modern and local art – Pandora’s box offer small mammal taxidermy classes on a monthly or private basis. They were just featured in this award nominated documentary short!
When was your company founded and where are you based?
It evolved from a hobby and became a full time job and business in June of 2011. We are now based in York, just down the road from the Minster, but originally in Massachusetts.
How many are involved in your small business?
There is me, my husband Greg is the mad scientist, skeleton builder and handy as can be! His mum Linda makes our creepy teddies, dresses and whatever else strikes her fancy (most recently a full sized coffin with the help of her handy husband John!). Ken and Elaine, Greg’s Dad and Step-Mum make all of our plaster pieces, unique candles and our garden ornaments. They’re retired and now work harder than ever. And Pandora, my 5 year old has a genuine hand in everything. We are so lucky to have such a supportive and hands on family.
What inspired you to start your own company?
Maternity policies in the US. This was our hobby, and was quite a lot of fun. As I went further along in my pregnancy with Pandora I knew I didn’t want to leave her to return to full time work at just a few weeks postpartum. We made sure I didn’t have to.
Did you have a background in business prior to starting your company?
Nope! I previously ran a busy medical practice for 2-4 doctors and was as indispensable and referred to as a palm pilot.
Did you run into any problems or resistance while launching?
No, but I don’t respond to resistance. I build a bridge.
How do you get the most out of your day?
I love what I do passionately. I eat sleep and breathe it and it fulfils me. I try to keep a balance and struggle with that. I like to spend some time structured and speeding through the necessary work and I also like being led by creativity. What I do is a messy combination of both.
How is your family a part of your business choices?
My family is a part of everything I do. Pandora helps so much and I let her know I value her input even in something as small as arranging fossils on a shelf. Greg is my ideas partner and my business partner even though our international move has forced him to go back to other full time employment.
What music inspires you?
I listen to so many types of music, everything from 80’s, The Cure, Punk, Metal and Emo. My favourite playlist is punk and metal bands doing pop hit covers.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
I love exploring history and nature. York is an incredible place to live and is brimming with history. I especially love wandering the museums and cemeteries. It never gets old. Many of my interests are around the shop as it is what makes me tick.
What do you see in the future for your oddities shop?
Our present goal is to turn the back half of the shop into a small curiosity museum. It will be accessible for a small fee and a portion of admission fees will go to a yet-to-be-chosen charity. We plan to incorporate this slowly in the coming months. We are also expanding our class offerings due to increasing demands.
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