New Owners Keep Higher Self and Gems Shining

STRUTHERS, Ohio — Business partners from Youngstown and Poland have teamed up to renovate and open Higher Self and Gems, a wellness center located at 71 Terrace Ave.

Previously the Hidden Path, Arielle Freeman and Corey Kemp of Youngstown, and Cristina Manos of Poland celebrated a ribbon cutting for the building on Tuesday. They opened three shops within: The Bookstore Café, Candle Shop and Pure Goddess Shop. Each offers candles, books, crystals, stones and spa products.

Freeman frequented Hidden Path, previous occupant of the building, before opening her business at the site. “It was my sanctuary where I came to get away. There’s always been a good vibe here,” Freeman says.

She would have tarot readings done and mediate. Eventually, she opened her own space in Boardman for a short while in 2018, doing her own readings there.

Even though she moved to open her own business, Freeman still would go back to the safe space in Struthers, she says. It was during what she thought was a quick, routine trip that she found out the then-owner died.

“Something led me in here that day,” Freeman recalls, referring to when she found out the fate of the Struthers location.

Arielle Freeman (center) celebrates the ribbon-cutting of Higher Self and Gems with parter, Corey Kemp, to her left and her daughter Amari Clay to her right.

Saddened by the news, Freeman went home to Kemp, who asked her if she wanted to do something with the building. Without hesitation, Freeman said “yes.”

“I’ve had the space since 2020. Then (COVID-19) hit and we couldn’t do anything,” Freeman says, citing the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. “I didn’t know when the world was going to open back up.”

Enter Manos, manager and business partner, who offers readings and workshops along with Freeman. Later in 2021, Manos set up a meeting with Freeman and Kemp with the intent to teach yoga.

Manos was touring the building with Freeman, taking the opportunity to ask if she could help run the business. “I said, ‘OK, I can help you… I want to work out of this space,’ ” Manos says.

Within the last several weeks, the duo ironed out details and are already offering different workshops and services. “I just kind of arrived and here we are,” Manos says.

“She really helped get me motivated,” Freeman added. “I’m forever grateful to her and Corey,” who is a contractor with Ohio Luxury Builders. He was able to take over renovating the building. Throughout the pandemic, Freeman has meditated and continued seeing clients for different readings at Higher Self and Gems on a smaller scale.

“This is my baby. It’s my first business at this level with responsibilities,” she says. Freeman also wanted to set an example for her four children, showing them how to “stay grounded” through mediation. 

After her children’s father died in 2019, Freeman began seeing “3 3 3.” Doing some research, Freeman went down a rabbit hole of the metaphysical and meditation.

“I’m up to seven minutes. People think they can walk in and go right to 30 minutes. It takes time,” she says. “I’m just super excited this is open.”

Hours of operation for Higher Self and Gems are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with Self Care Sunday Sessions by appointment. For more information, call 330 301 6573.

Pictured at top: Higher Self and Gems co-owner Arielle Freeman inside one of the three shops in the building at 71 Terrace Ave.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.