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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

January Flood Inspires Renewal at Persephone’s Pearl in Peekskill

John Omilana

At 3 p.m. January 16, a frozen pipe burst above Persephone's Pearl, pouring water into the Peekskill store. “Later that night, the pipe in the bathroom broke and finished the job,” says owner John Omilana. “Two inches of water everywhere forced The Pearl to close for a total of 35 days. That’s how long it took to ensure that everything was properly dried and certain areas rebuilt.”

What many might have seen as a setback, Omilana saw as an opportunity to revitalize and rearrange. 

“Deconstructing The Pearl and putting her back together was a challenge, but it forced us to rearrange the energy and the products in the store,” he says. “It also gave us time to work on our next phase, which is having an online shop and offering regular classes and events.”

In early March, The Pearl launched a store on Shopify, so its products—many of them unique and handmade—would be available beyond the immediate community. They also standardized their classes, virtual readings and other services. Monthly events now include crystal classes, Tea Time with the Angels, goddess work and African diasporic spiritual traditions. Weekly events include healing circles and a session on wisdom, wellness and empowerment.

“We want to be a place that is grounded in the needs of our community,” Omilana says. “We welcome everyone to try our activities and see if any of them resonate with you. 

Location: Persephone's Pearl, 1014B Main St., Peekskill, NY. For more info, call 914.737.3460 or visit