Charly Haley, MSUM Multimedia Journalism
FARGO, N.D. – Tracy Kouba describes her downtown store as “Fargo’s best kept secret.”
Kouba and her husband Don own Fargo Rocks! at 1014 4th Ave. N.
It’s a rock shop that caters to a wide array of customers, from geologists and “rockhounds” to new agers who see stones as a source of healing.
“We kind of have a mixture of both,” said Kouba, 50. “It’s a mixture of a lot of different things. Anything you want to have with a rock.”
Collectors shop at Fargo Rocks!
Many Fargo Rocks! customers are local collectors, also known as “rockhounds.”
“There are lots of people that collect different minerals and stones and lake agates,” Kouba said.
Much of the rock shop’s inventory came with the store, which Kouba and her husband bought a little more than a year ago.
Along with selling different stones for collectors, they sell tools for polishing and working with stones.
“Geology students come and get their tools from us,” Kouba said.
New ownership brings new age
Fargo Rocks! has been here for 23 years, but before Kouba and her husband bought the shop it was only for collectors and geologists.
“It wasn’t like this at all,” Kouba said.
The Koubas added the new age element.
“It’s just fun things that people can come and try, and it opens your mind,” Kouba said.
The store offers Reiki healing, which is meant to help people reconnect with positive energies and their inner self. There are also guided meditation classes, classes on feeling the energy of stones, psychic readings and tarot card readings.
They also sell all-stone power jewelry that is meant to help with different qualities like memory or concentration, Kouba said. Her husband also does some silversmithing for the jewelry.
Fargo Rocks! welcomed by Fargo community
Kouba said that although the new age side of things seems a bit unusual, the rock shop hasn’t faced any negative reactions.
“It’s been really nice,” she said. “It’s a cool community here, and it’s a place where people can meet like-minded people. We do a lot of stuff so that people can come and network with each other and meet other people that are open-minded. Some people are scared that the new age stuff is against religion or that it’s against things like that but it’s not. It has nothing to do with religion, it’s just another way to be spiritual and open your mind to different things.”
Laura Egland, a psychic who has done readings at Fargo Rocks!, said the store is unlike anywhere else in Fargo.
“This has been a gift to our community,” Egland said. “It’s a safe place for those who are just curious about the new age lifestyle, the new age beliefs, to come and spread their own wings and to get to know where their comfort zones are and maybe stretch those a little bit. We didn’t have that before that I know of. To have that gathering space where you instantly feel welcomed and you instantly feel loved, that’s obviously a good thing for any community.”