Cintamani Farrell at Crystalight in Jonson St, Byron Bay, which is closing down. The shop’s owner says the cost of commercial rent in Bryon Bay has become too high.
Cintamani Farrell at Crystalight in Jonson St, Byron Bay, which is closing down. The shop’s owner says the cost of commercial rent in Bryon Bay has become too high. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

The end of hippie shops in Byron?

ONE of the last "new age" retail spaces in Byron Bay, Crystalight, is closing tomorrow.

After the recent closure of alternative bookshop Abraxas, the end of Crystalight means that most of the old "new age" retail is gone from the bay.

Naren King, owner of the shop and The Crystal Castle near Mullumbimby, admitted that rental costs in Byron Bay "have become unaffordable for many small businesses like ours".

"With the increase in retail shops and some quiet seasons in the bay, it was no longer sustainable," he said.

Crystalight, commonly referred to in Byron as "The Crystal Shop", opened in Jonson St in 1992.

"(It) really is one of the few remaining original shops in Byron that represented the alternative culture that came into the area many years ago," Mr King said.

The entrepreneur added that "one trend we are noticing is that some people are travelling to the area looking for alternative lifestyle services but not going into Byron Bay".

Felicity Murray, from Suffolk Park, has worked at Crystalight since 2004 and it is sad to see it end.

She admitted that "on a personal level, change is good, but I am actually really sad for the town".

"I think (the shop) has been an icon, a landmark that showed the uniqueness that Byron originally was known for," she said.

"The old and unique shops that made people come to Byron in the first place are going one by one, and this is one of the last ones."

Asked about famous people who visited the shop, Ms Murray remembered US singer Pink, who visited it on many occasions while touring Australia and bought "jewellery, crystals and some books on spiritual growth. She was very nice and chatty".

Crystalight customers will be able to purchase products from the Crystal Castle online shop, and most of the shop's staff will continue working at the Castle.

 

HAS BYRON LOST ITS HIPPIE APPEAL? LET US KNOW BELOW.



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