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Meet Suzy Mae of Neon Altar in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzy Mae.

Suzy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Wonder is an important part of my life. I’ve always asked questions. Pushed to know “why.” Explored many different systems of thought.

This perspective– part skepticism, part open-mindedness– led me to read obsessively about intuition, the occult, witchcraft, and magic. I started practicing manifestation via sigils, collage art, and meditation about fifteen years ago.   Magic became real for me during that time. Committing energy to an idea or a desire, materializing it, and offering respect and gratitude to the mysterious forces of the universe is a very effective methodology for achieving your goals.

Through manifestation, a mix of hard work and good luck, I found myself working in advertising as a brand strategist. I craft the way brands present themselves to their customers. I’ve been lucky to work with world-class companies, learning from some of the best thinkers, creators, and speakers in the business.

Around the time my work took me to Los Angeles, I started thinking about a brand that spoke to my personal aesthetics and desires. A mystic, stylish metaphysical marketplace I could go to for tarot decks, crystals, books, and other magic tools.

The idea to start my own online shop, offering modern approaches to ancient practices, started percolating. The idea burned in the back of my mind, until one inspired day, a name dropped into my mind as I hiked Griffith Park with a friend: Neon Altar. A sensual, vibrant aesthetic, to be used in thanks to the universe.

I planned out a brand, strategic approach, held focus groups, consulted with other small business owners, and started working on my own online shop, now accessible at www.neonaltar.store.

I’ve been open for a year this October, and have learned much about myself, running a business, promotions, making decisions, and most importantly, the law of exchanges. The more energy I put into my shop, the more is returned to me.

It’s a rewarding process– not always easy, but I love working on an idea that’s able to reach a group of design-obsessed intuitives, tarot readers, witches, and those like me, who are simply obsessed with the wonder of the universe.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After launching Neon Altar, I quickly had to adjust, and manage my time in different ways. I had to plan far in advance for specific promotions but react on the fly to issues that would pop up.

Unexpected situations are part of starting something new, no matter what you’re launching. I rely on my professional advertising background as well as intuitive, grounding, inspirational moon rituals to help me face new challenges with grace and resolve.

For example, each New and Full moon, I send out a Neon Altar newsletter with information about the astrological lunation, and how it might affect my readers. (You can sign up at https://www.neonaltar.store/pages/newsletter). It’s got product features, witch-related news links, info about pop-ups, parties, sales, and other Neon Altar news.

At first, I’d sweat over what to send. Did people really want this?  Was it expressing what I wanted to say perfectly? I needed friends to proofread and give notes before I sent.

But I relaxed around the third month, and the writing and concepts for the Neon Altar newsletter started to flow clearly.  Writing from the heart, and sharing stories and items I personally loved, helped me chill.  Even as the list grows, I’m getting more secure in my voice.  I know I’m not the only one who wants to get a pretty-looking moon alert newsletter sharing what’s up with the energy that night.

Neon Altar – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I call Neon Altar a modern metaphysical marketplace. I source products from queer, indie, and inspired creators, and make a few of my own to sell. This includes inclusive tarot decks, ethically sourced crystals, inspired books and calendars, plus flair like pins, T-shirts, and patches.

Neon Altar’s ethos is “Trust Your Magic.” I believe everyone has the ability to tune into the universe and come away with inspiration and faith in themselves. Especially for people of color, those in the LGBTQ spectrum, and anyone who calls themselves a witch or connects to the “woo-woo” world. It’s easy to feed into, or get exhausted combating, the fear and hate that others may throw your way, simply for being yourself.

I believe that if given tools that reflect your personality and community, you’re more likely to use them. The more you use them, the healthier, and more in touch with yourself, you become. I choose not to prescribe rituals or behaviors to my Neon Altar audience or to condemn them for not practicing the way I do. I’d rather believe in them, and empower them to do what’s right for their personal needs. I encourage all to follow their intuition. Trust your magic!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Something that will always bring me joy, is a message saying Neon Altar resonated with someone. Or meeting someone in-person, and introducing them to their new favorite tarot deck.  I love connecting through design and magic, and am stoked for even more collaborations, pop-ups, and custom products, as Neon Altar grows.

Pricing:

  • Crystals range from $2 for palm stones, to 100+ for larger, more powerful stones
  • Tarot decks are currently $26 – 55
  • Pins, patches, and T-shirts range from $2 – $35

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Suzy Mae, Dani Meigel

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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