Savannah Olsen of The Good Spirit

Words by Tessa McDonald

Photography by Reece Voyer

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Savannah Olsen was raised by a tarot-loving mother and was almost named after a good witch. Some might call it a coincidence, but we’d call it a self-fulfilling prophecy: she went on to become the owner and mastermind behind the Vancouver metaphysical shop The Good Spirit. In early 2016, she left her post working at lifestyle goods store Old Faithful Shop (of which she is still a co-owner) to follow her bliss, which ended up being just around the corner.

The Good Spirit is a place in which to find beautiful spiritual products, and also in which to explore your inner goddess out in the open. “I want women to be proud of their energy. We are intuitive and nurturing—we should own that,” Olsen says. For her, positive energy is paramount; The Good Spirit is a place where she hopes both women and men can come to learn more about their own spirits. The shop is filled with books and small treasures that can get you through a sticky life situation (yes please to that guide to erotic astrology), and also offers tarot card readings and monthly workshops to give clients the spiritual tools they need. Olsen found a niche market and made it approachable to the masses. “There is absolutely a taboo around the word spiritual,” she says. I want to get rid of it by presenting what that word is in a new way.”

Being a business owner is important to Olsen, but more important is being a First Nations woman and a mother. She is charming, intuitive, and down to earth. “I’m not running around jolly as F, but you could definitely say I’m content,” she says. “I’m happy in the space I am in.” She has dared to make people see something different and feel something different. The best part? She’s completely unafraid. Olsen lives by the mantra that “you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit,” and this biscuit turned out to be pretty darn sweet.

How do you create a safe space in your shop where people feel at ease?

I am an aesthetics person, and I like to use natural elements to really put people at ease and make them feel comfortable in this space. I have bright lighting and minimalist merchandising to get people away from the impression that tarot and spirituality are dark. The photo behind my till is all about enlightenment—the feeling we want our clients to come to.

What makes you proud?

I have created purpose for myself. There is stuff going on in the shop beyond the products that we sell. My spiritual journey has been a huge part of my growth as a human, and to share that is a definite point of pride for me.

Do you feel like you’ve made it?

I see the shop as bigger than myself. It is a combination of people who have supported me and helped me, and I couldn’t be more grateful. This shop came to life as a matter of a bunch of people, timing, and support, and it would be an insult to say this was all me, because there was so much coordination involved. For me, success also means finished, but I don’t see it as an A-to-B type of thing—and I am definitely not finished. I’m sure The Good Spirit won’t be the last shop I open. My journey is a continual process; I am on a mission to grow, and this is merely one step. 

What gets you excited?

I’m passionate about what I am doing right now. Having people take an interest in spirituality and pay attention to that part of themselves is huge. Awareness of ourselves and the impact that we have through this interaction is the starting point of healing for everything.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

UPDATE, March 2020: The Good Spirit is no longer in its physical space and instead operates tarot readings by appointment only.