The Blue Butterfly is a shop in Ocean Shores, Washington, with a focus on products relating to alternative spirituality and the metaphysical. Its doors opened on Labor Day weekend of 2019.
A native Californian, business owner Tammy Fairley first came to Washington nearly 34 years ago. The move was a result of two concurrent factors: her then-husband was laid off from his job, and his parents resided in Washington. At that point, they both felt the need to gravitate to family.
After a short while, Tammy began working for the Emergency Medical Services head office in King County. She was a CPR/first aid instructor. Developing this skill set inspired her to start her own teaching business in that field, named Keep the Beat.
The business grew rapidly. Clientele initially included fire departments and EMT trainees. Later, county employees and the general public were encompassed. Landing a large contract required extensive travel around Washington, so Tammy became very familiar with the region.
Still further growth of the business led to additional employees and a reduced need for travel. Tammy was finding less pleasure in city living and slowly started moving toward more rural areas of Washington.
She always wished to live at the beach, and assumed she would one day retire in such a community. This came to fruition in a bittersweet turn of events with the unexpected death of her mother, who owned a home in Ocean Shores.
Tammy used the house as a vacation spot, becoming increasingly fond of it and time spent there. Her husband did not wish to move, so no such plans were made. This barrier was later removed due to divorce, and Tammy became a resident of Ocean Shores in 2010.
After 28 years as a CPR instructor, Tammy feels the need to make a living in a less stressful manner. Keep the Beat serves 4,000 students per year. Managing that volume, along with needed infrastructure, is a great responsibility.
Finding a way to work in a more spiritual and relaxed venue had long been awaiting a mode of expression. The availability of a local retail space, as well as the encouragement and enthusiasm of the community, culminated in establishing The Blue Butterfly.
Tammy has found there is considerable interest in the metaphysical, and in alternative religions and belief systems. While setting up the shop, a unique idea came to her: Why not set up a metaphysics-oriented lending library? Moving this concept forward, Tammy sent out feelers via Facebook asking for donations of books on relevant topics. While still in the process of preparing for opening, there were oftentimes boxes of donated books left outside the door!
Community is the main focus of The Blue Butterfly. Tammy wants anybody, regardless of personal belief or philosophy, to feel welcome in the shop. She has said discussion and exchange of ideas, “from angels to Sasquatch,” are equally at home there. She strives to keep a welcoming vibe for all.
There will be an ongoing after-hours social, open to everybody at no cost. Plans are that it will be held on a quarterly basis, with only one prerequisite for attendees: Leave politics at the door! This enables topics of discussion to encompass areas of personal, spiritual, and intellectual exploration and growth, without engaging in potentially contentious topics.
Tammy has found that many individuals who embrace mainstream belief systems enjoy sharing conversation and ideas with others who hew more to the eclectic, and vice versa. She feels that this is the realization of one of her main goals: That of bringing people together and finding commonality among diverse paths. In our conversations, she told me that often, now that winter months are here and Ocean Shores is a quieter town, people will visit with a desire to talk about their day, their lives or just engage in interesting discussion.
Tammy expressed that she feels many are seeking another dimension to their lives besides the day-in, day-out treadmill upon which many perceive themselves. She finds many harbor a desire to embrace the positive while dispensing with some of high-speed society’s negative baggage. Tammy strives to promote a very holistic approach to spiritual well-being.
When entering the store, customers will be impressed by a diverse and well-organized offering. As a boon to keeping things local, many items available are crafted by local artisans.
There are many aesthetically pleasing items available for purchase, but one might wish just to drop in and enjoy friendly conversation. Tammy wishes The Blue Butterfly to be a sort of metaphysical community center.