A Colorado couple has purchased the historic building at 125 E. Main Street where they plan to bring a brand new business to Barrington later this year. Dana Merrill Brown who goes by the nickname, Kamala, will be moving her business, Kamala’s Own Magical and Mundane Perfumery to the downtown Barrington location where they’re planning to be open for business this summer.
They will live in the apartment above and begin renovations soon to build out an office, shipping room, incense making room, oil production room, herb room and more. Kamala’s husband, Peter Brown is moving into the upstairs living quarters this week.
Kamala will join Peter in Barrington after she receives the COVID-10 vaccine in the coming months and her son, Michael will join them too to help Kamala set up shop.
Kamala and Peter decided to move to the Chicago area after Peter got an IT job in Rosemont. He’s been living in a hotel for the past year while she stayed in Colorado to run her business and be near her parents in Denver.
Kamala says she fell in love with the history of the Barrington building they purchased along with its architectural details. “The building is really charming and there are a lot of different spaces we can use for our business,” Kamala says. “I also love the fact that it was built in 1933. On the second floor there’s a Rexall Pharmacy mortar and pestle in the floor tiles which just sold me right there. I love the history and I hope to learn more about it.”
The Browns purchased the 5,800 square foot, 3-story building for $520,000 on February 9th. Most recently home to Barrington’s Christian Science Reading Room, the building previously housed Pohlman’s Pharmacy and, prior to that, Rexall Pharmacy.
* Pohlman Pharmacy Photo from e-yearbook.com. & 1959 postcard thanks to Bud Reed.
When they open, Kamala says we can expect a perfume bar at a big long counter with a bunch of shelves displaying her products so she can allow guests to sample fragrances, aromatherapy blends, liquid soaps, bath salts and create custom orders on the spot.
She’s also planning to offer products from artists who are friends from the Renaissance Faires like the Colorado Renaissance Festival and Wisconsin’s Bristol Renaissance Faire that have been key markets for their business. Even during COVID-19, Kamala says a “Faire Relief” Facebook group has helped keep her business blooming. From glass blowers to jewelers to artists and more, Kamala has many friends who create beautiful items which she’ll also be selling in her shop.
Before moving to Colorado, Kamala had perfumeries in Evanston and Champaign, Illinois. She’s spent the past 30 years honing her skill as an aromatherapist and perfumer and now offers more than 500 scents, including pure, plant-based essential oils with therapeutic benefits along with fragrance oils, aromatherapy blends and perfume scents. Want to know the difference? Well you can ask Kamala herself via her Facebook page or when she arrives in Barrington! In the meantime, check out all of the products she has to offer and order a few today at Kamalas-Own.myshopify.com. Kamala says three of her most popular aromatherapy blends are Anxiety Comforter, Repose and Fearless, which she created to help people cope with the emotional impact of the pandemic.
A Harvard University graduate of East Asian Studies, Kamala said she originally wanted to become a diplomat, but set her sights on aromatherapy after discovering diplomats seemed unhappy during a post-graduate trip to China.
As for her name? Well, Kamala says it’s a nickname given to her after a character from the novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse. And her company’s domain name at Kamala.com? Well, it just happens to be the very unique first name of the first female Vice President of the United States. Kamala says she’s had offers from people interested in purchasing the domain name but is not prepared to part with it anytime soon.