Wednesday, October 4, 2023

U Rock Opens First Brick And Mortar In Coliseum Crossing

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HAMPTON-After 13 years of selling crystals, minerals, jewelry, fossils, carvings, and other inspiring earthly pieces at local festivals and events, U Rock opened for business at its first storefront on Saturday, April 1. Located at 70 Coliseum Xing in the Coliseum Crossing shopping center, it’s conveniently situated between Ross Dress For Less clothing store and the Dollar Tree.

Caroline Peabody, who owns the business with her husband, John, said her infatuation with rocks and other natural treasures was ignited when she was a child during her formative years as a Girl Scout.

“I was always digging for treasures,” said Peabody.

Though Peabody has a master’s degree in business, she spent time as an undergrad studying to be a teacher.

“I took a lot of earth science classes and studied geology at national parks,” said Peabody. “At one point, I had an internship with the University of Pittsburgh to work in archaeology and anthropology.”

She and her husband later raised their four children to appreciate the elements, often taking hikes and scouring beaches at night with an ultraviolet (U.V.) flashlight.

“There are certain minerals and fossils that respond to different wavelengths of light,” said Peabody. “When we talk about U.V. reactive minerals, it means the nature of the mineral, or the cohabitating minerals, will react to that wavelength of light and sometimes be a different color.”

The shop has a dark hallway powered by U.V. lighting to showcase the effects different lighting has on some rocks. The couple put great care into the layout of their shop.

“It was a priority for us to design the store in a way that felt very spacious, while providing adequate room for kids, pets, and people who have trouble with mobility to move around freely,” she said.

In addition to attracting many homeschoolers who are studying science, the store also attracts customers with a penchant for the metaphysical world.

“I’m a believer in the energy of crystals and have designed the store in what I call the path of chi,” said Peabody. “The crystals are color coordinated in order of chakra, beginning with the crown chakra and clear crystals, wrapping all the way around the store to the root chakra and darker crystals.”

U Rock has a children’s area situated in the middle of the store for kids to learn about the merchandise while lending caregivers the opportunity to keep an eye on them from all angles as they shop.

“We have four kinetic sand exploratory desks as well as a magnetic rock display where they can play,” she said. “We have educational posters that I can point to for reference while answering questions about the different types of crystals and igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock.”

Customers of all beliefs are welcome at U Rock.

“Personally, I’m a Christian, but I believe that there is an energy that the Creator, however you believe, has imbued in all these wonderful things of the earth, and I just love the fact that people can get to them,” said Peabody. “You can come to our store because you think rocks are pretty and you like crystal jewelry. You can come to our store if you are Pagan and this is part of your spiritual practice. You can come to our store if you’re simply a person that connects with the earth. Everyone is welcome.”

U Rock is a veteran-owned company. While Caroline Peabody is the “rock hound” of the family, John Peabody retired from the Army, and mans the store on a day-to-day basis. One of the couple’s sons is an Air Force veteran and another is an active-duty Navy submariner. The couple’s son-in-law, Eric Peabody, manages the store, and their daughter, Elizabeth Peabody, helps out with marketing when time permits.

Hours of operation are 11am to 7pm Monday through Saturday and 1pm to 7pm on Sunday.

For more information about the shop, visit its ecommerce website, Facebook page, or call 757-813-2859.

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