3 Questions

3 Questions with The Crow’s Nest Oddities Store owner Rose Hutson

Celebrate spooky season all year long

(Alex De Vore)

If you pull off at Old Santa Fe Trail’s Plaza Bonita shopping center and head toward the back of the parking lot, you’ll come across The Crow’s Nest Oddities Store, a new retail business opened late last year by Texas-raised/Santa Fe-based Rose Hutson, 28, a Santa Fe University of Art and Design graduate, and an altogether spooky addition to the local shopping scene. Hutson’s shop is brimming with those titular oddities, from strange art and specimen jars; jewelry and bric-a-brac; witchy gifts and—and this is true—haunted dolls. Hutson has also opened up the space for local artists to showcase their work. Admittedly, the spooky season is still some months away, but we reached out to learn more about this new business ahead of Hutson’s upcoming Summer Solstice Party (2- 7pm Thursday, June 20. Free. 518 Old Santa Fe Trail, Ste. 6, (505) 416-7049). This interview has been edited for clarity and concision. (Alex De Vore)

Have you always enjoyed creepy stuff?

Absolutely. My mom was the one who got me into the creepy stuff. She was a psychic, so growing up with her in Texas was an interesting thing. I used to call her [paranormal investigator] Lorraine Warren, because we went to people’s houses and took creepy things, or she’d bring them to me, so she got me into the paranormal—and anything supernatural.

From there, my love of weird things evolved on its own. I always loved the history and ideas of the cabinet of curiosities and the oddities community, and I knew we needed it here. It seems weird we didn’t already have a shop like this, because there’s a beauty in oddities. When you have things that are scary or darker or seen as macabre or are a little harder to talk about, like death and dead things, you turn it into art. I think that’s the beauty behind it.

The Learned Fangirl website has a blog from some years back that posits it can be fun to be scared—and also that fear is particularly familiar to women, so it can oddly feel more accessible to them. Do you have thoughts on that as a woman business owner and spookiness enthusiast? Is it about fear, fun or both?

It’s both. I don’t think you could do one without the other when it comes to opening your own business. I think you have to share the scale. On one hand, the reason I didn’t do this for so long is that I was ruled by fear, until…something happened after which I didn’t feel like I had anything to be scared of anymore.

In 2021, my grandpa, who raised me—well, my grandparents raised me—got sick, and I had to go back and forth from Santa Fe and Texas to help for a year. It was fast, but also a painful way to die, and he passed away that same year. Then, about eight months later, the house he built, where my grandma still lived, burned down. I had to leave Santa Fe for about six months and…take care of getting the house cleaned up, insurance stuff…I had to pretty much tear apart the only place in the world where I felt safe. After that, I was like, ‘There can be nothing harder than this.’ Losing my house? I did that; the hardest thing I could possibly imagine. After that, nothing seemed hard anymore. Nothing seemed scary.

I wanted to do this shop for so long, but I was way too terrified. I didn’t have the confidence as a young woman. And I have people come in all the time telling me I’m too young to run my own business, that I’m probably going to mess it up, which is weird because a lot of the time it’s older women coming in to say these things. I do think that’s out of fear, and maybe those women wanting to do something but not having the opportunity or the confidence.

How will you be celebrating the summer solstice, and why is it an important date for you and the shop?

I knew I wanted to do something around the solstice. I think Santa Fe made me enjoy summer again. Growing up in Texas, it was always hard to enjoy summer, but when I moved here 10 years ago, I started to fall in love with the sun again. The beauty of Santa Fe got me into nature; I fell in love with backpacking; I appreciate how alive it is; all the different cultures and celebrations we have. I wanted to add to it, but with a different kind of style. We’re going to have music, a mocktail bar, artisans, a lot of whom are women. I mean, in the shop, most things are made by or supplied by women, so that’s really cool. Really, I like being able to create fun experiences for Santa Fe. This place has saved my life in so many ways, and I’ve always wanted to give back. I also think it’s about taking the stigma out of oddities and death and scary things. I feel like it’s kind of what I’m supposed to do.

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