Crystals? Check. Sage? Check. Dream catchers? Of course. Throw in some top visionary psychics, every imaginable kind of incense and go-to resources for meditation, inner peace and yoga, and you’ve got Malibu Shaman.
“We try to keep it very ‘70s,” owner Scott Sutphen said, “but it’s fun. It’s just fun.”
When outsiders think of Malibu, they might imagine there would be a place like Shaman on every corner, but there’s not. This beloved institution is totally unique.
What’s more, this metaphysical marketplace is a survivor. While so many local mom and pop shops (as well as giants like Banana Republic) have fled, being chased out by sky high rents, Shaman has rolled with the punches and kept its mystical doors open. It’s hung in there with four different Cross Creek locations and is celebrating something few can say — 34 years and a new five-year lease in the Malibu Country Mart. His fairy dust must be working because Sutphen credits developer Michael Koss for his longevity.
According to Sutphen, it all began with a desire to create “a metaphysical bookstore carrying a large assortment of books, music, one-of-a-kind crystals, a large variety of incense, oils, greeting cards and candles. Many other types of gifts are hand selected, including items such as wood carvings of Kuan Yin, Buddha, dragons, fairies, animals and hand-crafted wind chimes.”
It all began in 1983, and since then has moved from downstairs to across the way to upstairs and back downstairs again.
“This is our best location yet,” Sutphen said. He set out with his father, Dick Sutphen. “My dad is a well known ‘past life regression therapist’ and psychic researcher. Dad and I ran the store together until 1988. At that time, I took over solo and continue to run it with my wife, Shereen Sutphen.”
Their local ties are strong. Sutphen has been in Malibu since 1980 with his family and daughter named Sage, who went to Webster Elementary. Their ties to Malibu show no signs of breaking.
“Our customers have become like family and friends,” Sutphen noted. “That’s the best part of being in a special small community. We are so blessed to have a loyal clientele that has followed us from location to location.” His feelings for Malibu run deep.
“I wouldn’t want to do what I do anywhere else but Malibu,” he said.
For Sutphen, going to “the office” is a true joy.
“Every day, we make a difference in somebody’s life,” Sutphen said, “whether it’s a great gift, an insight, a revelation from a psychic, a kind word, a different perspective, or just absorbing good vibes.”
So, in an atmosphere of mass upheaval and change from years past, Malibu Shaman remains a survivor and a local favorite or, as Sutphen puts it, “Shaman is not just a store. It’s an experience.”