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Gifts from far away

Helen Jay’s desire to spend more time in her native Nevada City lets shoppers get a glimpse of the world through the opening of Jay’s Lotus Mountain.

After teaching feng shui around the world for 12 years, Jay and her husband, James, opened the store at 130 Main St. a month ago, selling unique soaps, lotions, robes, beads and jewelry collected during their travels.

“This is my break from traveling and teaching workshops,” say Jay, 41.



The store has prayer beads from Tibet, bath and body products from France, and jewelry from India and Pakistan.

“People may not have a chance to visit these places,” Jay said. And they won’t get these items at any other store in western Nevada County, she said.




Jay came up with the idea for the store after traveling to the Anhui province of southeastern China and viewing the Jiu Hua Mountain.

“It looks so much like Nevada City, it amazed me,” Jay said.

Jiu Hua Mountain is named after its nine peaks, similar to Nevada City having seven hills, Jay said.

The Jays are expecting a positive climb in business, and said they are encouraged by how customers, so far, have found the store despite chain link fencing out front from the construction of a new building next door.

The mixed-use facility at the site of the former Shell gasoline station is expected to be completed by late summer.

Lotus Mountain is in the historic Assay Building next to the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.

“People come in here and first of all say how beautiful the building is,” Jay said. Then, they appreciate how unique the items are, she added.

The Jays will continue their travels again in October, when they take the Community Asian Theater group to China.

But they say there’s no reason to worry about them going back on the road for good.

“We’ve been pretty far, but we always come back,” Jay said.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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