If you haven't heard, Rockie Arambula, the owner of Moonfyre Metaphysical has brain cancer and had to close her store of 16 years in Downtown Campbell. Of all of the ways for us to lose a business, this way has to be the worst. When you're around small businesses, you say a lot of goodbyes because things don't work out and businesses close. That's bad enough, but even worse is when you see healthy businesses close because the owner became ill or went through a major life event.
Moonfyre Metaphysical had been a cornerstone of the Downtown Campbell community for most of its 16 years here. They were especially engaged in their earlier days when Downtown Campbell was a struggling retail district that barely resembled what it is today. Before Moonfyre moved in, their space had turned over numerous times in the years before and even as Moonfyre year after year, ALL of the businesses around it came and went and came and went again.
About an hour before the door at 401 E. Campbell Ave would close as Moonfyre Metaphysical for the last time, I stopped in to thank Rockie's daughter Kayleigh for Moonfyre being a part of our community for so long and for the role that the store played in helping Downtown Campbell get to where it is now. Kayleigh's voice broke a little when she recalled how nobody wanted her mom to open the store and everyone thought she was crazy for pursuing her dream of having her own shop. "This little space has been so good to us for 16 years. I just hope that it'll be just as good to whoever gets it next."
We don't know what's next for the old Moonfyre shop, but we do know what's next for Rockie is a lot of cancer treatment that is hopefully followed by many years of slow recovery. What's next for Rockie and her family are a lot of difficult choices and unexpected expenses that would have been a strain to cover as the owner of a humble retail shop and will be even harder to cover as the former owner of a humble retail shop.
Most people who start businesses like Moonfyre do so because it's their passion, not because it's the best way for them to maximize their income. If something should happen and they're suddenly unable to continue, there is no soft landing. Rockie isn't able to go on disability and collect a paycheck while figuring out how to navigate her new normal and there's no such thing as severance pay, vacation payouts, or unemployment benefits for a small business owner.
One day you are the driving force behind one of the longest running retail shops in a thriving downtown and without warning, that is taken away from you. You're left with nothing all while you're working to regain your speech after having brain surgery.
This is the reality that our friend Rockie and her family are facing today. A GoFundMe page has been setup for Rockie to help her. If you can contribute a little something, it would really mean a lot to her and her family.