By RUSSELL JONES
Sometimes, frustration can lead to inspiration.
Anyone who has driven through Brandon during the Route 7 construction knows how frustrating the time spent waiting for your turn to go can be. But it was a moment like that, sitting in traffic in her car near the Town Hall, that inspired Gina Germond to take a new path in her life.
The stylish woman spent more than 20 years in all aspects of retail from working in small businesses to corporate chains, from trade shows to wholesale, you name it, she had done it.
All except for owning her own store.
“I was sitting in traffic and I looked up the hill and saw this building,” Germond said of her store at 3 W. Seminary Street. “I hadn’t really thought about living in Brandon, but I saw this building and thought ‘maybe I should think about living here.’”
At the time she was living in the Montpelier area, but she grew up just down the road from Brandon in Sudbury, so she was familiar with the area.
“I was tired of what I was doing and wanted to explore something new,” Germond said. “I had thought of owning my own retail store and just decided to give it a try.”
A brainstorming session with a friend led to them thinking of how New Englanders use the term ‘wicked’ and that led to wicked sister, which eventually become her store name, Sister Wicked.
“It’s a shout-out and praise for my three sisters,” she said. “And who didn’t say wicked growing up.”
MORE THAN JUST CLOTHING
It was four years ago this July that Sister Wicked opened its doors, and in that time what started as a clothing store has grown and morphed into something much more.
“Retail is always challenging,” she said, “especially in these times. You have to keep growing and providing new experiences to thrive.”
She said the store was originally going to be just clothing, but she kept expanding the size of the showroom to make space for more items.
Eventually, she saw how much room there was and a natural evolution occurred.
“I had been surrounded by music my whole life growing up,” Germond said. “I saw that space and it was just easy to see how it could be used for music.”
For the past two years, Sister Wicked has hosted live music on Saturday nights. It has grown from one or two nights a month to every Saturday.
“There have been musicians that have shown up here just to jam and gone on to form bands,” she said. “Tom Caswell played a blues jam here and now his band plays all over the state.”
In addition to the live music, she also has a passion for astrology, divining cards and charting horoscopes.
“I learned my sign when I was eight years old,” she said. “The seed was planted. I learned as much as could from anywhere I could find after that.”
Germond said she taught herself how to calculate and cast charts and for the past 25-plus years she has been doing charts for other people.
“It’s so fascinating, everyone is different,” the glow from the sun striking her platinum gray hair giving her a mystical look as she speaks about the subject. “You can tell someone’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their opportunities for growth.”
Continuing her plan to provide something unique and exciting for her customers, Sister Wicked has started offering workshops, most recently an herbal tincture-making class. In June, she will host a perfume divination class and facial yoga workshops.
Perhaps the frustration of the construction through Brandon will lead more people to be inspired to try to relax with the facial yoga. Regardless, she plans to keep hosting these events and maybe expand her offerings to evening events, like the music. “I just love to get people together and see what happens,” she said. “It’s like hosting a party every weekend.”