Starting from a young age, owner of Cool Digs, SaraQuoia Bryant, has always had a hobby in minerals, fossils and gardening.
Cool Digs Rock Shop and Garden Supply, 6 Euclid Dr., provides gems, minerals, jewelry, tie-dye and a full spectrum of gardening supplies including plant lighting, flood tables, dutch buckets, leach trays, plumbing, and complete hydroponic systems to the Athens community.
Bryant worked as a wholesale mineral dealer for a Madagascar company in the late 1990s traveling the World doing wholesale shows, as well as working as a garden supply representative in Dayton.
After moving to Athens in 2004, she opened Cool Digs at its current location in 2012 with a majority of the rocks in the store coming from Madagascar or hand selected by Bryant while at shows.
“There are a lot of people here [Athens] that are interested in organic farming so we try to stock a lot of organics and indoor supplies so people can grow their own food and be sustainable and the rocks are popular with younger people,” Bryant said. “I think there’s a lot of conscious and metaphysical type people in our community so it fits in really well to be able to offer them a space where they can come and check out the rocks and take something home.”
Tianna Newton, a senior studying political science pre-law and history, appreciates Cool Digs as a unique store within the community.
“Cool Digs is so important to the community because it provides a service for people who like crystals which isn’t necessarily offered in other parts of Athens along with other specialty items,” Newton said.
Without the store, Newton wouldn't have been able to learn about or become involved with crystals.
Helen Horton, a senior studying journalism strategic communication, loves going to Cool Digs for their interest in crystals, stones and all things nature.
“It’s a really friendly environment. The employees are always really helpful, and the prices are really comparable to stones you would find in a larger city,” Horton said.
Community members and students alike rely on Cool Digs for mineral and specialty garden supplies with the closest shops containing similar products typically located in larger cities.
“I would have to go home to my own metaphysical shop, so I think it’s amazing that they’re here in Athens because there is such a large community that has a following for crystals, stones, and everything metaphysical,” said Horton.
“It’s worth the visit and if we don’t have it you don’t need it to grow plants,” Bryant said.