The story of Picaya and its evolution into ETHOS begins with two women, Lisa Horlick and Natasha Hennessy, who met and quickly saw that they had a lot in common.
“We started talking and one thing led to another,” Hennessy said. “We realized our visions, our intentions, our values and our desire to serve the community were really aligned. We were both solo entrepreneurs and now we are joining forces in a partnership.”
Said Horlick, “We realized we both wanted a community space.”
For more than two decades, Picaya, which Horlick founded in 1994, occupied a sunny perch on the northwest corner of Colorado Ave. and Pine Street, offering shoppers unique items for the home, jewelry, textiles, art and more, focusing on local, fair-trade and eco-friendly themes.
Now, with ETHOS, which opened its doors at the end of Nov. 29, Hennessy and Horlick have reinvented the Picaya space into a new community hub with curated retail, open space for learning experiences and a consulting room. Off-season renovations to facilitate the transition are now complete.
Said Hennessy, “It’s clean looking and very light filled.”
The front area is dedicated to ETHOS’ curated lifestyle retail business, which includes organic and sustainably sourced provisions like mushrooms, coffees and teas, as well as gardening items, crystals, candles, incense, sage, books, jewelry, health, beauty and wellness products and a wall of CBD products.
“Everything is highly curated,” Hennessy said. “We want to bring ease and wellness to the community.”
The pair also envisions a concierge-like service that will source items for customers seeking wares that they would like to see or have, whether it is from the Picaya era or something new.
Behind the retail area is a distinct and slightly elevated open space.
“We have these beautiful white drapes that are pretty much always open unless there is an experience going on,” Hennessy said. “It’s an open space in the heart of our establishment that is for a number of experiences. We’re focusing on art, music, science, poetry, writers’ circles, stories, theater, activism — a number of mediums and modalities that speak to the arts and science communities here. That also includes space for donation-based yoga, meditation and sound healing.”
Hennessy, the mother of a toddler, added that she hopes parenting, men’s, women’s and other community groups will also use the space.
“We really wanted to bring that element of service to the community to ETHOS,” she remarked.
Finishing out the floor plan are Hennessy’s office and a consulting room out of which she operates her practices in organizational consulting and astrology.
Hennessy and Horlick are also offering the open space to other practitioners in the community and urged them to visit ethostelluride.com/careers where they can register their interest. Artists are likewise encouraged to visit the site for information on exhibiting at ETHOS.
“The best way that they can communicate is through our web site,” Horlick said.
Horlick, who has lived in Telluride since 1985, originally opened Picaya to showcase the treasures she picked up on her off-season travels. Now, Horlick said, she remains very much involved in ETHOS, although she is planning a well-earned sabbatical this winter. “I had just celebrated my 25th anniversary with Picaya and I was very motivated to make a change.”
Horlick emphasized that she is not retiring — “I’m not using that word at all.” — but will “take the winter off. I have been wrapped up in Picaya for all these years. Now I am excited to see what comes next.”
Hennessy first came to Telluride in the 1990s before returning to the Washington, D.C., area where she ran a number of businesses, including a successful yoga studio. She continued to visit the box canyon over the years. Then in 2014, she returned for a friend’s birthday and met her soon-to-be husband, local Rasta Josh. She moved here full-time four years ago and the pair have a 2-year-old son, Hugo Kingston.
How are Horlick and Hennessy feeling about their new venture?
“I’m excited about the whole thing, especially the evolution of it,” Horlick said. “I wasn’t ready to retire. With Picaya and this corner space, which I consider the heart of Telluride, I wasn’t ready to turn it over to something that I didn’t believe in. I wanted to evolve it into something that I could stand by. I still wanted to be a positive part of Telluride.”
For Hennessy, ETHOS is a “lighthouse in the heart of town.”
“I foresee a deep and extensive service to the community,” she said. “My hope is that people are receptive to how this space has evolved and will continue to evolve. I hope we serve needs on every level of artistry, athleticism, activism and more. I hope the reception is there for collaboration and fulfilling of needs, whether it’s body, mind or spirit. I’d like to amplify love in this space.”
Horlick commented that it seemed as though locals weren’t sure what to expect with the transition from Picaya to ETHOS.
“I hope we can dispel any assumptions or doubts and make it so that people will just come in and feel the vibe,” Hennessy said. “There seemed to be some confusion around what to expect from the change, but as people came in on Noel Night, many reported feeling an amazing vibe. Certainly, we hope people can feel that love.”