Sammy Darko and Jonathan Calloway weren’t sure what to expect when they moved from California to Kentucky in 2019.
What they found was a new home and a thriving online business.
Their business is Five Corners Co., which sells metaphysical items online. They began selling items online not long after relocating, and after starting out with about $300 in sales per month they’ve seen steady growth.
“When we started we were trying to earn a little extra income so we could get a car,” Calloway said. “Wouldn’t you know it, people in Kentucky were interested in our business. That was an unexpected aspect of the state.”
Calloway and Darko moved to Kentucky after a longtime friend who had moved to Bardstown eight years earlier kept touting the advantages of the Bluegrass State.
“She kept telling us ‘the pace is so much slower than California, the people are so nice. You’ll really like it,’” Darko said. “We said, ‘no, thanks.’”
But Calloway and Darko, who were living in Roseville, California, say they were priced out of the city, located within the Sacramento metropolitan area, with rent rising to $1,800.
“We were in our early 30s, and it was time to make a move,” Calloway said. “As far as picking Frankfort, as members of the LGBTQ community, only eight or nine cities have safety protection, and Frankfort is one of them. It’s centrally located; it’s the capital. We decided we would start here.
“The weather is amazing. It’s green; there are hills. It’s not fires, and the rain is amazing.”
Darko and Calloway, who have worked online as internet analysts, had a company prior to Five Corners, Mad Candle Worx.
“It was doing OK,” Calloway said, “but we felt it really narrowed our product line.”
Five Corners’ products include candles, bar soap, sage bundles, crystals and incense. Etsy is the business’ selling platform, and its website is fivecornersco.com.
“People think this is Satanism, devil worship or a witchcraft store,” Calloway said, “but a lot of people use it for home décor. It’s a change.”
“It’s spiritual, cultural, new age,” Darko said. “The candles we’ve made can be used in prayers. A green candle, people say can help with extra income or help with an illness.
“Maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel like we’re selling hope,” he added. “A customer three days ago wrote us and said with our transparency she was able to talk to me, and she was all set to leave an abusive relationship.
“Our customers can become more well-rounded, happy people, and that’s what metaphysical is about.”
Hot areas of sales for the company include California, the New York area, Florida, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
Calloway has a vision for the future of the business.
“I’ve always wanted to open a shop, a metaphysical shop,” he said. “The pandemic has changed how people shop, but I’d like a brick and mortar store where we pay people a really good rate.
“It would be a place people could relate directly with us, and maybe we could be a small cornerstone for the town, be a reason people come to Frankfort.”