Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

When you’ve worked hard your whole life, had a dream that you never thought possible, and, thanks to an unexpected sequence of events, you finally see your dream become reality, it must feel pretty good, right?  That’s how it feels to Emily Callahan, owner of Serenity in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  “It’s a good kind of terrified,” says Emily. “If you’re not risking anything, are you changing anything?  I’m very scared, but in a good way. It’s scary but exciting.” Well, let’s just say this amazing woman has nothing to be scared about.  Her clothing, accessories, home décor, gift items, and warm and welcoming personality are sure to bring any customer back again and again.

An Unlikely Turn of Events

From a Kind Act to “I Do!”

Emily was no stranger to Truth or Consequences as she’d been coming to the area’s hot springs with her family since the early 1990’s.  Little did she know that a visit in 2007 would change her life. While at the local A&B Diner, Emily stepped over to the pay phone to make a call.  A man she didn’t know handed her his cell phone. They started talking, hit it off, started dating, and were married three weeks later!  That was 18 years ago, and now, with two daughters and a most wonderful husband, Emily feels she is more than blessed. 

Unplanned Groundwork

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

Little did Emily know that her employment over the years would lay the groundwork for her opening her own boutique. In 2009, she got a job working for Dee Lightheart in Dee’s store, Second Hand Rose. Dee had an eye for artwear and went to great lengths to offer unique but affordable products to her customers. She frequently traveled overseas, handpicking items that she knew her customers would love, focusing on fair trade products by indigenous artisans.

Family First

Emily would have loved to stay on at Second Hand Rose indefinitely, but eventually had to say goodbye to Dee, her mentor and friend, for financial reasons. With growing children and an ever-growing need for additional income, Emily wasn’t able to make enough at Second Hand Rose, regretfully leaving to take on a more lucrative housekeeping role, while also doing bookkeeping and secretarial work in the evenings.

 Dreams

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

Emily and her husband worked hard.  They both were more than familiar with manual labor, with Emily cleaning, her husband painting, and collectively doing remodels in their spare time. And through it all, Emily never lost sight of her dream – one inspired by her mentor, Dee – to one day open her own shop.  She knew that, if the opportunity arose, she would work hard, do it right, carry the best quality, put the knowledge she gained from Dee to work, and add some of her own ideas to create a unique and enjoyable shopping experience.

Serendipity and Serenity

 Sometimes, Things Really Do Work Out

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

In 2021, Emily sold her home, which gave her the capital needed to open Serenity. Plus, it was serendipitous as a great location became available soon after – a building with great visibility and street parking as well as two parking lots. And if that wasn’t enough, it included a back room that would be ideal for the vape shop her husband had wanted to open. 

Emily’s  Dream Becomes Reality

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

With the right location and plenty of hard work to prepare the space, secure products, merchandise, and create the right ambiance behind her, Emily opened on October 28th, 2022, the night of Trick or Treating in downtown Truth or Consequences – the perfect night to introduce the evening’s crowds to Serenity.

Doing it Right

Fair Trade and Fair Prices

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

Emily had promised herself that she would work hard and do it right, and that’s exactly what has happened. Her store is inviting, beautiful, and brimming with “I want this… and this… and this!” merchandise, all displayed to perfection. And speaking of merchandise, Emily focuses on offering fair trade products, which means they’re ethically sourced from businesses that provide clean, healthy working environments and offer fair wages without using child laborers. One of her best sources is a buyer she was able to reconnect with, thanks to having worked with Dee at Second Hand Rose. The buyer goes directly to the source – weavers and sewers – to ensure fair trade is a fact while securing unique, not-available-anywhere-else products for clients like Emily, who can sell them at a great price while still making a profit.

An Eclectic and Fabulous Selection

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

Along with the clothing, handbags, scarves and other wearables for men and women, Emily offers an incredible selection of items ranging from jewelry to household items, many of which you may not need but will definitely want to buy!  Plus, she features items made by local artisans, including original art, prints, photography, hand-carved wood gauges, and clothing items made from hand-carved print blocks.

Living the Dream

Finding Serenity in Truth or Consequences

Sometimes, Emily needs to blink to make sure she’s not dreaming. Yet, here she is, a successful businesswoman who balances family life, helps organize local fashion shows, and manages daily store responsibilities, which is not an exaggeration since Serenity is open seven days a week! She is thankful for the training and connections she received from Dee, and equally thankful for other local business owners who helped guide Emily in matters related to registering and opening her boutique. And with her business running smoothly, Emily hopes to eventually be profitable enough to hire an employee, giving her a bit more free time with her husband and children.  Meanwhile, Emily says “The business isn’t about me.  It’s about the products and the experience.” And because Emily is ever so community minded, one of those experiences includes discounts for locals, seniors, Veterans, teachers, nurses and virtually everyone in civil service.

 Conclusion

Thanks to an unlikely sequence of events, hard work, good friends, a great mentor, helpful connections and a clear vision, Emily Callahan has seen her store ownership dream come full circle.  Serenity, in downtown Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, is the ideal destination for truly unique clothing for both men and women, scarves, handbags, items for your home, and gifts that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. And while this wife, mother, and boutique owner works seven days a week, she feels her quality of life has improved. After all, she now works inside with air conditioning!  She’s also made some amazing friendships along the way. So when you’re looking for something for yourself or that special gift for someone else, you’ll definitely want to make Serenity your first stop!


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