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Start Your Business Success Stories

Small Business Snapshot: Dreadlock Tarot

Small Business Snapshot: Dreadlock Tarot Credit: Ashley Oppon/Dreadlock Tarot

Company name: Dreadlock Tarot
Website: dreadlocktarot.com
Founded: 2014

Intuitive counselor Ashley Oppon shared the story behind Dreadlock Tarot, a professional tarot reading business.

With my clients, I often use the Alice Tarot — pictured above— which is one of my favorite tarot decks. My favorite thing about the tarot is that it tells a story, and clients can easily follow it because of the pictures. This photo shows the typical layout I would use with a client while we chat over tea and biscuits.

I started my business because I wanted to help people. I had been reading tarot for about six years, and a friend of mine suggested that I start reading for money. I had only been reading for friends and family, and I was super nervous about turning it into a business, but after my first event, I was hooked. I wanted to read for people all day, every day. I connected with a business coach who specializes in spiritual and metaphysical businesses, and I went through all the same process of a regular business — registering with my state and the federal government, getting a business account, getting an office, and everything else that deals with starting your own company.

Two of the biggest challenges my business faces are education and discrimination. Education about tarot is vital for my business because people have many misconceptions about what I do. Many people believe that tarot is only done by women who work behind some smoky velvet curtains and have exotic accents. Or, even though I read cards, people come expecting me to spit out the name of their future partner and how many kids they will have — that's not how tarot works. While it is used to take a look at future events, that is not its main purpose. Tarot is meant to tell you the most probable outcome based on your actions. It's a tool to help you with self-discovery and problem solving. 

Tarot readers also deal with a lot of discrimination. For example, I have been denied access to certain fairs and festivals and even been denied health insurance for my small business — among other things — because of what I do. People automatically think tarot readers are running some type of scam and refuse to work with us. And because my business is not based on tangible evidence, some people think I am taking advantage of others. But for many clients, our guidance and advice means a lot. As with any profession, we have our bad apples, but many of us are just looking to help people get through their problems.

Something interesting people should know about my business is that I have to worry about the same things every other business has to worry about — client management, taxes, supplies, logistics, etc. I'm just like any other business person, I just use the spiritual world as my medium to help people. 

Brittney Morgan

Brittney Q. Morgan is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor, as well as a graduate of Drew University, where she majored in History. Her work can be found all across the web at Apartment Therapy, HuffPost, and more. You can also find her on Twitter at @brittneyplz.