Amethyst is one of twelve new businesses to open in Florence in January

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FLORENCE, Ala. — Florence Mayor Steve Holt announced that twelve new brick and mortar businesses received their business licenses in January. One of those is Amethyst, a nonprofit organization that has made it its mission to help addicts achieve sobriety by any means necessary. There was a grand opening celebration held at the Amethyst center on Friday.

Amethyst is a sobriety, health, and wellness center. It was co-founded by alcohol and drug counselors Melissa Hardin and Sha'na Gatrey. They named the center after the amethyst crystal, which many refer to as the sobriety stone. Programs offered include alcoholics and narcotics anonymous, family counseling, and group sessions.

Finance Director Stanley Birl with Co-founders Melissa Hardin and Sha'na Gatrey

Hardin says in order for the nonprofit to offer services for free, she and Gatrey also began Earth Strong of the Shoals, a business that sells a variety of all-natural CBD products like lotions, soaps, candies, and more.

Under Amethyst, Hardin says the goal isn't just to help people reach sobriety—but maintain it. “There are many ways and many roads to the path of sobriety and it’s not just one thing so this is how we ended up with multiple things in this building,” said Hardin. “We have yoga classes, we have self-care classes, we’ll have finance classes, and, of course, relapse prevention triggers classes.”

For Gatrey, Friday was more than just a grand opening celebration; the day marked one year since she left a drug rehabilitation facility in Warrior, Alabama. She credits her own struggles for her desire to help others through Amethyst. "I definitely came out on a mission to help other people in the same predicament dealing with drugs and alcohol so I really wanted to get back to the community and start a program that we can implement to help people in a unique way to find the wellness in their life and to heal from past trauma, inside and out," she said.

In addition to Earth Strong of the Shoals, other businesses operate inside of Amethyst. Jerrica Nance is the owner of Glow with Me. She sells a variety of products including calming tea blends, body mists, and body butters. Exclusively for Amethyst, she's created a line of products named after the nonprofit. The lavender face and body mist have real amethyst crystals inside the bottles. Nance says amethyst crystals have healing properties. “The idea that we had when we developed the Amethyst line was healing from within because healing is not only an outer aspect but it starts within, it starts with a choice to want to heal and the resources to be able to heal,” said Nance.

Jerrica Nance describes her Glow with Me products at the Amethyst grand opening celebration.

The third business inside the center is La-Ve Cosmetics & Supplies. Co-owner Quinton Jones and Marcus Mitchell create different kinds of soaps and other bathing products. Jones said they are made from all-natural ingredients like shea, cocoa, and mango butters. He was inspired to start the line so his daughter could use products that wouldn't irritate her sensitive skin. He's happy to be joining Hardin and Gatrey in the Amethyst center. “I just wanted to support Melissa and what she had going on because when I was going through a rough time, I reached out to her and she helped me with encouraging words and kept on so, therefore, I felt obligated and took pride in making a product for her and what she had going on because I knew it would help someone else the way that she helped me," Jones said.

Quinten Jones describes a variety of soaps and other products in the La-Ve Cosmetics & Supplies booth inside Amethyst.

When asked about being part of the economic growth in Florence, Hardin said, "I'm totally ecstatic about the growth. I'm excited about the opportunity to be able to be a business owner in the city of Florence and to be a part of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce."

Amethyst is located at 2811 West Mall Drive in Florence. Their phone number is (256) 980-6980. To learn more information, connect with them on Facebook.

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