Meet the Owner
of Erstwhile

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   Hi, my name is Amber Smith and I'm the owner and creator of Erstwhile Studios. I've been an empath and intuitive for as long as I can remember, but I spent 20 years of my life not knowing what that meant. Not understanding the toll in took on my mental, emotional and physical well being. It wasn't until my grandmother sat me down and explained that I saw and felt things differently than most people. She told me that my emotions felt overwhelming and foreign because, well they WERE. They literally weren't my own, they didn't belong to me. All of a sudden so much of my life started to make sense and I set myself on a path of discovery. I wanted to learn how to manage my gifts and maybe help a few people along the way. Things were dark and twisty for a few years. I didn't understand how to shield, so instead I shut off my emotions all together. I was like a walking robot and life felt scary for awhile. 

   In 2013 my Aunt, Tracy, took a class and was trained as a Reiki II Practitioner. She needed people to practice on and that is when my life changed. It was like the lights finally went on after years of them being off. I could finally see and feel clearly again. I knew then that I had to learn everything I could about Reiki. I received my Reiki I & II certification through Karen Harrison from the International Center for Reiki Training in the summer of 2014 and then, after two years of study and practice, I went on to acquire my Reiki Master Teacher certificate through Tracy Roberts with AJETT Reiki in the fall of 2016. 

   Two years later I decided to start Erstwhile Studios. In the beginning all I had was a large, heavy portable massage table and an offer to give remote Reiki Sessions to clients for next to nothing. Then in 2019 I had the opportunity to partner with two local practitioners, where we had a shared goal; spread as much positive energy and healing as we could to as many people as possible. Unfortunately some partnerships aren't made to last, but I knew that my dream of Erstwhile wasn't done.

   What started out as just an idea of a place, slowly manifested itself into existence. In 2020 we signed the lease on Erstwhile's first official brick and mortar location. Then COVID hit the Siouxland area and I was sure that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. How was i going to keep a new business afloat, during a pandemic? I was working full time and trying to run Erstwhile in the evenings. Many evenings I spent at the counter, waiting for a customer to come in and check us out. Months went by, but then something amazing happened. In the midst of the madness, people began to seek a way to nourish their souls again. They needed to find away to sort through the stress and the anxiety that the pandemic had created. Slowly, one friend and one neighbor at a time, people started finding Erstwhile. We never advertised, we never had a sign or some cheesy gimmick, yet people found us. 

   Over the last two years I've realized something. Erstwhile is more than just a place. It's a form of healing. It's a space where people who are lost or broken come to find their way and to be mended. Erstwhile Studios is more than just my dream now, it's a dream we all share. I can never express what that means to me. You will never know the amount of gratitude I have for those of you who grew to love Erstwhile and it's purpose as much as I do. You are the reason we are still here after two years and continue to grow.  

Thank you, from the bottom of my Reiki Infused heart,

Amber Smith