EelKat Wendy Christine Allen, owner of 13 Black Cats, with 12 year old Chihuahua, Marcy.Eelkat is the current reigning Queen of the Scottish Gypsy Clan of Old Orchard Beach (the Gypsy clan which was featured in Stephen King's The Thinner.) She is a Voodoo Priestess rank of Medsen Fey, Marji Loa to Dambala Weddo.
How long you have been running your online shop? Why did you start it?
I started my first website (Space Dock 13) in 1997. Now in 2016 and that site have 6,000+ pages. You can see it HERE.
In 2004, I added my first online store Copper Cockeral Cards & Gifts, which is still online and now had more then 20,000 products. This shop features all art, paintings, drawings, and photography by me.
In 2005 I joined eBay and Amazon as a seller of used books. It was not a business I made money on, as I bought way more books then I sold and quickly discovered I could not bring myself to sell any of the books once I had bought them. I stopped selling books, but continued to buy them at a rate of about 200 books a week. Then I found out I could buy them bulk by the pound. Today I have two world records: the most Historical Romance novels in a private collection (8,000+) and the most Disney Duck comic books owned by a single person (10,000+), and at 300,000 books in my current collection, I'm fast closing in on a third world record: the most books owned by a single person.
In 2006, I started The Rabbit Hole. The idea never got off due to lack of start up funds. It had a Zazzle shop to raise money for the project but, never raised enough money to see the vision brought to life. The original plan, was to start a Gothic & Pagan CosPlay shop with an Alice in Wonderland theme, to be opened in the Arts district in Downtown Portland, Maine. At the time, rent for a tiny hole in the wall store front in this area, was going to cost $30,000 a month. Inventory for this niche would require $500,000 in start up funds. Market research soon revealed that Portland was not the right location for the project, resulting in changes to the business plan.
October 18, 2006 a grease fryer bomb blew up my house and a string of race & religion-related hate crimes and vandalisms, lead to my putting The Rabbit Hole project on a back burner, as a group from a local radical church marched around town claiming "God" had told them to drive out "witches". Opposition of my starting a Pagan shop in the area lead to my looking into starting an online store instead of a brick & mortar one.
On December 16, 2006, my boyfriend drove up in my driveway to deliver my Christmas present a few days early: a black 1992 Volvo 240 GL that had belonged to the Irish Mafia and was rumoured to be haunted. (I collect haunted items and this would go on to become my trademarked item).
My beautiful Dazzling Razzberry, as it looked in 2010. EelKat & Marcy with The Dazzling Razzberry aka The Autism Awareness Car (with 2.5million marbles glued to it.)Close-up of the marbles on the Razzberry
While I had dabbled in Voodoo off and on since 1983, in 2010, my life saw a dramatic change when I became an ordained minister. My practice of Voodoo, suddenly went from a passing fancy and side line hobby, to become the center of every aspect of my life. I would go on to become a Medsen Fey and Marji Loa to Dambala Weddo. With this new focus on my spiritual path, The Rabbit Hole saw a change in goals. No longer an Alice in Wonderland CosPlay shop, it was now planned to be a Voodoo, Hoodoo, Rootwork, and Pagan Ritual supply shop.
Plans for The Rabbit Hole continued to expand and evolve over the next few years. In 2012, the business plan saw a dramatic change, when an idea to create a private lable direct sales home party business went underway.
February 21, 2012 I bought retired monster truck race car, No Hurry, and set about designing plans to turn her into a travelling storefront. Construction of The Rosebud Reading Room started summer 2012, as the inside of No Hurry was rebuilt into a travelling pagan supply store.Alan Berry's Pace Car the famous monster truck "No Hurry" as she looked the day I bought her.
No Hurry as she looked inside February 2015 - 2 months before the vandalism.
After a year of work, No Hurry's Rosebud Reading Room was unveiled to the public September 2014. Sadly, local religious hysteria struck again in October 2014 when the first of a series of very violent attacks started against my family, my cars, my farm, and then in April 2015, the worst attack yet struck:
On April 10, 2015, I came home to find that vandals had broken into No Hurry, filled her with sewage and feces, three feet deep, smashed up every bit of furnishings, and kidnaped my 13 cats. 10 months and more then $10,000 of work were destroyed by small minded haters in the space of 3 hours.
2015 was spent in a nightmare spiral of trying to locate the kidnapped cats, while simultaneously, gutting and rebuilding ALL OVER AGAIN, The Rosebud Reading Room inside of No Hurry.Inside No Hurry today:The Rosebud Reading room, inside motorhome, No Hurry.Client reading in progress in No Hurry's Rosebud Reading Room.No Hurry's kitchenClose-up of No Hurry's overhead cabinets. No Hurry's Alice in Wonderland murals.
In October 2015, plans to go forward with The Rabbit Hole Shop resurfaced when an online friend contacted me to share his story of how he was finally able to get his business up and running. Following the information he gave me, I set about contacting suppliers and at long last, The Rabbit Hole finally began to take shape, changing from a pipe dream to a reality.
January 15, 2016 the time had arrived to buy a web domain and after 10 years of planning finally bring The Rabbit Hole to life.
However, when I went to buy the domain, it occurred to me, that The Rabbit Hole name, no longer fitted the vision of the store. While the plan was still for the store to include CosPlay items, it had evolved into a more New Age, Wiccan, Pagan, Hoodoo, Voodoo, Ceremonial Magic theme shop, plus the search for the 10 remaining kidnapped cats goes on.
Now in 2016, 2 cats have been returned, 1 was murdered (her belly gutted and eyes cut out, and left hanging on my door), 2 were beaten and were last known to be in critical condition requiring life long medical treatment, and 10 of the 13 cats remain missing.
In a last minute change of plans, I decided to rename The Rabbit Hole, naming it in memory of my 13 kidnapped cats (most of whom were black), and thus I bought the domain 13BlackCats instead of TheRabbitHole as originally planned.
13 Black Cats officially opened to the public on February 21, 2016
If you have any information about the whereabouts of the 10 kidnapped cats, please contact me.EelKat's travelling Gypsy Reading Room: former monster truck, turned Gypsy Reading Room: No HurryFront view of No HurryOther side of No Hurry
You can meet EelKat and see The Razzberry and No Hurry in person @ 146 Portland Ave, Old Orchard Beach, Maine.