“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do” reads a Rumi quote on the stunningly curated Instagram page of The Sacred Space. Nothing could be more true of Jack Herschorn and his wife Rose who built their business The Sacred Space out of a mutual desire to be of service by creating a little piece of heaven on earth. The Sacred Space, part store part sanctuary, was inspired by Rose and Jack’s trip to Bali and has evolved into a destination for spiritual enlightenment and peace. Nectar News had the privilege of speaking with Jack about his journey and the several career paths that led him to this one.
NN: What inspired you to start The Sacred Space?
JH: My wife and I were in the restaurant business and had major disagreements with our partner so we allowed them to buy us out of the company. Our kids were nine and 11 and we took them out of school to take a world trip, possibly for a year. My wife and I had been collectors, and we’d traveled quite a bit. We were in Bali and we started seeing items that we liked and we ended up filling a 40 ft container and shipped it back. After that, we went to China and ended up finding many things we liked and shipped a 40-foot container with fabulous things from China. We went to Thailand and ended up collecting a lot of things in Thailand and we shipped that. This was around 9/11 and we went to the embassy and they recommended all Americans go home. We came back and all the containers arrived and we unloaded them and we had so much stuff our house looked like a warehouse. We had 4000sq feet of stuff. It was around Christmas time so we said ‘let’s have a Christmas sale!’ We did a postcard and mailed 2000 to the whole neighborhood. We ended up with hundreds of people at our house and with substantial sales, made a profit, and paid for our trip. We just kept selling stuff out of our house. We had 56 redwoods, a stream, and we landscaped everything to look like a Balinese village. It just snowballed on its own and we had another Christmas sale the next year. By our third year, our neighbor reported us to the County for running a business out of our home. So we started to look for a building that would work for what we needed. That was the start of our business. We really love traveling. We really like collecting things. We’re into spirituality and most of the items we bought had something to do with spirituality. The business has continued to grow from there.
NN: From music to bagels, to chiropractor, to Sacred Space, what has each business taught you?
JH: One thing it’s taught me, and maybe it’s changed now, but partnerships are not a great idea. A lot of people go into partnerships and very few end up being successful. There’s a lot of different ideas, people feel like they’re working harder than their partner, there’s a lot of dishonesty between partners. Married couples don’t have that problem, it’s all going into the same bank account. I don’t recommend partnerships. I think sole proprietorship, or where the proprietor is a couple, I think those work best.
NN: Who has inspired you most throughout your career?
JH: I have a few people who have inspired me. My parents are number one. We were an immigrant family, Holocaust survivors and my parents escaped from Poland to Russia. I was born in Siberia in 1944. My parents were very hard-working people. They came to Canada after the war with ten dollars and worked their way up from there. Later on, when I went into the music business the owners of the label became sorts of mentors to me. I was 19 years old when I got my first record deal, so I really listened to them because they had a number of successful records. By the time I was 21 I was managing a band that that was doing very well. I had been able to sign them to Valient Records and Valient had a major hit act The Association. The label was sold to Warner Brothers and they kept my group, The Collectors, along with The Association. The Collectors became the number one psychedelic band in Canada with multiple hit records. Bill Graham of the Fillmore auditorium called me and told me he wanted my band to play at the Fillmore so we ended up playing there a number of times. Bill Graham, for me, was also a mentor. It’s The Buffalo Springfield and The Collectors at The Fillmore auditorium and they do this 19-minute song from their first album. Some guy starts yelling in the middle of it ‘this is a bunch of crap’, Bill Graham, sitting shoulder to shoulder next to people on the floor, runs out, stepping over people, grabs the guy and throws him out of the ballroom. I’m thinking to myself, ‘he’s got all these bouncers and he went out and did it himself.’ That was a big lesson for me. You own the business, you do it yourself. He was a great inspiration to me. Later on, there was Joe Smith who was president of Warner Brothers’ records. I had a good relationship with him I was only about 22 or 23 and I would go up to his office and he would just say ‘ya know Jack, you’re just gonna be a pain. He didn’t want my ego to get the best of me. He was a great teacher.
NN: As someone who has had many careers, what’s your advice on due diligence before moving into a new career path?
JH: Well number one I would say you’ve gotta follow your heart. You have to be truly inspired by what you want to do. If you’re just looking at dollars it probably won’t work out very well. If you do go into it and you have an idea, you also need to figure out every way you can earn money from it. For instance, an example is us, when we went into the restaurant business, the bagel business, we made a list of every possible way we could sell bagels. There’s the retail shop, and we figured well, there’s plenty of margin in bagels, and we could sell them wholesale, business lunches, certain types of catering, you have to make sure there is a large enough margin for what you are doing. You have to make sure that you are not going to go bankrupt. Can you go 5-10 years without profitability? If you have funds for one year, where are you going to obtain financing for your shortfall?
NN: How would you say your career goals have changed from when you were 20 to now?
JH: I would say each one was age-appropriate. When you’re in your 20s, there’s nothing better than being in rock n’ roll. When I was in my 30s after the music business I went to chiropractic college, I was very interested in health and learning about my body. I saw 40 patients a day for 20 years and learned to communicate with people on a deeply personal level, helped me grow and become a more compassionate and understanding person. Our practice and the center’s building was on the Venice boardwalk and we also owned a small frozen yogurt shop in that building. When we moved to Santa Barbara I didn’t want to set up a practice again, and there was not a bagel shop to our taste in Santa Barbara, so we saw an opening for that. And I’ve told you about how that lead into The Sacred Space.
NN: What do you consider to be your greatest business success and why?
JH: I think The Sacred Space is because people give us many compliments every day, on the space itself, what we sell, and what we do. People love love love what we do. People heal themselves just by walking through our place. Our center has changed many people’s lives for the better. We’ve met and become friends with a number of the key people who teach, are authors and leaders in spirituality and personal growth. We’ve also met and become friends with a number of entertainment personalities that are true examples to the public of what proper intention is. It incorporates all of our skills from every business we’ve been in.
NN: What advice would you give other married couples who want to go into a new business together?
JH: I can only speak for myself. Since I met my wife she’s always worked with me. We’ve been together for 40 years. She ran the chiropractic office, she was the ‘hostess with the most-est’ at the bagel business, she sets the tone for the service and the look of The Sacred Space. People like her in general whereas they are not quite attracted to my personality as I’m sort of a bottom line personality. She has incredible artistic talent and great skills in knowing what people like, she is an empath. She allows me to have my space in the business and I allow her to have hers. If you can be in business together with your partner and you both find the proper space in the business, then I think it can work. If you start criticizing each other, then you’ll have all kinds of disagreements and you can’t work with each other and it might not be a good idea. Family businesses that work, work well. Family businesses that don’t work well, you have to be careful.
NN: Do you have any new projects you’re excited about?
JH: We’re looking to improve the business we now have. We have a lecture series going on right now. It’s like having a ton of little mini projects going on. We serve tea to people and that’s like the hospitality business. We’re always looking for better speakers. The education we offer we like to see what we can offer in service to others. It lets us grow when you’re in service to others you grow as a person, and your business grows also. These are things we concentrate on. We do not particularly look at the bottom line, we are very happy when we can pay our bills and pay our employees. We are not looking to please any shareholders. We don’t need to do that.
For More information visit: www.TheSacredSpace.com