Courtesy if Well Oiled Dormont

Melissa Robb’s journey into nontraditional medicine started simply enough. Her husband was getting headaches when air freshener was sprayed in the house and Robb took it upon herself to find a natural alternative.

She had been working in the oil and gas industry for over a decade, but soon found herself becoming fascinated by the world of aromatherapy. Not only did it make sense — it spoke to her on a deep level. She soon quit her job and dove in full-time.

“I left to do what I should be doing,” says Robb.

After finding success and support selling her homemade oils at festivals around the Pittsburgh region, Robb has now laid down roots and opened Well Oiled in Dormont.

The shop has been open since the first week of October and sells a wide variety of holistic health products such as aromatherapy candles and CDB oils. But as Robb explained to NEXTpittsburgh, retail is just one part of a larger mission.

“My vision when moving into this space was to create a holistic community hub for all things wellness and spirituality,” says Robb. “It makes my heart happy to do this work, to help people.”

To that end, the small shop at 1414 Potomac Avenue hosts a wide variety of community events and DIY workshops. Adults can create their own therapeutic oils or take a meditation class at Well Oiled. For the kids, Robb hosts Tiny Hands Tuesdays, where young children can engage in safe and edifying sand art and crafting classes.

The shop also hosts a monthly psychic night, and will also book mediums for private parties. Robb says that rather than emphasizing supernatural encounters, the monthly meet-ups are meant to be “just sort of a nice, metaphysical, fun evening.”

“I would say that even if you’re a skeptic it can be helpful to just sit down and evaluate things that are happening in your life,” says Robb. “A psychic can help bring those things to your awareness.”

Looking into the future, Robb says she’s more interested in growing her roots in Dormont than expanding the business. And yet growth is on the horizon: In the next six months, she says, the store will be offering massage therapy from a team of licensed masseuses.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.