Welcome to our blog!

This home page has some basic information connected with Guru Boutique, Guru Publishing, Guru Promotions and our much loved Guru Tribe.

Our motto (and coincidentally the name of our Facebook group for our true friends) is, ‘Guru Tribe Forever…’

I’m Guru’s Beryl and have the honour of being the designated scribe of this blog. xx


Guru Boutique is a small, independent, fair-trade retail business (the spirit of which began to flicker into life on Kensington High Street in 1968). At first, it was just a feeling that kept on nagging away in my head, then at The Isle of Wight Music Festival of 197O, the true spirit of Guru Tribe was born. I was so excited and kept rambling on about a shop stocking wonderful things but which was more than simply a shop. My Mam and Dad seemed to get what I meant straight away.

None of what happened next was planned but in 1971 my parents opened a hippy shop on North Road, Darlington. My dad insisted on calling the business Quaker Girl, which was a good name given that our town was a Quaker town, but I knew it wasn’t the right name or even the right location and sadly Quaker Girl didn’t last very long. Dad then opened another shop in one of the pit villages outside our town. He called it Santana but it got broken into shortly after he opened it and unfortunately, the stock wasn’t insured.

By 1972 (after these couple of false starts), poor Dad had had enough and lost interest, but Mam and I hadn’t. We bought his remaining stock from him and looked around in Darlington town centre for a place we could afford.

I won’t bore you here with details of the way it happened but finally, on 16th., March 1972, we opened a tiny unit hardly bigger than a cupboard at run-down Court Arcade in Skinnergate. The name we chose was Guru Boutique. By some miracle, we survived, grew and managed to trade very happily there for seventeen years, making some brilliant friends and having some memorable adventures along the way. That arcade may have been shabby but it was also incredible.

Eventually, the place started to let in rain quite drastically which resulted in us losing a substantial amount of stock on a regular basis. Reluctantly we knew the only option was to move.

In 1990 Guru moved to number 24 Blackwellgate and we still occupy that wonderful, interesting, historic and very pretty old building to this present day. This means that Guru Boutique has been trading for almost fifty years and that the spirit of Guru Tribe has been around even longer than that…

In my humble opinion, ours has to be one of the most interesting and friendly physical/online shops to visit in the whole world simply because we love what we sell and appreciate the fascinating variety of people who visit us! xx

The staff currently consists of Tony, myself and Colin, but we have to also include our late co-founder, my lovely Mam (Irene Maughan), as she is always in our hearts and minds. There are many other fantastic people who have helped Guru over the years and who have subsequently become much-loved friends whom we refer to as our TRIBE. You can read about some of these valued Guru people in the entry entitled ‘The Legend of Guru Tribe (just for fun)’ which can be found (believe it or not) in the Guru Tribe section. xx

In case anyone cares to read it there is also my personal blog on WordPress – Scribbles, sketches, songs & snaps https://wordpress.com/view/berylmaughanhankin.blog


The photograph above was taken by our long-time friend Libby Deacon.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: As well as being a long-established independent retailer, from time to time Guru publishes books, greetings cards, pamphlets, etc., plus organises events and competitions. It might be a good idea to check in here quite often in order to keep up to date with the latest news on such events.

Apart from joining this blog, other great ways to keep in touch would be to call in and see us at our shop in Darlington or to visit our main website’s homepage https://guruboutique.co.uk/  where, as well as browsing our stock, you can also join “Smoke Signals’ our friendly and informative newsletter to our tribe and/or use our contact form to send us messages.

Once there you can browse our stocks of aromatic incense, essential oils, hand made candles, healing crystals, quality greetings cards, fair trade gifts, clothes, accessories, ethnic, gemstone and silver jewellery, soft furnishings and textiles, funky tights, Directions hair colours, comics, Alchemy Gothic and music-related merchandise, etc. We pride ourselves on having something for just about everyone.

We also have a secure dedicated website for our greetings cards at http://www.gurucards.co.uk

Rest assured we would never share your details with any third parties and you can also unsubscribe at any time you want.


A few images of just some of the treasures that can be found in Guru Boutique.

Photo’s by Dave Shaw, Ian Wright and Guru’s Beryl.

The gift items, candles and home furnishings we sell are carefully sourced from Fair Trade, independent and where possible local companies. These items shown are only a small selection of the treasures that we have in our physical shop.

We have a great selection of aromatic incense which is soothing plus mood-enhancing. We also stock spiritual items such as figurines of Buddha, Ganesh, Shiva and other deities, mala beads, singing bowls, tinctures, etc.

Our fair trade clothes, accessories and adornments are popular with people of all kinds and all ages, due to being natural, beautiful, imaginative and comfortable. The colourful adventurous Boho styles we love to stock are ideal for campus wear, festivals, holidays and, in fact, any occasions and all seasons.

Guru Boutique stocks a selection of Tarot and Oracle cards plus many unusual items such as dragons, skulls, fairies and unicorns. We have a wonderful selection of beautiful, natural, healing crystals and minerals which we see as nature’s very own works of art.

GURU IS ALSO FAMOUS FOR GREETINGS CARDS, GIFTWRAP, ETC., AND WE NOW (IN ADDITION TO OUR MAIN WEBSITE https://guruboutique we also have a second secure website totally dedicated to cards. If you fancy growing that site the URL is https://gurucards.co.uk

Our stationery selections include fine art, hand-finished, humorous, fantasy, magical, counter-culture, birthday, age, relations and special occasion cards from some of the top greetings cards and stationery producers in the UK. We also delight in seeking out the smaller more quirky companies too as they offer a real alternative to the norm. We think that sending carefully chosen handwritten cards and notes is the perfect way to show how much you care about and value family and friends. After all, “you can’t display a text message on your mantlepiece can you?”

We Gurus look forward to welcoming you to our physical shop and/or our website, where you will find examples of all the interesting items shown above and so much more…

Never in our wildest dreams did we foresee that little Guru Boutique would survive for almost five decades. I’m happy to report that we have and that we’re looking to the future with just as much hope, imagination and enthusiasm as ever!

Watch and partake as the brave adventure continues…

Since the lockdown, the trading hours of the physical shop are normally 9am., until 4pm., Mondays to Saturdays. The physical shop is not open on Sundays at present. Times may vary on bank holidays, etc. (Due to Covid-19 these times may vary just now and we apologise for that as it’s out of our control). xx

REMINDER: As mentioned earlier on this page BOTH of our secure websites are ALWAYS OPEN where you can send us messages via the contact form and also access our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. There is also a link to this blog and gallery. The links for our main website and our greetings cards websites are listed higher up in this post.

Our physical shop’s address is Guru Boutique, 24, Blackwellgate, Darlington, DL1 5HG (Tel:01325 461479)

In case you do fancy calling in to see us in person, this is our lovely shop where (in spite of social distancing), you will be sure of a warm welcome…

Wishing love, luck and laughs to all our fabulous friends, whoever and wherever you are!

Above all things we value friendship. Without our friends, Guru would not have survived to this present day.

P.S. If you scroll through our ‘Hot Blog’ section you can read about the legend of Guru Tribe which is a fun post about some of those friends who have been part of our story…

Finally, here’s a little rhyme which I think sums us up.


I exist without religious affiliation
I exist without political persuasion
I exist without sensory perceptions
I exist without any preconceptions

No nationality aligns me
No physicality confines me
No gender defines me
No limitations can ever bind me

I am energy
I am soul
I am alive and I will survive
I am the spirit of Guru Tribe…

The rhyme is by Guru’s Beryl. The image is our original logo beautifully enhanced by Glenn Wigham.


14 responses »

  1. Hi Beryl trying to do my bit by shopping, though fleapit wont load anything at all? Just thought i’d let you know in case there is a prob.ok going back to shopping now,lol Anita x

  2. I’ve long been a Guru Boutique fan, always helpful always kind also with a pinch of crazy in the mix. We wouldn’t be part of such a wonderful tribe without you Beryl, keeper of the till, LOVE TO YOU ALL ANITA XXX

    • Ah, but blogs are different. I think they are more for proper articles and essays and other forms of more formal writing. I’ll only share some of what is written here on social media sites. Hope you agree? I’m trying to join that lady you suggested too, but it’s not that easy to do. I need to get better at this as I’m a bit lost at sea just now. 🙂

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