MysticMag chats to Xenia Mateiu, owner of Village Rock Shop, a local Carlsbad Village gift store specializing in crystals and gemstones. She shares her passion and knowledge of crystals.
Why were you first drawn to crystals, and how would you describe your relationship with them?
My story with crystals and gemstones started almost a decade ago. I was first drawn to their beauty, probably how it usually happens to a person who does not know much about their metaphysical meaning and properties. So yeah, I was and still am passionate about photography, and looking at crystals, gems and geodes made me want to capture their natural beauty.
But it was not long before I became fascinated with how crystals form in the environment and their deeper meaning. For me, crystals are priceless gifts from nature. Some of them take hundreds, even billions of years to grow, and I believe they have the ability to absorb, store and release energy and can help us connect to ourselves and the world around us.
Personally, I don’t think crystals are the solution for all my struggles, but they are a window to my soul and mind. I always learn valuable lessons from these stones carrying so much wisdom and healing energies, and I feel like there’s always something new to discover about myself through their intuition-sharpening vibes.
What can you tell us about the Village Rock Shop and its humble beginnings?
I started Village Rock Shop in 2018 because I wanted to share my passion for crystals in a really simple, beautiful and inviting environment. I noticed the gemstones’ increasing popularity; people started using crystals in fashion, interior design, cosmetics, and self-care products. Seeing more people becoming aware of their physical and metaphysical benefits was exciting.
So I wanted to create a welcoming space for crystal enthusiasts and people willing to learn about gemstones, but I also wanted to prioritize quality over quantity. I felt very strongly about sourcing the products locally and supporting the community instead of getting them from large companies. That is why I invested time and energy into building personal relationships with crystal suppliers and ordering the gemstones directly from the source.
I could continue to learn about crystals from my suppliers, and I loved to listen to their stories about collecting the gems, how they polish the crystals, their composition, and the environment and culture from which they collect. All these fascinating stories helped me learn more about the world of crystals and allowed me to share them with Village Rock Shop’s visitors.
The gift shop was also able to develop due to the community’s support. Local artisans and crafters contributed to the shop’s unique product collection. The local community started to learn about us and participate in our cultural events. We also worked on improving our visibility on social media and through our site after the Covid pandemic affected us as a business.
What are your bestsellers and why, in your opinion?
Lately, I see people more attracted to crystal products that can help with stress, anxiety relief, and self-discovery. That is probably because people try to be aware of their emotional needs, care for themselves, and figure out who they are and wish to be.
The attraction to calming crystals could also mean that people have a lot of worries and stress on their shoulders and need stability and safety. And that is not surprising considering how the last two years impacted our lives.
Many visit our gift shop looking for crystals such as amethyst for coping with anxiety, rose quartz for self-love, loving others unconditionally and with compassion, and clear quartz for healing and balancing the body and the mind.
Where do you source your stones from, and how do you determine which will be displayed on your shelves?
As I briefly mentioned, I care a lot about sourcing our products ethically and prioritizing their quality over quantity. So every crystal you’ll find in our shop is sourced directly from the mines or 1 representative that works closely with the mine. I work with mines from Morocco, Uruguay, and Brazil, Russia; I source my crystals from crystal dealers from Mexico, Pakistan, Indonesia and Madagascar. And some of our products, such as candles, sage, soaps, honey, dreamcatchers, and essential oil sprays, are handmade by local artisans and crafters.
And since I value quality over quantity, I can’t say we have so many products that it is complicated to decide which ones are displayed on the shelves. If you visit our shop in Carlsbad, California, or our online shop, you’ll notice our stock for each handmade product is small batched. But we make sure to replenish the stock constantly, and when clients come looking for crystals we don’t have in the shop, we try to source the crystals for them.
How do you guide your clients when purchasing a crystal product?
I always advise my customers to listen to their intuition, but I’m also there for them if they need guidance finding the right crystal. I start by asking my clients what part of their lives they want to focus on, what are their needs and intentions. Often people come searching for a crystal or product to support them in a difficult life period, something they are struggling with or an area of their life that they need more support in.
I also ask them how they intend to use the product to get an idea of what to recommend. For example, crystal jewelry pieces are great if you want your gemstone close to your body for longer periods. Then palm stones crystals make great products to use for meditation. Worry stones are easy to carry in your pocket, and play with them whenever you need to release tension, while smaller crystals and gemstones are more suitable if the client intends to make crystal grids.
I find that it’s important to listen to my clients and assist them in a non-intrusive way to choose what would best suit their needs and lifestyle.
What lies ahead for the Village Rock Shop?
I think Village Rock Shop will continue to grow in the future and continue to provide the community with quality and ethically sourced products. As a Village Rock Shop team, we strive to create a welcoming, inclusive environment where anyone can pass by to talk about their needs, admire the butterflies we grow in the shop, or participate in our fine art shows or other cultural events.
We’ll continue to maintain and build personal relationships with the local community and hopefully will also increase the visibility of our site and build an audience for our helpful content.
Want to find out more about Village Rock Shop, visit https://www.villagerockshop.com/