Items with meaningful intentions have always attracted me. I’ve always been interested in how different cultures around the world treasure certain clothes and pieces of jewelry. How they integrate their meaning into their every day lives is also a landscape that I want to keep exploring every day. One of the things I became curious about lately is how people view gems and stones as harboring medicinal or healing value.
On this issue of Shop Well, I interview Lyznee Torres, founder of healing jewelry shop Crystals and Cacti to learn more about the inspiration behind her brand and her thoughts about jewelry with meaning.
ISM: What motivated you to start Crystals & Cacti, and what was the inspiration behind the name?
Lynzee: Crystals & Cacti came about more as a passion project for me at first. The real reason behind why I started making these bracelets is honestly the most important thing to me. In the beginning of 2017 I found myself in the darkest place of my life wanting to end it all, I thought about suicide almost every day. I even went so far as to plan out my suicide, it was then that I realized that I needed help and it was then that I found healing crystals or as I like to say “they found me”. I wanted to start bringing these crystals everywhere with me because I loved the joy they made me feel but I just wasn’t finding any bracelets that fit my personal style or told me what stones they were using so I decided to make my own. That way I knew exactly where the beads and crystals were coming from and I could pick everything out myself, personally cleanse them, and research their properties. Soon people started complimenting me on them and actually wanted to buy my designs thus Crystals & Cacti was born! I made my very first sale on Thanksgiving Day in 2017 and that inspired me to create my website and social media handles. This has been the most amazing and rewarding experience so far and I am truly humbled that people want to spend their hard earned money on my designs. The inspiration behind the name comes from my love of the desert. I have always been drawn to cactus and succulents, one day I was driving and the name just came to me. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m driving, I find it very therapeutic.
ISM: Can you tell us more about your experience with healing jewelry? What’s the difference between healing and regular jewelry?
Lynzee: So I actually didn’t know anything about crystals other than I thought that they were really pretty (haha!) I didn’t know that they had healing powers or any of the properties behind them I just thought they were pretty. I didn’t even know that healing jewelry was a thing but when I found it or when it found me, as I like to say, I was hooked! I made my very first healing jewelry purchase from a vendor at the Long Beach Antique Market in Long Beach, CA. I saw these gorgeous and very simple blue beaded bracelets and I was immediately drawn to them. That’s when the vendor owner explained to me that these beads were called amazonite and that they helped to relieve stress. I bought 3 of them, one for my mom, one for my aunt, and one for myself. As soon I got home I started researching healing crystals and their properties and began to make a list of what crystals I needed to start my collection. Healing jewelry is different from regular jewelry because healing jewelry involves crystals. One of the best ways to “work” with crystals is to wear them.
ISM: How do you develop the designs for your jewelry? What’s the process like from start to finish?
Lynzee: Naturally I am a very creative person I always have been since I was little so for me the best way to develop designs is to just sit and play with the beads. When I first started making jewelry I went to a gem show, picked up beads and gemstones that I was naturally drawn to, brought them home, and just started playing around with designs. The inspiration behind my Signature single, which, features a Miraculous Medal comes from my faith, I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school. While I don’t agree with all of the beliefs and practices of the church I do still have a strong faith in God. I believe that you can believe in both God and the metaphysical.
ISM: What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned through founding Crystals & Cacti?
Lynzee: How much work it is to start a business! (Haha!) I have a business degree but I never saw myself owning my own business. I originally went to school to learn the business side of the entertainment industry, while I was in college I actually interned at Live Nation in Hollywood, CA. I thought that was going to be my career and when that didn’t pan out I was devastated. But I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and the Universe had a different plan for me. Starting a business is hard work and to be honest at times I still don’t know what I’m doing. I believe it’s a lifelong learning process and as my business grows I’m sure my learning process will grow too. I am so excited to see where this path takes me.
ISM: Living in a society that craves fast, cheap fashion, how do you think people can get started in purchasing items with meaningful intentions?
Lynzee: I love that you say meaningful intentions because that’s exactly what these bracelets are all about. Not only are they beautiful, but they are so meaningful. I’ve given these bracelets as gifts to my friends and family during particular situations in their lives and a couple of them had been so moved and grateful that they cried. For me that is the most rewarding experience because I truly put so much thought and love into each piece. The best way I think for people to get started purchasing items with meaningful intentions is to start supporting and purchasing from small businesses. So much work and love goes into creating these items and when you purchase from a small business you are supporting someone and their dreams, I think that is the most beautiful thing. My favorite places to purchase meaningful items are from little local boutiques, I am hoping to start getting my pieces in local boutiques this year and eventually maybe I’ll open one of my own. 🌱
Follow Crystals & Cacti:
I love the ready-made designs Lynzee has over at Crystals & Cacti, but what excited me the most was that she takes custom orders! Here’s how the process went (super easy!):
- We first talked about some goals I had. I wanted to stay clear-minded, release negative energy, and do well in my career. After some research, Lynzee recommended the rainbow fluorite, amethyst, quartz, and citrine.
- I chose my gems: the fluorite and amethyst. Lynzee picked up some fluorite just for me!
- After that, I picked out some ready-made designs I liked and explained how I would like my bracelet to look. After a few design choices, we settled on an ombre style, amethyst chips, and 14k gold-filled beads!
- That’s it! The process took about 2 or so weeks. Here’s the result…
Lynzee also included a little card that went over the benefits of the fluorite and amethyst, which I thought was a nice touch. I also loved that she provided a little pouch for it! Words can’t describe how beautiful the color of this bracelet is in person. Lynzee really chose beads that shine brightly in the sun and have their own character! I am thoroughly pleased with the bracelet and the process, and I would definitely recommend her shop to anyone who’s looking for healing jewelry made by skillful hands.
Pictured in the look below is the bracelet, styled with an intricate top to counter the simplicity and purity of the colorway.