Visionary #12: Spirituality meets interior design at The Cristalline

RASHIA BELL INTERVIEW

How did you end up interior design?

I spent many years working on the business side, and got into interior design because I wanted to have both a creative outlet and largely be my own boss. After over 10 years working in, fashion I shifted gears and decided to go back to school and get a degree in Interior Design.

What first attracted you to crystals?

Crystals and stones I feel have always been a part of my life.  As a child I was always drawn to them and one of my first jobs was working in jewellery. Over the years they kept reappearing in different ways, through things like working with other jewelry designers. I decided to take my knowledge further during my time studying interior design.

How did you meet your business partner Elizabeth Kohn?

We actually met on a wellness retreat. We had been taking the same class and got to know each other and immediately connected over our interior design work. We also happened to both be at a pivotal point in where wanted to make some changes in our design expression.  It took a couple years for that realisation to change into starting The Cristalline.

How would you describe The Cristalline in 3 words?

Energetic Lifestyle Design

Photograph: Joe Baker
What is the best thing about your work? 

The best thing is truly the ability to learn everyday while affecting peoples lives in a positive way.  Every space is different, every private crystal healing session is different, and they all strengthen my connection with crystals and how to interpret with and use them. The best part is being able to share that with others and have them make them a part of their life.

When did you start running retreats?

I had been teaching crystal healing on retreats for a couple years, but started hosting my own retreats last year. It was on my first trip to Colombia that I found this magical property and area near the Tayrona National Park. I immediately resonated with its energy in the same way that I do with stones. I decided it was important for me to be able to bring people to this powerful place (and others) so that they could benefit from the energy of the land as much as I have. It’s been a pleasure to be able to collaborate and do these retreats with my dear friends Juan Restrepo and Alejandro Lázaro from Untoself.

What are the initial steps you take improve your client’s homes/ workspaces? 

Our process starts with a consultation that addresses a space both on a design perspective and an energetic one.  It’s unique in that it involves crystal healing work with the client to assess their energy and what they are trying to create. Our process is broken down into three parts: Clear, Replenish & Harmonize.

If you could recommend one crystal to our readers to have in the home, what one would it be?  

Black Tourmaline. We live with way too many devices and tend to be glued to them. This stone has the ability to trap the electromagnetic frequencies that electronics radiate.

Should crystals be used with caution for a beginner?

It depends on the context- whether they are for use on the body or within the space. In the beginning, less is more in both contexts. In the home, edit the same way you would with other accessories. Start with a few stones so you can work with them and discover how your energy resonates. This will help you become more intuitive about your crystal selection and you can expand your collection from there.

Photograph: Eric White
What is your favourite crystal?

That is so hard, as it really changes on the day depending on how I am feeling. At the moment though I am all about protection stones and have been most drawn to Pyrite and Flourite.

What do the words self care mean to you?

Self Care to me is about honouring yourself, listening to what you need in all aspects.  For me rituals are a big part of it because they create experiences of connection.

How do crystals relate to general health and wellbeing?

Crystals for me are an intricate part of both my health and wellbeing. I have adrenal fatigue so regular work with energy boosting stones is a frequent practice. For me crystals elicit both physical and emotional responses, consistently supporting my wellbeing.

Where is home for you?

Home for me is a bit untraditional at the moment. I am currently living between both NYC and Medellín, Colombia. While it involves lots of flights, my time in Medellín has offered contrasting balance to the many years I have spent in NYC. I am loving the challenge discovery of language and cultural differences that come with living outside of the United States.

How do you use crystals and their energy in your own home?

I have them in my space to clear and to balance. I use them in my meditation, and my morning and evening rituals. It’s crystals all day long!

What rituals do you have to look after yourself and how do you unwind?

I always work with crystals before I go to sleep, they help to slow down my thoughts and start to decompress. Where possible I try to take a Himalayan salt bath with essential oil and crystals.

What is your beauty routine?

I used to be a cosmetic buyer, so my routine is that of a true product junkie.
I use our rose quartz facial roller chilled just a bit in the morning to reduce any puffiness around the eyes or face, and use guasha crystal tools in the evening to release tension in the face and lift and tone.

What other holistic aspects do you incorporate into your self care?

I am a huge fan of infared saunas especially in the winter. I feel so much more relaxed after spending time in one. I used to be a Ballet Dancer so Rolfing helps with the toll it took on my body. Sound Baths help me unwind when I am feeling stressed. Colonics are a huge help since I travel so much.  I take a host of Chinese herbs for my adrenal fatigue. And periodically massage, Reiki, acupuncture, I have done and will do it all. My friends always come to for recommendations, because I try everything.

How would you describe your diet, and what is your favourite meal?

I would say my diet is overall healthy. I try to be mindful, but I have never been one to deprive myself of anything. And most importantly I listen to how my body feels. Favourite email is a tough one and it depends where in the world I am. Overall cuisine would probably be Italian. For breakfast I will never pass up an Avocado toast with a poached egg on top. When I am in Colombia I want to eat Patacones or Plantains everyday.

Aside from crystals, how do you stay connected to nature and the Earth?

Living in Colombia recently has allowed me to forge a regular connection to the earth. The city of Medellín is in a basin surrounded by mountains so the energy is very special. But my first place to go if I felt like I was missing that connection would be to go to the ocean.  By the water is where I am happiest.

Photograph: Matt McConnell
Do you have any trips planned for this year?

I love to travel because it really fuels my soul both emotionally and creatively.  I kicked off the year road-tripping through Colombia and Ecuador which was a wonderful way to spend the holidays and my Birthday. Aside from regular trips to Medellín, there are more retreats in Colombia. I impulsively booked a trip to Belize for the spring, hope to explore more of South America (there is a snow-capped volcano in Ecuador I need to still finish climbing) and hope to visit some friends in Asia and Australia later this year.

What projects (work or personal) you working on at the moment or what is currently interesting you?

I am excited that I am a resident healer at the Four Seasons Downtown in NYC. It’s wonderful to be able to bring crystal healing and some customized treatments to their beautiful spa space.

Additionally this winter, ONDA Beauty in Tribeca became our retail partner, where people can shop The Cristalline’s crystal assortment in person. We collaborated on some fun crystal sets with them, which are sold exclusively to the ONDA website.

Learn more about The Cristalline’s work on their website, and follow their journey on InstagramShop the ONDA X The Cristalline Crystal Starter Set for Self Care.
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