Where did you grow up? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Is there a message that you learned at a young age that has stuck with you?
To follow my passion. I started dancing at a young age, which taught me the importance of commitment and discipline. Dancing also gave me self-awareness and self respect which reminds me to honor myself & my body. As a result I am able to hone in on my intuition and instincts. Combining all of these lessons over the years in my different endeavors, I’ve been able to remain creative and expressive, while also staying disciplined.
What’s your morning ritual?
I have a hard time getting up in the morning and my schedule is different every day so that makes it difficult for me to establish a morning routine.
I do however, have a full nightly beauty routine, which helps me signal to the mind that it’s time to start winding down. Once I’ve finished with my beauty routine, I meditate. Since it’s at night, sometimes I fall asleep, which is totally ok for me. I have these massive rose quartz bookends and I love to put one on my chest, it helps me soothe my energetic body and ground myself. In the morning, when I need to have a little more energy, I’ll light a candle and then decide which crystal makes sense for me to incorporate that day.
Admittedly, we know very little about crystals, but are interested in learning. Maybe this is a good, simple place to start… what is rose quartz best for or known for?
Rose Quartz is the stone that’s most-known for love, in particular, self-love. So when you think of a morning or nightly routine, what it’s really about is your personal self-care practice. Sometimes it’s easy for us to get caught up in everyone and everything else in our lives, our rituals help draw ourselves back inward. Rose quartz stones are such a soft beautiful pink!
Do you have any daily or seasonal rituals that make your life easier?
I’ve lived in New York for many years so every season I change over my wardrobe. As I pull things out of my storage, I purge in the process. The older I’ve gotten, the better able I am to part with things.
Favorite way to relieve stress?
I often use my crystals to relieve stress. I’ll choose stones that counterbalance whatever I am feeling. So for anxiety or negative energy, a stone like smoky quartz is really good for clearing and helping to rejuvenate.
How did you get on the path of working with crystals?
I was having a hard time meditating so started incorporating crystals into my practice. I found they were a great tangible focal point & anchor for my meditation. Holding onto something helped distract my brain and allowed me to stay present and grounded.
Now that they’ve become a big part of your life, how else do you use stones? Would you also mind explaining to us how they work?
Yes! Stones are formed from many different natural & energetic elements over many years. Each stone automatically resonates on different energetic levels, which then interact with you and your energy on any given day. It’s really the interaction within the two that people feel when they work with crystals. That’s why it’s so unique to each individual. I can say “oh my god this stone is amazing for you,” but you may not feel anything because everybody’s makeup is different just like every stone is different.
But certain stones are known for specific things, like Rose Quartz and self-love. So how does that work?
Each stone has it’s own genetic makeup and and it also corresponds to a chakra. A good indicator of what chakra the stone resonates with is its color. For example, purple would be your third eye. So when in doubt, start with the color to help you understand the purpose of the stone. Thinking of it this way is a simple way to start learning about crystals.
How did you first start incorporating crystals into your interior design work?
Prior to both Interior Design and Crystals being a huge part of my life, I was in fashion consulting working with jewelry designers. As I grew my interior design business, I continued to work almost exclusively with this same clientele. Being around their work with stones and other materials, I learn to look at spaces in a unique way. I began to realize what works & feels well in a space, often has nothing to do with the aesthetic quality. So I started to explore how crystals and stones could affect that feeling in a space.
Interior design intimidates a lot of people. Living in NYC, we are often dealt apartments that take a lot of work to create a livable space. On top of their size, shape, etc, we also have to deal with outside elements that we aren’t always aware of. This includes the energy of the people who lived there before, your neighbors above, below and next door - there is layer on layer of things contributing to your space.
When my business partner Elizabeth Kohn and I started dissecting these elements and discussing our respective interior design businesses, it really hit us that incorporating crystals into our work, beyond being aesthetically pleasing, would also be really beneficial for our clients. Crystals can be used in a subtle way to help create or block whatever you need energetically, and they can also be featured in a really beautiful way and serve as incredible pieces of art.
This is super interesting! Ren & Refined’s mission is to help people think of their personal style in a context of their “well-being.” I had never thought of interior design this way, but it sounds like you are trying to do something similar with your business?
Exactly! For example, we also have hundreds of wifi spots running in our buildings and then we wonder why we can’t sleep. You can use interior design and incorporate crystals to build up your living space’s immunity. We want to help people create a space that transitions them from the outside world. Your home is your foundation and should support your life, well-being and wellness.
Like Ren, we are trying to encourage our clients to re-think the way they approach their interior design and view it as a part of their wellness routine. Just like building a resilient wardrobe, you're building a resilient space to detach and recharge. It’s a place that will help you operate more efficiently.
Think about interior design the same way you think about your closet. If you have a chair that you don’t love that’s been sitting there forever, it’s time to get rid of it. Whether you realize it or not, it’s affecting your mood. Being mindful of what you are consuming and putting in your space, creates a space that makes you feel-good. Objects can hold energy, getting rid of or changing things, can make an immediate difference in your life.
What crystal might you recommend a beginner first add to their living space?
It’s so different for each person, but I would probably recommend crystals to block electromagnetic frequencies - like your wifi and cable box - things that are constantly searching for data, plugged in and charging constantly. This is also going on in every other apartment around you by the way. Specific stones have the ability to trap these frequencies, You could put a piece of Black Tourmaline on different pieces of technology throughout your apartment.
In theory, it would be great if we turned everything off at night, but we don’t. Keeping these stones around really helps. I even put one on my phone at night and always keep it on airplane mode.
Knowing Ren & Refined’s mission to improve well-being through one’s approach to their personal style - is there a crystal that you would recommend hanging in our closets or bedrooms?
Absolutely, there are a few actually! I would definitely start with rose quartz. Your closet is about YOU, it’s a personal reflection of who you are and what you want to present to the world. A stone like rose quartz or pink calcite are used for self love and well-being and would be great to incorporate. I also really like the idea of colored tourmaline, it can range in color from pink to green, including both in the same stone. The pink tourmaline brings joy and love, the red brings wholeness, and the green offers strength. These can be very personal stones to add to the wardrobe and to wear.
Another option are some general clearing stones like selenite. As pieces are coming in and out of your closet, it’s nice to cleanse them of anything they’ve picked up throughout the day.
So, I’d probably recommend one stone for self-love and another for cleansing as a good place to start. That should have you covered!
What is wellness to you?
Wellness to me is really about being mindful and listening to your intuition. It’s all encompassing, food, fitness, health, and what you keep in your space - your closet your home. Wellness is a composition, like when you’re creating a painting, it takes all of the different elements to create a well rounded, dimensional & textured piece.
Favorite go-to summer outfit?
Definitely dresses! A nice breezy, airy, linen sun dress and simple flat sandals - something with some visual interest like strappy or with tassels. I also love to incorporate things I’ve picked up while traveling - whether it’s an amazing woven basket I use as a purse, or a scarf, it's a fun way to enhance my outfit and make it special.
What’s next for The Cristalline?
In general while we are interior focused, we are really interested in helping people create an energetic lifestyle. We believe that starts with your home, but we also really love doing events and workshops to help educate people and create experiences around overall well-being. We are also going to be continuing to roll out more e-commerce items on the site including crystals and decorative items for people to begin incorporating into their homes! We recently did an exclusive set of crystals for Onda Beauty, it’s a great core set to include in your self-care practice!