For the Love of Crystals: The budding Leyland business grabbing life by the gemstones
Last October, Olivia Waters’ father suffered a life-changing stroke due to a severe bleed on the brain.
“It all happened so suddenly,” says Olivia, who is 25. “We’d gone to the pub and got home and it was all fine but then he just dropped to the floor. Our whole life was turned upside down; mum was saying her final goodbyes to him in hospital.”
Thankfully, Olivia’s father had surgery and is now back home, but the whole affair has shifted her perspective and showed her that life is for living.
Having found switching off from her naturally highly-charged and extremely emotional work as a domestic abuse support worker with a women’s refuge during lockdown, Olivia decided to seize the opportunity for a change of career.
“Working from home in a job which stems from my own experiences,” explains Olivia, who was herself in a toxic relationship during her time at university seven years ago. “My passion for wanting to help others meant that I was finding it hard, if not impossible, not to empathise with people.
“I felt like I didn’t have anywhere to escape to from work; it’s an emotionally-draining job,” she adds. “You take on a lot and I had no time to relax at home. I started to get into meditation crystals and it really gave me that sense of karma and helped me get my lifestyle back on track.
“I can remember being stood in the shower and imagining all my worries washing down the drain,” she continues. “It sounds silly, but it really did help.
Tracing her interest in personal well-being and healing crystals - which are an increasingly-popular pseudoscientific alternative-medicine - back to her childhood, Olivia fund that the meditative nature of her crystals was really helping her, particularly when restrictions were eased last summer and she became even more busy with work.
“I found I had less and less time because of how busy I was, but having my meditation crystals in my pocket really helped,” she says. “I wanted to share that with other people and it’s just spiralled from there.”
Now the proud owner of For the Love of Crystals in Leyland Olivia is the personification of the life-lessons and perspective she gained following her father’s stroke: her mantra is now that life is far too short not to go for things.
Having felt the positive impact of healing crystals and meditation herself throughout lockdown, she now wants to give other people the chance to embrace the same thing for their own benefit.
“I’ve always sort of been a bit of a trailblazer and have always had the attitude of ‘nobody can tell me what to do’,” says Olivia, who is from Leyland. “I was meant to guide my own path. I’ve been into psychics and things like tarot for as long as I can remember, so to now be at the point in life where I own my own little shop and sell my products online is just absolutely amazing to me.
“Everything has been great so far - I never expected it to go as well as it has, but it’s fallen into place nicely,” she adds, having opened the store just months ago. “It’s so nice to see kids coming in as well because I was into crystals as a kid - I’d always go straight for tumbled stones at museums - so it’s good to see that young people are still into that.
“It’s the complete opposite perspective to things like videogames as well,” Olivia explains. “It’s all about focusing internally on your own well-being.”
That focus on personal well-being has brought and continues to bring ‘enormous benefits’ to Olivia herself, and she even has plans to start running workshops and guided meditation.
And, while she respects other people’s scepticism, she says that all she wants to do is give people who are interested in concepts such as healing crystals the chance to explore the topic further in a welcoming environment.
“People can believe in it and people can not believe in it; that’s fine,” she says. “But I get some people who come into the shop after work just to sit there for five minutes because it really calms them down.
“I’m so happy about that.”