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"What's the Deal With The Crystals?" - My First Crystal : Aunt Deedee & Uncle Fred's Story

This Amethyst right here was where it all started. My obsession with crystals began at 5 years old. I've never been able to explain why I have loved crystals so much, but It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

I purchased this Amethyst and a Blue Chalcedony from my Uncle Fred and Aunt Deedee at their garage sale (roughly 1997) when they were selling their house to move full-time into a motorhome to travel the country. My Uncle Fred was captain of a cargo ship, and spent 9 months out of the year sailing the open seas. I remember as a kid being so excited to hear of the places he traveled to, what It was like living on a big ship, the piracy he encountered, but most importantly; what countries he found the coolest crystals in and if he had to climb a mountain or crawl in a cave to find them (Am I right, those details are the most important!) 

I remember being so fascinated by his life as a sea captain, because my Aunt Deedee, was a Schuitema, (my maiden name). From stories passed down through generations, the Schuitema’s were from the Netherlands and that the name translated to/ was a family of ‘Ship-Builders.’ YES this intrigued my young soul, I couldn’t wait to tell anyone I met that “my family name means ship builders!” they would always look puzzled and respond with ,”ummm..what, excuse me?” my smiling young-child self would respond, “SHIP! you know… like a big boat!:” I would then proceed to tell them that my Uncle was captain of a ship BIGGER than the Titanic, can you believe that!?

I couldn’t believe that. No way was there a ship bigger than the Titanic, are you kidding me? At this young age, my obsession with the Titanic was unreal. I cried hysterically at age 5 because my mom wouldn’t take me to the movie theater with her to see the Titanic’s release. (But my Titanic obsession is a story for another blog post!)  After my conversation about Uncle Fred’s ship and the Titanic, I would then proceed to whip out my Amethyst.  BOOM, look at this magic! & It even traveled across the ocean on a big ship... what! 

When I was a kid, I would roam the forest (or… the wooded backyard in my suburban neighborhood) with this crystal and pretend it had magic powers. I remember having to “press” a “button” on the side and it would shoot out some kind of magic. I spent my days building forts and climbing trees, and this crystal was with me no matter what. The neighborhood kids thought I was cool because I had something so powerful.

As I progressed through life, collecting rocks and crystals wherever I go, this stone remained and still remains my favorite crystal. It is the “one item” I would have to run back inside a burning house to retrieve! (I know, explain that one to the Fire Dept.) “Ugh… she ran back in for.. a rock…?” 

Not many people get the whole “crystal” thing… I still don’t even get it! It is an obsession that I have not been able to put aside and no longer try to. I have come to realize that when we neglect aspects of ourselves, our interests, hobbies, desires and dreams… we never can truly experience happiness. 

You might be wondering where this story may be going, or what it even has to do with my work. 

A catastrophic event hit our family in November of 2022. I answered a phone call late at night from my father. Aunt Deedee and Uncle Fred were both killed in a car accident on Rt 287. Not only was their death a massive shock, but it was so unreal. They spent the last 25 years in their motorhome traveling the country... traveling the world. They just bought a house back in Jersey… and were driving home from the dentist's office when they were killed.  

Their deaths put my soul into a massive spiral, and it put into perspective just how precious life is. It can be gone in a single instant, no matter if we truly lived or not. It was around this time that the pain my soul was carrying from my job became unbearable. I decided that I am not going to waste another moment not seeking happiness. Not becoming the most authentic version of myself possible, because for so long I ignored my passions and interests. 

Around this time is when I started pouring my energy back into making art and building a business, and I picked up my passion for clay once again (it has been almost 10 years!) I dove deep in studying, researching and learning things that truly interest me. I began to find myself piece by piece, moment by moment. I realized how long I spent ignoring the call of the soul, and faking my happiness. 

Aunt Deedee and Uncle Fred’s death sent me through deep inner-childhood healing. It brought up memories I have forgotten for so long, dreams I had as a child that I have ignored. I started leaving what was no longer serving me in the past, and set out to create my own path to happiness by creating this business. Utilizing crystals has been one of the heaviest aspects of my work, and it was these crystals from Aunt Deedee and Uncle Fred that first sparked this journey and obsession. Since I was 5 my soul has felt at home in the trees, believing in the magic of crystals, and dreaming of exploring new lands. Somewhere down the line over the years I stopped believing in the ‘magic,’ as we eventually do as kids. My dreams of traveling never took off…yet.

I have realized the direction I am currently headed with my business is an absolute dream for my inner-child. The young girl obsessed with crystals, spending all her time in the trees and obsessing over ships and new lands will now be traveling to Viking Festivals and Renaissance Fairs, with her crystals, and an entire forest of treasures. Oh how things really do come full circle, don’t they?

You can bet this Amethyst will be with me on my adventures, in my little leather pouch around my waist. I am excited for this new direction and can’t wait to see how things unfold. I am so happy you are here for the ride!

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