Ethics & Growth of Crystallography Gems

Crystallography Gems shop, with owner Michelle Ferris, holding a Kammererite sphere. October 2021.
Crystallography Gems shop, with owner Michelle Ferris, holding a Kammererite sphere. October 2021.

Our story is rooted in a passion for crystals, for bringing these tools into my life, and the lives of my loved ones. This shop wouldn’t be where it is today without an incredible number of volunteers, friends, and employees over the years that have helped me turn my vision into something tangible and real. Though this is my baby, it has definitely taken a village. And still does.

Early on, it was clear that very few crystal dealers carried the kind of high-vibrational crystals that I enjoyed most. It was my passion for crystal healing properties that drove me to carry the high-vibration crystals that are at the core of my business. The type of crystals and stones Crystallography Gems carries has expanded greatly since our small, focused start.

Almost all our crystals are chosen individually by me and selected for energetic clarity, quality, and affordability.  I utilize my skills and expertise in the field, as well as my intuition and extrasensory information (the “Clairs”). My crystals are sourced through long-time vendors and direct mines when possible so that I can pass those savings on to you. That said, I also work hard to ensure that I am sourcing from vendors and mines that operate ethically and as sustainably as possible. As a huge proponent of energetic healing on a personal and collective level, and as a creator of safe spaces, I am very aware of the energy of exploitation and do my utmost to avoid it. This is also why we do NOT carry White Sage.

Currently, Crystallography Gems carries one of the most diverse crystal, stone, and mineral collections in all of the Northwest, rivaled only by museums such as the Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals. I am always looking for new and interesting materials to bring into my shop to share with you, and we refresh our selection consistently.

In addition to our expansive crystal collection, we also carry carefully selected jewelry, orgonite, accessories, gem essence oils, a large oracle and tarot card selection, singing bowls and sound tools, reference books, smoke cleansing tools & bundles, craft-your-own spell jars, and other metaphysical tools. 

Crystallography Gems’ Core Business Practices

Throughout our journey, and despite major changes to our business model, some things have remained consistent. Our core ethics and mission have remained the same:

  • Committed to sourcing crystals from ethical and sustainable mines/vendors
  • Providing high quality, authentic crystals & stones
  • Offering tools and guidance to assist people on their healing journeys
  • Creating a healthy, happy, and safe environment to work, explore, and play
  • Ethical & fair pay for employees, and working toward a thriving wage for all

History, COVID, and Roots

In 2012, enthusiastic about crystal healing properties and the amazing symmetry found in nature (my favorite crystals demonstrating symmetry were Pyrite cubes, Fluorite, and Garnet), I took up buying crystals and rocks. My collection rapidly outgrew the cases and shelves I had bought, so I started selling the smaller ones to friends in order to make room for new crystals. As organically as my passion for crystals had sprung to life, so did vending. 

Originally, it was a very small setup. I started with vending tiny art fairs, bringing my booth to music events, and other seemingly random places. Soon after, I started vending rock and gem shows, and music festivals. Though I loved being surrounded by crystals and other rock and gem-loving people, I found the energy at some of the shows to be stifling and set in old ways. Discontent with those experiences, I brought together my own creative vision and began hosting my own small shows, and it wasn’t long after that I was throwing massive 20 to 180+ vendor events, with live painters, healers, music, crafts, and a multitude of rock and gem vendors. My crew and I were throwing events all over the Northwest with our massive traveling booth before COVID forced Crystallography Gems – and the world – to figure out new ways to do things.

Crystallography Gems Live Sale setup during COVID quarantine, with Michelle, Val & Carole. 2020
Crystallography Gems Live Sale setup during COVID quarantine, with Michelle, Val & Carole. Back at the old house, before we had an office. 2020.

With the shutdown and quarantine, I changed gears and started live broadcasting from a spare bedroom. It stayed this way for over a year. I learned to broadcast, got over some of my fears of the camera, and learned the basics of invoicing and shipping. It was exhausting and lonely, but somehow it kept me in business, and I unexpectedly made amazing and deep connections with people through my live shows. This is something I’ll forever be grateful for.

For eight years, my entire back room and garage were used as a warehouse, and when it was time to move out of my house, that meant the whole business had to move too. I figured that the adult thing to do would be to split my home from my work, finally, and decided to get an office for live broadcasting and storage. Our office was there for just a couple of months before people started showing up at the door, asking “Hey, are you a store? Can I come in and look?” By sheer accident, we had started gathering our first retail customers. I rushed to find shelving and cases to convert our office into a micro-retail location, as well as live broadcasting.

As the COVID safety phases opened up and more people wanted to pack into our tiny space, it became clear that our freshly-set space was too small for retail. We had just hung the final painting on the wall when I signed the lease to the suite next door. We were expanding! I was able to create the aesthetic and vibe I wanted with MUCH more space than was available on the office and warehouse side of the shop.

It’s funny because I had never wanted a brick-and-mortar location. I didn’t want to be tied down or to have full-time employees to manage. But now that I’m here, I couldn’t possibly see it any other way. My location is wonderful. I can bring home both delicate larger pieces and small, rare crystals, knowing they won’t get lost in packing materials at a show. My employees are family to me, and I love all of them immensely. Together, we are able to provide a quality of service and products here that just wasn’t possible at a traveling show. 

Together with my fantastic staff, we have succeeded in opening an online crystal store. Down the line, we hope to start vending at small-scale shows again and eventually pick back up where we left off with our larger-scale events.

Be sure to check out our Events, Classes, and Vending page, and if you want to be notified when our shows kick back off, follow us on our Social Media channels, or sign up for our Email List

Thank you for ten years of support as Crystallography Gems – and I – grew. You’ve helped to make my dreams come true. I trust that our crystals will support you in achieving your dreams too.

With Love,
Michelle Ferris
Crystallography Gems

Michelle Ferris at the new Crystallography Gems crystal shop in Georgetown, Seattle. October 2021.
Michelle Ferris at the new Crystallography Gems crystal shop in Georgetown, Seattle. October 2021.