Ashley Bellino’s love of crystals began with a literal shock… Today, she is founder of Australia’s premiere gem superstore. Read on to discover more about her ethically sourced assortment and why you might want to be a Stoner, too…
Your zodiac sign:
I am a Gemini, through and through.
First crystal you ever saw? Do you remember where that happened, and how did you feel?
I don’t remember the first crystal I ever saw, although I remember very clearly the first moment I felt their energy. I was in a ‘Crystal City’ — basically a large marketplace, floor-to-ceiling full of crystals. I went with my mum — a scientist — and a lady who was a bit of a spiritual mentor. Accompanied by two women, very polar opposite ends of the spectrum, I was a little unsure how our encounter would pan out. I put my hand inside a giant Amethyst cave and was totally taken aback by the sensation I felt. I was surprised to see my mum place her hand into a giant geode and jump back, too, both our our hairs standing on end! It was unequivocally the energy radiating from these incredibly large geodes. (Depending on the crystal’s shape and size, it can be a little harder for those just starting out to have a similar experience.)
Tell us about the birth of Stoned Crystals. How did “Stoned” work its way into your name?
There is definitely a bit of a pun intended. Get Stoned is a phrase that we use often and we also call our followers ‘Stoners.’ Haha! ;)
Is there one crystal that you vibe with (or vibes with you) more than any other?
I have always been a lover of Labradorite and Clear Quartz. Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet, so its formation is always varied. It refracts light in such a way that it creates little rainbows within the stone and onto other objects. Bloody cool and so mesmerizing. Labradorite is an Adventure stone, one of Transformation, which is always a pertinent topic for me; plus, the Inuits dubbed it the Aurora Borealis because its flash looks like the Northern Lights. If you can’t get out to nature, then bring the nature in! :D Who doesn’t want rainbows and galaxies in their pocket!?
Do you have a go-to crystal healing routine? If so, could you share it with us?
I try to reflect daily and create a moment of stillness or meditation — I use my crystals to concentrate on my intentions for that day and what I choose to manifest into this world. I choose crystals which I feel possess the properties I need to focus on and bring into my life. I write in either my dream or blessings diary first thing in the morning, and use my crystals to make sacred spaces around my home that inspire me to live mindfully and welcome peace and calm. By placing them around the house and holding them, they act as reminders to keep my thoughts and actions in line with my intentions.
Your Crystal Crush trays are fantastic. What was the inspiration behind them?
I am of Italian heritage — I love cheese and wine. And unfortunately, soft foods and crystal aren’t an easy match! I am really inspired by reinterpreting crystals beyond earth’s natural sculptures into practical objects. Th Crystal Crush trays are slimline designed with sheets of Grade A quality crystal only half a centimetre thick, backed with glass and a Stoned silverplate logo infused between their layers. (#thatsilverlining…) The crystal is so thin that it allows for light to pass through — you can flip it to the glass side and voila! You have a cheese platter! Their cut-off corners are also an ode to one of the first Geo Gems I cut. No one had ever seen the cut made in a crystal before, so all of my stone cutters started calling it the Ashley Shape. LOL
Does living in Australia make crystal sourcing any easier/more difficult? How do you source them?
Absolutely YES in every way. They are more expensive to ship here, it is harder to travel to find suppliers, and even buying Australian Crystal from my own country can be extremely difficult! I often attend global Gem Shows in order to acquire crystals (for a number of reasons too long to explain)! This, however, has created a unique opportunity for my company as I needed to really step it up to another level to bypass those hurdles. We are the first to box, brand and sell crystals in a uniform manner with the utmost attention to detail and consistency, which means we are able to sell large quantities all over the world. We value ourselves on our ethics, quality and cut, and buy directly from countries like Brazil, India, Madagascar and China. We have direct knowledge and understand exactly where our crystals come from, as well as the conditions of our stone cutters and crystal families. We are also working to use completely biodegradable packaging by 2020. We are 90% of the way there already!
Best/worst advice that you ever received:
Baz Luhrmann’s “The Sunscreen Song” is pretty much my mantra on life.
Tell us about the most powerful crystal you’ve ever encountered:
I have a piece of Rutilated Quartz which I use as a compass. I bring it everywhere I go. It has thin metallic strands inside — often referred to as Angel’s Hair — and I study its lines when I am in need of an answer from within. On a sourcing trip, one of our crystal families took us to a cousin’s home and I found a box of recently cut, incredible quality Rutile. At the time the cutter would not part with them and I didn’t really understand why. And came to find that he, as I, was immediately captivated by those stones and unable to sell them for quite a few weeks. They were so mesmerizing! I would open them every night and the joy, magic and elevation I felt epitomized everything that brought me to begin this business. It encompassed everything I loved about crystals, down to the name of my brand. I was Stoned by the energy of these gems and, after researching Rutile, found out that the tiny strands are actually nano-sized particles within sunscreen as they reflect the sun’s rays.
If Stoned Crystals was a soundtrack, top 5 songs on it:
“I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King, “Rhythm is a Dancer” by SNAP!, “Mended” by Vera Blue, “Porcelain” by Moby, and “I Like it” by Cardi B.
Fall in love with as many things as possible.
+ Discover Stoned Crystals here.