At Points of Light Crystal & Mineral Gallery on Merrimon Avenue, dazzling displays of amethyst geodes and quartz clusters catch the eye of customers walking through the door. From large specimens nearly 5 feet tall to small tumbler-sized crystals and minerals, the shop has something for everyone, said shop owner Connie Olson.
Some pieces are carefully shaped and polished and others are simply cut geodes that reveal their interior crystalline brilliance. Among the most sought-after crystals are rose and milk quartz and amethyst, Olson noted.
Olson has found many of the large crystals she sells in Brazil, Peru and other South American countries while taking exploratory trips over the years. Her searches have taken Olson to Stonehenge, Egypt, Sedona, Arizona, the mines of New Mexico and Arkansas, as well as many other exotic locales.
“I’ve always enjoyed traveling and meeting new people,” she said.
Having developed contacts over the years, Olson said she chooses crystals and minerals that have been ethically sourced.
“I’m very particular about who I buy from,” Olson said. “I only buy from people that I have a connection with.”
She has been acquainted with some of her suppliers for so long that Olson has watched their children grow up, and now deals with them.
“I’ve been collecting forever,” Olson said. “Once I decided to open the store, I started collecting a lot more.”
Olson has been fascinated with mineral elements since she was very young, and still has boxes and tins of rocks she collected near her home in Tennessee when she was a child.
“I grew up traipsing through the creeks. There were geodes all over the place,” Olson said.
Opening a store that sells crystals and minerals was a long-time dream for Olson that became a reality after she and her husband moved to the Asheville area in the early 2000s.
“When our kids graduated from college, we decided it was time to move,” she said.
The couple also transitioned from operating an import/export business for tropical fish for many years to opening the crystal and mineral shop in Asheville.
“It was time for me to do this,” Olson said.
Before opening the store, Olson said she had big crates of rocks sitting it the barn at her home.
“My husband asked if there was a higher purpose, and I came to realize that it was not just for my enjoyment,” Olson said of her collection.
People have a combination of reasons for acquiring crystals, Olson said. Some of her customers are seeking a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing object as a centerpiece for their home or garden. Others feel a spiritual and healing connection with crystals and incorporate them into daily meditation and practices such as yoga.
“Scientifically, crystals do have an energy,” Olson said.
Among the offerings at her shop is a collection of crystal singing bowls made from silica sand that comes from Spruce Pine.
To demonstrate, Olson circled the rim of large white bowl with a mallet, producing a tone that correlates with a chakra, a spiritual focal point in the body in Eastern meditation practice. The vibrating sound coming from the bowl is used as a therapy to balance chakras, she explained.
The healing and meditative use of crystals is based on a person’s belief system, Olson said.
“Indigenous people use crystals in healing,” she said.
In one area of her shop, Olson has an extensive selection of books on the healing and spiritual properties of crystals to help guide and educate customers in their use.
Olson said she is grateful to be working in a business that has personal meaning for her, and for her customers—a significant portion of which make online purchases through the shop’s website.
“I’ve always appreciated everyone. We have people who buy from all over the world,” she said. “I feel like I’m living in my bliss.”
For more information, visit the Points of Light Crystal and Mineral Gallery website at https://pointsoflight.net or call 828-257-2626. The shop, at 391 Merrimon Ave., is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.