Over the years of retailing and purchasing crystals for our customers and ourselves has been pretty challenging. It has taken us up to almost five years to research and understand the mineral industry with depth from a metaphysical and retail perspective.
Anyone who begins their business may not have the full knowledge or resources to find the right suppliers. We all have to start somewhere. We most certainly did. Unfortunately for our company, we have lost thousands of pounds and the trust in people, but it has been a part of the learning journey to become more knowledgeable and reliable. We are opening up our journey with you to see what we truly do here at; Enter The Stargate.
Our experience with suppliers
Within the last two years of our business, we have been sourcing our crystals outside the UK. We do not have enough trust and truth in suppliers regarding ethical sourcing. Half of the items are un-traceable and miss labelled. They are labelled as ethical with 0 knowledge, no proof of the licensing, mines and extraction. For us, this indicates sales tactics and keeping up with the trends. They believe that if they label themselves as ethical, it will push them to move stock faster. They cannot even take the time to learn or tell you where it originated from or if the minerals have had any treatment at all. We have spent hours travelling to inspect, learn and dealing with suppliers. For us, it is not a trend or a fashion statement. We take the time to see that what they are saying is true. Are they checking how their crystals are extracted or even polished? What equipment are they using, how are their staff being treated, is the environment energetically right? We are not slamming anyone, as we respect everybody who does business differently. This is our experience, what we have learned, and the morals we stand by from being disappointed.
Respect and honour our mother
Working with mother earth gifts has lost an increasingly amount of respect over the years. They have been growing for thousands if not millions of years for a disrespectful remark "It is just a rock" or "This is an overpriced piece of rock I can get the same in my back yard". We believe that when working with mother earth and what she provides us is more than physical exchange. If this is a belief, then we can see the lack of appreciation and journey. It must come with energy exchange.
A very ancient belief that we standby:
"Crystals are mother earth bones, the trees are her lungs, and the ocean is her blood."
We see crystals as sacred and precious tools. Whether you feel them energetically to assist us in our consciousness or if you collect and honour crystals. It proves that the planet we live on is extremely beautiful not just beyond the clouds or the depths of the ocean, but right underneath our feet. Do you wake up and look at your surroundings to see how mind-blowing and breathtaking it can be in so many ways?
Let's take ourselves on the journey from when a crystal first grows to how it ends up in the palm of your hands.
Crystals have been growing in the earth for millions of years from various chemical components. That one crystal has grown to a reasonable size to be extracted by humans. That is how the earth was created. Miners have to travel to the mine, but they have to know what they are working with before they turn up and start extracting. They have to consider the precautions, what sort of equipment can be used and the geological expertise of how the layers of the earthworks, where can they expect to find the mineral without causing environmental damage or destroying natural habitats. All of these steps are considered in ethical mining. It is not turning up for the day, paying a daily rate, then digging up as much material as possible, and then going home expecting a huge paycheck shortly after. Lives are on the line, ensuring the employer cares for their workers, pays them fairly, and does not work in unsafe conditions; This also applies to factory workers and children.
When all of these steps have been thoroughly checked before bringing the mining or lapidary team in, they are sometimes just searching in empty pockets. What kind of quality are they searching for? What further steps they must take to find the quality that their company stands by. Mining can take hours and sometimes days to make their journey worth it. They are usually independent miners, family-run, or working for large cooperations; This has a huge effect on how they earn a living because they also have to export the goods by transport back to their premises, clean the crystals is a long process even breaking, cutting or polishing.
This is only one of the many reasons why we pay more for our crystals, as we know that the supply chain is short and clean. They have quality standards and talented artisans who can craft minerals without using dilution, harsh chemicals and synthetic materials to increase their profits.
When it comes to pricing the crystals, it comes with a journey and lots of time. Some items that we sell are mounted or worked; this is extra labour for the supplier, which adds to the wholesale price. However, we purchase lots of great deals by the kilo, like our tumble stones and roughs. But most of our products are unique, very large or rare and all of the above has to be considered more for the seller as these materials are much more risky, delicate and precious to sell.
Please note that we hand-pick everything we sell—even our packs of tumble stones and roughs. We may have general listings. But we must make sure the quality and photos are up to scratch with every buy we do. If there are changes to our stock, we make sure we take the time to re-photograph, reprice and size everything. We work by our supplier's side. When hand-picking, we know what quality we are looking for, whereas blind buying may be a risk of lower quality. We do not wish to make that mistake. Every piece is special.
We have full confidence in the companies ethics that we work with. We have seen footage of what goes on in the mines and factories, what they do to give back and support their communities, re-planting mother earth.
Communication is key
We have spent many days and hours communicating with our suppliers through video calls and text messages. Larger orders have taken 2-4 months to finalise one shipment as we will purchase so many varieties of crystals and price ranges to offer our customers. There are customisation and personalised orders that we take on, and we utilise this time to see all of the sourcing and the standards we expect to meet. There are times that we do travel internationally to source new businesses and hand-select our stock; all of these costs are considered. Once we have an order ready for shipment, we are charged the packaging and freight, imports, VAT and other taxes, like every standard business does when purchasing outside their country. Depending on where we are ordering from and how heavy our pallets or boxes are, we must consider all of this on top of our overheads, staff wages and equipment.
What happens when they arrive to our premises?
These wonderful new minerals have arrived, and it takes us weeks to un-package and organise them all. Every tumble stone and rough is inspected, counted, separated and priced up. They will be piled for photographs and re-stocking on our website if necessary. We have a wonderful team who helps us through this journey. If we are un-packaging sold as seen items, we need to un-package them carefully and inspect them. They will be priced, weighed, dimensioned and photographed for the website and social media purposes. We have to clean, prepare, and shock test our jewellery to ensure they pass quality. We have high standards as a growing company as we purchased from retailers before we had our own business.
The energy exchange
We also work on an energetic level; before we start the website preparations, we will perform a ceremony on our crystals through spiritual cleansing, sound healing and amplifying frequencies and love with our guides. We will code our crystals and work with spirit to bring in the required energies in the current time. This ceremonial work entails hours, and it is a part of what we do. It is close to our hearts. When we pick these crystals, we make sure that we feel the energy, connect to the crystal on all dimensions, and find the right energy to match you as the customer and the crystal together.
When we take photos, sometimes we, as directors, work from 7 am-1 am to ensure the products are online and correctly displayed, ready for our team the next day to do the final checks. During this process, we are packaging orders from 9 am - 3 pm. We are not the company that throws your items in a bag or box. We wrap all of our crystals in bags, eco packaging and shock absorbent equipment. Even more, when you buy a delicate or large piece, packaging one small-medium order can take our team anywhere from 5-15 minutes. This does not include how much time larger orders take, and it takes more than one member of staff to support the packaging process. We pay our staff well. They work in safe and comfortable conditions, they work very hard and always are kind, friendly and understand our business mission.
We ensure everybody is happy, from mother earth to you—our customer service team work seven days a week to ensure efficient customer satisfaction.
Everyone has an extremely important part in our business, even you as our customer reading this blog. We stand by ethical, fair trade, high quality and reliable sourcing. We have to move with the times as prices go up and down. Some crystals become harder to source, mines close and some re-open. Some are just being discovered. You cannot physically compare companies to one another as everyone buys from different suppliers and chains. It also depends on when the supplier purchased the materials. Is it through peak time? For example, Moldavite right now is very expensive due to the mine closing. It is also out of season; therefore, business owners take the opportunity to triple prices during this time, whereas others may keep their price the same, it purely depends on the company and their reasons for this. We have never judged a company having "overpriced" products because you truly do not know what it has taken for that business to get hold of their goods. We question the cheaper as we KNOW the high risks of unethical or unauthentic journeys.
We have witnessed and experienced how companies dilute their products and cheat the industry for their benefit. We no longer sell dyed, artificial or enhanced crystals. In our experience, it is not ethical, and neither is selling a crystal that may be semi-precious for a precious price. We have been deceived countless times by miss-labelled crystals and their prices.
Unfortunately, lots of minerals are being mastered in the labs. For example, Opalite is an artificial material; we have spotted many retailers and wholesalers selling this as Opal. Opal is EXPENSIVE, and it is sold either by karat or by gram. Moldavite is a rare and very expensive Tektite. The market is flooded with lab-grown or moulded glass, and they will be sold at the real moldavites asking price to hide the deception. Certificates are not valid as so many businesses now fake them.
This is why we respect our time and sourcing. We respect the quality, the entire journey and how much time and work it has taken us to get to this stage. We know what we are selling and why our prices are so broad. Don't get us wrong. There have been hard times where we have had to let go of some pieces, and we want to get buyers the best possible prices, but after a while, knowing that if the margin becomes too slim, it becomes pointless even to carry the product. All businesses have money tied into their inventory to keep their shop alive and thriving. We believe in our products and our sourcing; that is why we have carefully selected the price ranges and quality. We are still very generous with loyalty points, sales between 10-30% off. This journey applies to all of our holistic products as well. They are just as important as plants are being endangered and indigenous people are being exploited and disrespected.
Quality over Quantity
Our goal as a company is quality over quantity. It is the energy exchange from start to finish, the physical appearance, and what they carry. We have a team that will focus on matching the right crystals for the individual customer. We respect peoples prices; that is why we offer the variety, but there are some minerals that we supply, there is no budging for a bargain; when we see a bargain for a rare mineral, our alarms start to ring. We want to educate you and show you how all minerals should be respected and honoured. Mother earth is precious.
When it comes to the energetic properties, it becomes very difficult to list endless amounts of information as it gets diluted, played upon and mixed up. We encourage our customers to connect to the soul of the crystal and what purpose it has for you and your frequency. We were gifted the crystal coding from the galactic nations to broaden your consciousness and understanding that crystals are more than programmed and labelled to be. We are all unique, and so are crystals. Nothing is ever a duplicate.
We love crystals, you and the mission
As you can see, running a crystal business requires love, energy and effort. The journey comes with it. We LOVE our business and are dedicated to our spiritual mission for us to be of service. Our business is not a job. It is our life. We live and breathe crystals and spirituality. For us is being authentic and building a safe space and community. We are confident that we show this through our products and our websites energy. Thank you for taking the time to read the importance of our company and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
With love & gratitude
Chris, Talia & Enter The Stargate Team