We all have things that give life meaning and make the mundane magical. For some, it’s using crystals in a self-care ritual. Users believe each crystal promotes energies that, with the right intention, can address stress and communication in relationships and promote affirmations.
Nicole Simonelli, owner of the FUNKY HIPPIE (thefunkyhippie.com) in Stamford knows first hand how transformative they can be. Soon after opening the shop on Glenbrook Road in 2014 to sell homemade gifts and art, one of her art vendor pals, Jen Faye Colombo (@jenfayeart), stopped in with a zeolite crystal. Simonelli was instantly mesmerized by it and soon added more crystals to her shop’s offerings. That attraction then manifested as a full-fledged passion and a successful business, which Simonelli shares with others who are looking to explore how to use crystals in a self-care practice.
The store, which has been selling items online for shipping or no-contact pick-up since Covid, has built up a following of people seeking crystals, handmade jewelry and more. The inventory comes from family-owned businesses she knows and trusts.
“Crystals are energy-vibrating gifts that help us along our journey like prayers and mantras,” she says. When helping a customer purchase his or her first crystal, she believes that the crystal chooses the person. “I listen and ask questions, but many times people are attracted to exactly what they are needing. I am more of a guide on the path. I am always grateful to be a part of helping someone starting out along their journey.”
For those who need and want a little more direction, Simonelli does have a few favorites to suggest, though reluctantly. “If I had to choose three,” she says, “I would choose clear quartz, rose quartz and amethyst, but I truly believe that if you are attracted to any stone and it brings you peace, then it does not matter what it is.” Go with what attracts you.
Despite no in-shop sales yet, she remains committed to keeping The Funky Hippie as personable as possible and embracing the learning curves that come with social media marketing. “Social media has not only afforded my customers and me to stay connected, but also allowed me to offer these beauties in a whole different way than what I was used to. I strive to make my Instagram page as welcoming, approachable, understandable and real as one possibly can without the actual face-to-face connection or the person-to-crystal connection that is lost when things are virtual.”
For Simonelli, her longevity and reputation in the Stamford community stems from locals willing to remodel how they shop. “I am so grateful each and every day that I get to do what I love, and for the support and love from my customers,” she says. “It truly is a blessing and I am thankful for them.”
See her selection of crystals on Instagram @thefunkyhippie101. Maybe one will choose you.
Throughout the winter season, Nicole Simonelli practices simple mindfulness habits that anyone can easily try.
1 “Practice mindful gratitude for what I do have.”
2 “Meditating and praying with crystals.”
3 “Face or neck massage with essential oils.”
4 “Go on a walk with family or a friend.”
5 “Chat with family or a friend.”
“Wellness from a spiritual standpoint, to me, means that we are continually changing and leveling up to what works for us while practicing self-acceptance. It’s love and patience.”