Crystal Clear: Interview with Stephanie Arch, Owner of Sea and Stone Boutique
To the local community’s delight, Stephanie Arch has recently established the first shop in Cayman dedicated to all things related to minerals and rocks. Her eagerly awaited boutique, Sea and Stone, opened its doors on 16 May to much enthusiasm and excitement. Here we speak to Stephanie about her lifelong fascination with minerals and rocks, the reasons why she set up her store and how much she is looking forward to the second edition of our signature Dark Night event, taking place at Anchor & Den on Friday, 3 June.
As we walk into Sea and Stone, beauty surrounds us. The unique crystal formations that sprinkle the shelves of Stephanie’s boutique are mesmerizing. The way the light catches the many quartz and amethyst displays make the place look like it is sparkling. Stephanie’s matching radiant smile welcomes us in and we instantly notice the tranquil ambience of the space, with soothing music and the scent of smoldering white sage. This is our kind of place. “Crystals are the formations that occur from minerals and rocks.” This simple statement seems to undervalue the beauty of these gemstones.
When asked why she wanted to open Sea and Stone, Stephanie’s eyes light up. She said: “I have been collecting crystals pretty much my entire life. As I get older I find myself becoming more of a serious collector and taking courses to gain a better understanding of their habits, where they come from, how they are formed, what is their elemental content or chemistry and their different crystal systems. It is my passion. I love crystals – they light me up inside. When I talk about crystals with people, I get very excited. It just makes me happy.”
She remembers growing up in Canada and travelling a lot with her family during her summer vacations. They would end up staying at different cottages throughout her childhood and she fondly recounts how she enjoyed spending time outdoors searching for different rocks and crystals. It was something that came naturally to her. She also describes how mineral and rocks provide us with a physical reminder of our connection with the earth. She elaborated: “Crystals light people up, they are so beautiful to look at and wear as jewelry, they make people who love and have a passion for them feel good inside. Minerals and rocks are formed from the earth, so as nature and the earth are grounding and calming so are the crystals.”
Stephanie’s love for minerals and rocks was her main incentive for opening her store – she wanted to share her passion with people in Cayman. There is no other place on the island where you can find such a huge array of crystals. She commented: “Sea and Stone is a unique store to the Cayman Islands. It is a two-part store, my husband has a fishing charter business called Slackem Charters hence the ‘Sea’ and I represent the ‘Stone.’ My offering includes beautiful crystals, gifts and jewelry all based on the mineral kingdom. We also provide tumbled stones to collect or to have made into a wire-wrapped pendant, small and large collector pieces right up to high-end statement décor for your home or office. I also carry a selection of books for all ages.”
Since the shop’s opening, it has been non-stop for Stephanie. The feedback so far has been full of enthusiasm. She said: “The community has welcomed Sea and Stone with open arms and I am delighted to be able to offer distinctive pieces at very reasonable pricing. My hope for the community is to offer bespoke pieces that will put a smile on their faces as they walk out the door. The store has only been open for a few weeks but we have had a lot of traffic ranging from very intrigued children right up to the young at heart.”
When asked what have been her most popular pieces, it appears that customers are interested in the diversity of items that she offers. She elaborated: “Besides the jewelry, which flew off the shelves, I have already sold quite a few big statement pieces. Amethyst, I think because it is the most known mineral and gemstone, has been the biggest seller so far. Because there hasn’t been a crystal store here previously people aren’t familiar with the different types of minerals and rocks so I am happy to educate them about what we offer here. We have quite a variety of different stones beyond the basic quartz and amethyst.”
She sources the majority of her minerals and rocks from a supplier based in Florida – so it doesn’t take long for many of her beautiful pieces to arrive on the island. She said: “I have a supplier based in Miami who has family owned mine in Brazil so a lot of it comes from there. I also have a couple of suppliers in Colorado and Arkansas. I am looking forward to going to the different Gem Shows offered around the USA, as my current suppliers carry familiar pieces and once the community gets more comfortable with the different types of rocks and minerals I would like to be able to bring in and offer more unique pieces.” What’s more, Stephanie is planning to offer workshops in the near future, including kids workshops covering the basics of rocks and minerals.
When asked about what she thinks about the signature Dark Night event at our Beach House, she flashes another glowing smile. She said: “I thought it was fantastic. I have heard nothing but positive feedback about it from others. The launch event included so many people from the community. It is amazing when a community of friends can gather together through learning something new. Understanding astronomy and other factors that increase our awareness of the cycles of nature is also a wonderful. The most important aspect about the Dark Night event is taking the time to set an intention or goal for the upcoming week, month or year. It is always amazing when we have the opportunity to take five minutes for ourselves in this sometimes hectic world we call life.”
We could not agree more. The main aim with Dark Night has been to create a space where people could gather, spend quality time together and take the time to look inwards and set intentions – if only for a few minutes. Places like Sea and Stone and our Beach House provide these sacred spaces.
Join us for our next Dark Night event, taking place this Friday, 3 June at Anchor & Den during the New Moon, where Stephanie will be offering complimentary tumbled stones as well as providing an array of books on minerals and rocks that guests can browse through. When a person sets an intention, she will also be on hand to help advise which stone best suits their need.