October 4th, 2016
Aiea, apparently, is Where Crystals Rock. That's the name of a new-ish store that features a marvelous selection of crystals, fossilized rocks, meteorites, and some spiritual tools.
I first learned about it by reading this paper's "5 Things We Love" feature, and knew I had to check it out. My daughter and I share a love for all things shiny!
Olivia and I were not disappointed. In a small, welcoming, and blissfully air conditioned shop in Harbor Center, co-owner Helen Uyehara and her dog Cookie greeted us cheerfully. Turns out I know Helen from church, but that's a whole different story.
Helen opened her shop in 2014 as a post-retirement hobby. She's always loved gems. "I took lapidary courses in my youth, so I learned to cut and polish stones. I've had a lifelong fascination with crystals and gems," she shares.
She started testing the waters back in 2010, by selling crystals out of her house and hosting open houses. In 2014, after leaving a career with the State, she went into business with her niece, Mika Pantaleo.
Helen goes on buying trips twice a year, to gem shows in Denver and Tucson (ooh! I want to come!). Sounds glamorous, but she jokes that it's actually a little tiring to buy for everyone else but yourself.
She sure has learned a lot, though. Names of stones, spiritual meanings. Just that alone could take quite some time; she tells me there are more than 3,000 kinds of minerals!
"I consider crystals like Earth's blossoms. On land, there are flowers that bloom. And when you look into the Earth, gems are the beautiful things you find," Helen says.
The most popular sellers are amethyst, rose quartz, and Labradorite, though her favorites are rutilated quartz and pyrite. "It seems to me that people are more spiritual now, and crystals have a calming effect. They're said to have certain energies that benefit the wearer, but it could be as simple as wearing it and reminding yourself of your intention," she says.
I went just because I was curious, but left with a bunch of stuff. Olivia wanted a pretty wire gem tree, a citrine necklace, and a glittery goldstone. I got a gemstone cage and stones to put inside it, and bracelets of agar wood and Labradorite.
The price range is very reasonable, from $1.50 single rocks to $3,950 for large amethyst geodes. There are necklaces, pendants, wind chimes, jewelry, strands of gems, and much more. One regular customer tells me she thinks Where Crystals Rock has the best gem selection on Oahu.
Cleansing tools include smudge sticks, candles, and sprays, though the focus of the store is on the rocks.
We get caught up in just looking and looking at all the pretty delights. Even my long-suffering husband decided he could't beat us, so he joined us in enjoying shopping. (Those crystals must really be calming!)
We also all enjoyed talking to Helen. She's extremely sweet, knowledgeable, and delightful to be around.
"This is my new favorite store!" Olivia declared.
I have to agree. It's pretty rockin'.
Harbor Center (behind Cutter Ford)
98-025 Hekaha Street, Bldg 4, Unit 10
Just after the Harbor Center entrance, Building 4 is on the left. It's kind of across Rainbow Gymnastics. It's easy to miss because the building is behind you as you drive in and you don't see it until you drive out.
If you're worried about hitting HART construction traffic for the rail, go on a Sunday when it's tolerable.