Having experienced a lot of trauma growing up and more recently, health-related anxiety, Carla Roebuck has learned firsthand the powerful healing powers of crystals. She launched Crystal Visions alongside her husband as a way to follow her passion to help others, whilst allowing them the flexibility to work from home and look after their sons. They specialise in beautiful, high quality, ethically sourced, hand-picked crystals and are passionate about sharing their beauty, healing powers and life-enhancing energy. They also feel strongly about protecting the environment, so they use recycled packaging where possible when sending their crystals and try to re-use, re-cycle and re-purpose as much as they can.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I was inspired to start Crystal Visions for a few reasons. My youngest son was a toddler and my eldest had just been diagnosed with Autism. I was hoping to find a way that both my husband and I could work from home, so that we could have the flexibility to support and care for our sons in the best way we could, but also make a living. I have always loved crystals and had most recently been using them to overcome some health anxiety I was experiencing after being diagnosed with a melanoma. I had used crystals for healing many times over the years as I experienced a lot of trauma growing up. My father took his own life when I was a child and I was raped as a teen, just to mention a few things I have experienced, and so my healing and mental health is something I am always working on or maintaining, and crystals were one of the most powerful tools I had used. I decided to take my positive experience with healing crystals and use it to help others, by sharing my knowledge and providing the opportunity for people to access ethically sourced crystals online. I love the circular flow of energy in my business, in that I get to help others and they in turn help my family have an income and the flexibility we need to best support our kids. It’s also very meaningful work for me, to have been able to turn my trauma into something positive that helps others.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started with just $200, selling crystals online. I decided that I just needed to start somewhere, anywhere. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, and I didn’t want to get into debt, but I was really motivated to be able to work from home and be with my kids as much as possible. My husband, Shae, was a huge help, as he is a photographer and graphic design artist, so he was able to set up our website and we worked together on creating our brand. It was important to us that we take as much as care as possible to be eco-conscious in how we run our business, from re-using and re-cycling as much as we can, to using cardboard or biodegradable bubble wrap, and compostable mailers and sticky tape. We started our business in our garage, and we still do run our business from a garage, but now it’s a bigger one! We use green power and working from home, we drive very little. We believe every little bit counts when it comes to protecting our environment.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Having started a business with very little experience, my biggest breakthrough personally has just been getting comfortable with the idea that there is always more to learn and there is no shame in not knowing something or making a mistake from time to time. I am always learning and trying to improve the way that we run Crystal Visions. When I make a mistake, I own it and try to make it up to the customer. It’s been wonderful to see how much good old fashioned customer service goes a long way in retail. I find my customers really love the personal touches, like a hand-picked gift with each order that I choose intuitively or a little follow-up email to say thank you and how much we appreciate our customers. We really are so grateful for our customers, because without them, we would not have the lifestyle we have and the flexibility we need as parents to young children. I am grateful to have met and helped some really lovely people through my business.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Honestly, it can be really hard sometimes. I love my work but because we work from home, it can be hard to switch off. We make dedicated time to spend together as a family and that’s always our biggest priority. It can be extremely challenging at times being a parent and working full time. I know a lot of parents will relate to the struggles we all face with trying to fit everything we need to do into a day or that “Mum Guilt” we sometimes feel. It’s especially challenging as we home school my eldest son, so that takes up a lot of our time as well. We are so grateful to have the flexibility to work hours that work for our family, it makes life so much easier to be able to pop out to an appointment or go to a sports day at school, without too much hassle or needing to get permission from a boss. We get to be there for all those special moments, even though it may mean working later that night when the kids are asleep. The biggest blessing is all the extra time we get with our kids and that they get to see us working hard and enjoying our passions at the same time.