I’m on my way to 27 West 20th Street, and as I glance at my watch, I realize I’m a few minutes behind schedule. Although the atelier is located on the 6th floor, the elevator ride seems to take an eternity (an everyday experience in the city). Approaching the door, I’m greeted by a short Latino woman, possibly of Peruvian origin, who welcomes me with a silent gesture. This gesture may be a cultural norm in her home country, or perhaps she’s trying to maintain a peaceful and calming atmosphere in the shop. Walking through a small hallway filled with Selenites, Agates, Amethysts, Amazonites, Citrines, and many other gemstones that I’m unable to name, I begin to feel overwhelmed. At last, I’ve reached my destination.
Ariana Ost greets me with a smile, wearing a striped marine T-shirt and Capri pants. Although she seems shy and reserved, she’s effortlessly at ease moving around her habitat of Morganites and Quartz in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Jacques, her father, partner, and also my friend, awaits me by a large window flooded with bright light, eager to give me a welcoming hug. I’m thrilled to finally meet this talented ‘Queen of Crystal’ as described by Jessica Alba and of whom Jacques is so proud.
Both of them invite me to sit by a desk filled with intriguing creations that have garnered rave reviews from clients at Bergdorf Goodman, Free People, and Anthropologie. Among Ariana’s curated collection of crystals, and accessories for the home, table, yoga, meditation practices, and overall wellness journeys, her pièce de résistance is the crystal grids used to balance human chakras. Other pieces with patterns that follow the rules of sacred geometry are meant to heal and elevate the space’s vibration, like pure alchemy. Even before the interview begins, I’m already under Ariana’s spell.
Feeling completely at home in this extraordinary space, Ariana and I chatted with ease about her journey, her love of mother nature and the joy that she brings to others. She’s a believer in continually reinventing herself. “Life is a journey, a road ahead of you, your past, present, and future. I take pieces from what I want to become, who I am, and where I work. Growing up, I had very supportive parents. My father empowered me emotionally and sensitively; we went on beautiful trips around the world, encouraging my creative ideas. They always taught me that I matter”.
Her mother was a great caretaker, an artistic and creative writer, and various culinary cultures and a flair for fashion inspired her father. “I merged these skills and tuned them into my own feelings. I do yoga, meditate, and follow many spiritual intuitions. I love psychology and understanding people, observing them, embracing their ideas, and learning from the emotions that they create. I collate this information and am continuously inspired, sometimes before I sleep and sometimes when I wake up”.
Ariana hands me one of her latest creations: a beautiful linen upholstered journal with gold-engraved letters. The inside pages feature printed patterns and lines. As I admire her creation, I can’t help but wonder if Ariana has a knack for intuition because journaling has been a part of my daily routine since I was young. Ariana shares with me that people are the highlight of her day. She lost her mother at a young age and cherishes every moment spent with her children. “It’s essential to cultivate relationships and create memories,” she says. She wanted to make crystals and their energy accessible in a curated, designed way. Pyrite, also known as fool’s gold, is her favorite crystal. She loves how it manifests success, grounding, and stability.
As an interior designer, I guide clients through the process of choosing the right color scheme to add depth and interest to a space. I ask Ariana how she weaves crystal readings into home interiors. She explains that crystals work best in a positively charged environment and can positively impact the mood and well-being of occupants.
She then explains, “It’s a moment in time when people choose a stone they are drawn to, perhaps for its energy or color. You might be drawn to amethyst, a beautiful purple stone, the color of royalty for seeing, and intuition. It’s associated with high spirits, prevents anxiety, and promotes dreams, so it’s an excellent crystal for manifestation. The crystals work best in a positively charged environment; they work like filters to cleanse vibrations and frequencies, allowing you to walk into a space and feel good. Alternatively, smaller crystals, such as our jewelry, allow you to have them close to your body so that you can set your intentions”
As I gaze upon Ariana, it’s hard not to marvel at how she seems to have it all. However, I am still intrigued to ask her one last question: has she discovered her life’s purpose and what does she envision for herself in the years to come?
Ariana reveals that she is a complex being with multiple layers and purposes, much like a Phoenix constantly reinventing herself. Ariana is passionate about people and cultivating relationships. She cherishes every moment spent with her children and ensures that they have special occasions every day. She believes that life is a gift and takes every opportunity to be with her loved ones. Ariana’s affinity with the color gold is reflected in her various jewelry design collections. She creates a prototype in wax with the help of her metalsmith, sculpting the texture to make each piece feel organic with the connecting wires. She loves color, rainbows, her friends, and magical places, which inspire her feminine designs.
Ariana’s crystal jewelry collections feature stones with different colors, personalities, and healing properties. Blue calcite connects people to the sky and water, helping reduce blockages. Quartz offers strength and power and reflects light, like a reflection of our own self. Citrine is joy, lights your self-confidence, and helps with abundance. Rose quartz is for love and is a soothing color.
Ariana has come to understand that her life purpose is to understand human emotions, articulate them in her designs, and be grateful for the healing powers of crystals. With the pandemic highlighting the importance of mental health, Ariana believes that her designs can help people overcome anxiety, depression, and other challenges they face in their daily lives.
As I drive home with a pretty journal in my purse and a grateful heart towards Ariana, I set my intentions for a brighter day. My mind wanders to the handmade silver ring I purchased from an artist’s atelier near the Dead Sea in Israel. The ring features a giant citrine, my birthstone, associated with the yellow solar plexus chakra and known for its positive influences, including relieving lower backaches, bringing joy and abundance, and combating depression – just as Ariana, who is also a Scorpio, reminded me. As part of my healing space, I start a small ceremony where I place the citrine ring into a bowl with other crystals to create a sense of purpose and spiritual design.
Incorporating color therapy and holistic practices, I infuse my clients’ homes with a fresh energy of mindfulness, healing, and conviction. I include the color purple, along with other meaningful colors, in my projects and designs to elevate my creativity to a spiritual level. Inspired by Ariana’s interview, I am mindful of the impact that our surroundings have on our well-being and strive to bring more harmony into my daily life to fulfill my sense of healing purpose through my writing and designing.