Crystals, serenity stones, sage, and scented oils are experiencing a serious uptick in retail popularity, even though their place in history and pop culture is nothing new. Discover why mystic products represent an important trend today -- and why they’re casting a spell on buyers and merchants alike.
Prediction: Mysticism, cosmic influence, and earthy vibes will go from fringe phenomenon to full-on consumer fascination -- and therefore retail phenomenon -- in 2017.
After all, fresh off our return from ASD Market Week in March, we can say with certainty that all things mystical are dominating. (Like the Village Originals crystals, above.)
Fashion and lifestyle magazines such as Teen Vogue, Goop, and Refinery29 picked up on the trend early on, in 2016. COVETEUR even published an article called “Why 2016 Is The Year Of The Witch,” featuring everything from sage and smudging to tarot cards and astrology, which examined why fashion has long embraced these occult elements.
Disclaimer: We need to dispel (pun intended) the myth that these items are “woo-woo.” They are for everyone, and there are several reasons why they have become so important and mainstream today. And while we love the wizardry of Harry Potter, this concept has deeper roots.
We spoke to several experts on the topic: see what they have to say about these mystical items and discover how you can get in on it too. It might just manifest into more sales for your shop.
But first, meet our panel of experts:
- Colleen McCann: Shaman, Reiki Master, Intuitive Medium, Crystals Expert, Feng Shui student, and Shaman School teacher. Read about her services and updates on StyleRituals.com.
- Rebecca Gordon: Resident Astrologer at Harper’s Bazaar and founder of the site, MyPathAstrology.com.
- Laura Ellis, Founder of Hidden Hippie (A brand of healing crystal hair ties and bra clips, to help you discreetly keep your crystals close. Bonus: Hidden Hippie also plants a tree with every purchase).
- Ashley Wray, Founder & CEO of Mala Collective, purveyor of sustainably harvested, fair trade bracelets and necklaces designed to help you find a calmer mind, body, and spirit, especially while you meditate.
Why Spiritual Items Are Currently Popular
The truth is, these items and ideas have existed for thousands of years. Rebecca Gordon of MyPathAstrology.com offers her insight on why they have more recently become mainstream:
“Twenty-five years ago, yoga was fringe. We have come a long way and you may just as likely hear strangers in the elevator who mention going to see their shaman after work, sound healer, Kundalini teacher as you would ‘therapist’ these days.”
One explanation? It’s the result of or a remedy to the overwhelming digital times we’re currently experiencing.
Gordon continues: “One reason these things have become so popular is more so a reaction to the times: the media/tech overwhelm, the fast-paced nature, disregard for health, and the dehumanizing effects of staring into a screen for years on end.”
Regardless of our religious beliefs, symbols that resonate with us can take on different, personal meanings. Icons like the “Hamsa hand,” “evil eye” (e.g. Turkish “Nazar,” which is a blue glass amulet), the “Om” symbol, as well as Aztec icons, are becoming more and more ubiquitous, perhaps as a result of many Americans describing their belief system as “spiritual but not religious” (The New York Times examined this phenomenon in its article, “Examining the Growth of the ‘Spiritual but Not Religious”).
Learn more about the mystical, spiritual and cosmic-inspired merchandise that’s making waves. We see it in the stars…
Want to add on-trend lifestyle wholesale merchandise to your shop or site? Get your free ticket to ASD Market Week here.
Crystals & Serenity Stones
One thing is crystal clear: energy rocks and serenity stones are having a huge moment.
It’s gotten to the point where crystal crowns are even replacing floral crowns at this year’s Coachella!
According to HelloGiggles.com, designer Sarah Cosper started making crystal crowns as special Christmas gifts for friends. Her gifts were such a hit that she expanded into other pieces, like combs and hat bands. Her handmade items are currently available on her Etsy shop, Lux Exteriors, and range from $59.99 to $125.
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People are also straight-up purchasing crystals as a way to bring positive energy to their workspace or home.
Between amethyst and jade, there’s a crystal for whatever ails you. According to Colleen McCann, a former fashion stylist who followed her calling several years ago to become a shaman, there are “rock prescriptions” to ensure you get the type of crystal for whatever you’re currently focusing on.
As much as the connection between crystals and energy is tough to ignore, it can be challenging to grasp that crystals have such a tangible or measurable impact on our lives. Laura Ellis, the founder of Hidden Hippie, explains:
“I think there are a lot of reasons why people are turning towards these types of talismans and they’re having a bit of a moment. It’s like they allow you to be part of something bigger than yourself and dip your toe into the word of spirituality.”
“Also, whether or not you actually believe in the whole ‘energy-attracting’ part of it, carrying crystals can still have a powerful effect to constantly bring you back to, and remind you of, the intention you have chosen. They're also pretty, so that doesn't hurt! It helps to remove any negative stigma about trying out something that could otherwise be a little 'woo-woo'.” - Laura Ellis from Hidden Hippie
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Ashley Wray of Mala Collective offers her theory:
“I think people are looking to things like gemstones as a reminder of an intention they can wear or carry throughout the day. Gemstones are believed to carry healing qualities and inspire particular intentions — such as rose quartz being associated to love and opening the heart chakra, moonstone connecting you to your intuition, amazonite inspiring adventure and connection to inner power, smoky quartz to inspire grounding, and lava to promote strength.”
Speaking of gemstones, read ASD’s Guide to Jewelry Trends here.
“The fact that people are turning to these stones that come from the Earth is a beautiful way to remind yourself of a feeling you want to achieve, an intention you've set for yourself, and a quality that you have deep within you that you are looking to bring forward.” - Ashley Wray, Mala Collective
Tarot Cards & Astrology
Horoscopes have long been part of pop culture, as a draw in newspapers and monthly magazines, but it feels like we’re hearing about “Mercury retrograde” more frequently these days, especially on social media.
Well, its popularity is in the stars: Astrology and numerology symbols are inspiring merchandise, with Zodiac-related jewelry and gift and novelty products in the spotlight.
Between zodiac-inspired sayings on T-shirts and celestial symbolism on merch, how come our fascination with astrology has become so down-to-earth?
“People want the cosmos on their side, whether looking for the best date night, nailing the job interview, or navigating their life path and purpose. The general public has definitely graduated from your grandma’s monthly horoscope to topics like, ‘Jupiter in Libra’ or ‘Mercury Retrograde’.” - Rebecca Gordon, Resident Astrologer at Harper’s Bazaar.
So why rock an Aries T-shirt, for example? Colleen McCann clarifies: “People want to reflect or embody what they believe & what they stand for. To me it’s like wearing any other phrase, image, etc. that resonates with someone.” Wear your Zodiac sign with pride, friends! (It makes for a great icebreaker, too.)
Making Your Home a Sanctuary
ICYMI: Staying in is the new going out (as we reported in our ASD Market Week Recap). Between the rise of hygge (the Scandinavian term for at-home coziness and “little pleasures” that experienced an uptick in 2016), and the increased interest in creating a personal sanctuary in one’s home, products like incense and bath salts, as well as activities like smudging are on the rise.
Yes. Smudging is a thing.
Laura Ellis explains: “The underlying theme with all of these products, including smudging, is that they're natural. No plastic, not artificial scents. Just like how crystals are a powerful way to connect to the present through touch, smudging is a super powerful way to add ritual to your day-to-day using scent. Setting an energy clearing, positive intention to a smell is an incredibly fast way to remind you of your intention.”
It’s also a way to remove the negative energy from your sacred space (a.k.a. your home).
Back to Nature: Digital Detox
Whether it’s the increased amount of stress throughout the day or our incessant need to be tied to technology, there seems to be a growing appetite for the digital detox.
After all, mindfulness and meditation have also grown in popularity over the past few years, reaching critical mass in 2016; there are now entire studios dedicated to meditation and mindfulness, just like a yoga or spinning class.
Ashley from Mala Collective agrees: “I think mindfulness is going to continue — not only as a trend but truly as a way that people choose to live. It's growing for a reason. People are more stressed out now than ever before — practices like meditation, using a mala, and creating a home altar allow people to set time away for themselves. They get to be intentional, and gemstones and other tokens are beautiful tactile reminders for us.”
Crystals are one way to get closer to nature, as is adding plants and greenery to your home; as we saw, mini terrariums and succulents are a key trend in office decor.
Laura Ellis of Hidden Hippie explains the connection between “down-to-earth” witchcraft and nature:
“Crystals are about as organic as it gets. They're literally pieces of the earth! So I feel like a huge trend that’s going to be part of this next wave is tapping into this spiritual space and mindset by surrounding yourself with more pieces of nature. Maybe it means having more plants in your apartment, or ways to add green to your office space.”
The Future Looks Profitable
The synergy between cosmic inspiration, spirituality, and fashion is great news for you, as a retailer: it means that merchandising these items alongside fashion and accessories is a natural fit.
So display some crystals and serenity stones with your scarves and handbags (items like crystals and stones are hugely appealing beside garments; they look great, after all!), and show off your incense by lighting it and using the scent to welcome visitors.
All these sacred space, earthy-inspired items serve as high margin products while proving that you’re dialed into this ever important phenomenon. Win-win, right? Get ready to make some retail magic.
Featured Image Credit: Village Originals.