Welcome to ON BEAUTY, a monthly feature highlighting creative, like-minded people who inspire us.
What does energy have to do with interior design? Honestly, a lot more than you would think. The energy we ignite in our personal spaces is what influences how we move through the world and that’s exactly why Rashia Bell, founder of Cristalline, infuses energy healing and crystals into what she creates for clients.
Rashia has quite the CV. She is the resident healer for The Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia and she built their entire concept for both spas centered around crystals, with each treatment room as a different chakra. She also installed a customized crystal grid underneath the floor of The Class by Taryn Toomey’s flagship studio to support clients’ aerobic experience. The list goes on, but Rashia is setting the stage for the confluence of our own personal energy and the energy of the objects around us when it comes to design.
Here, Rashia shares her unique approach to energy healing in one’s home, the importance of the tactile effect of crystals, and why jewelry is a beautiful way to understand the energy of stones.
IN FIORE: How would you describe your interior design aesthetic and what would you say makes it unique?
RASHIA BELL: The difference is thinking about energy first and foremost. Every designer thinks about the flow of spaces and things like that, but they tend to normally think about that in terms of the objects and the placement. For me, it really starts with the people that inhabit the spaces and that's why having a crystal healing session with a client is an important part of that design process. I'm trying to understand what their particular energy is, what they're feeling in that moment, but also what they want to ultimately create in their space. How do you create a space that envelopes the person and almost becomes a part of them?
It's about wellness at home, about how we can find more balance, how we can find more harmony, and how we can also coexist and interact within our spaces in a different and unique way. And for me, crystals are a useful tool for that. Not only because there's an element of nature and history, but also because of the visual effect.
Your company is known as Cristalline, so what does that encompass?
Cristalline is the umbrella of the whole business, everything falls under that. We have energetic design services and we have one-on-one energy healing. We do lots of group experiences as well as wellness retreats. We also have some programs that we teach on intuitive energy, helping people learn different ways to tap into themselves. So for me, the stones are the tool for all those things. When you have something tactile that people can focus on, they forge a deeper connection to it.
Do you do a crystal healing session with all your clients before working with them? How does that work?
If I can, it's great. They don't always have to be in person. It's something that we offer and most clients come to us because they're open to those things. I think it helps give another lens and understanding of what a client's needs are.
We function in two ways. We do traditional interior design, sourcing, etc. But oftentimes, we're brought into projects just for that energetic component, overseeing the finished aesthetic side and another designer will bring us in, whether it's for custom decorative elements or to affect the structure of the space or the home as it's being built.
When we are doing the sourcing, it can be new things or vintage. But items that can be repurposed are ideal because vintage or antique pieces hold a lot of energy and history.
What are you looking for when you’re speaking with someone or reading them?
On the aesthetic side, with stones and the colors associated with them, you’re naturally seeing what stones a client might be drawn to. For them initially, it maybe that color looks really pretty. And that does have to do with energy. I also look to find if there are any blockages or areas where there’s resistance. Working with stones lets you gather information on a physical, energetic, and an emotional level when you’re working with people.
You also are the cofounder of RE.VITYL, a brand that revolves around sleep. What was the impetus to launch and how does it align with Cristalline?
I'm someone that has always required a lot of sleep and always had difficulty sleeping. The result was adrenal fatigue and a whole host of things. So my business partner and I started to look at stones and the ways that the energy of certain stones can help you sleep better.
We're now working with a material that's the hero product within the collection, which is Tourmaline. Tourmaline has been around for quite some time and is known for its ability to balance the ions that the body is creating. We have it in our sleep masks and our sleep pads and things that actually help you sleep better, help your body recover, and restore itself.
I wanted to create a sister brand to Cristalline that people can benefit from, even if they know nothing about crystals or understand them. We also incorporate handmade organic essential oils, and organic body care because, for me, it's about a ritual when it comes to spaces and energy and how we interact with them. It also harks back to my former life in cosmetics and beauty. With both of my businesses, I've found a way to take all of these seemingly separate things and bring them together. The interesting thing is that crystals or stones are the root of it. But ultimately, they're both about nature and they're both about nature's energy and how we use them.
I’m an earthy, smokey kind of person—like patchouli, frankincense, myrrh, and palo santo. They’re very grounding.
Do you have any tips for long-haul flights?
Always bring your own sleep mask. That’s my number one. That was also one of the reasons why we created Re.Vityl. We were thinking a lot about travelers. I’m the person that will bring the full sheet mask, eye mask situation on the plane and be using our face rollers.
I also like having a little sensory experience of my own, like lavender you can roll on to help you relax or maybe it’s a hand lotion. Our sleep pads that we have, we’ve found that our pets are really drawn to them, too. It keeps them so calm.
Favorite beauty food?
Maybe it’s because I need those energy pick-me-ups, but I like ginger, anything spicy. I’m naturally someone that’s cold all the time, so I need that fire. The good thing is that those are things that are beneficial both inside and out.
Do you have any vices?
One of my vices is that I have an obsession with buying bathing suits. I have at least a couple hundred. I have bathing suits from when I was in high school. I’m that person that goes on vacation and has three swimsuits for each day because I don’t like to be wet. So If we’re sitting around, I need to change.
I would also say that occasionally I’m a procrastinator, which has a ripple effect, obviously. I definitely feel like I’m someone that works better under pressure, but it always gets done. But sometimes I’ll wait till the last minute.
Do you have any charms or talismans?
I always have a stack of bracelets on my right wrist. Some of them are more precious than others. Some of them are from places or experiences that they represent. It could be a string bracelet down to crystal beaded bracelets that I made. Usually, I have a necklace that has a few different charms that are meaningful, too.
Jewelry is a beautiful way to start to understand the energy of stones. And I think people forget about that. Metals, same thing. Metals are earth energy also. I will wear certain pieces when I’m working through something in particular, possibly when I feel like a period has ended and it’s time to stop wearing that.