by MICHELLE MASTRO
Located in an iconic Victorian-style building at the corner of East Kirkwood and South Grant Street (that also houses Soma Coffee House and Juice Bar and The Laughing Planet Cafe), Moon Stones sells gems, rocks, crystals, and fossils as old or older than the limestone from which the structure was built. Shop owners Cheyenne Kollum and Mariah Lane, both 27, have been friends since the seventh grade. And while they bought Moon Stones three years ago, the shop has been part of Kollum’s life much longer.
“It was my first job,” Kollum says. “I was just 16, and Mary Beth [Kelsey, the previous owner] took a leap of faith hiring me. She taught me everything I know.”
Moon Stones sells a wide range of rocks and gems. Raw rose quartz is a bestseller. It is considered a healing stone and, says Kollum, it flies off the shelves at $2 per rock. “Around Valentine’s Day, the stone is a nice reminder to have unconditional love for ourselves,” she says.
Other items are more costly. The shop sells what the owners call “Septarian mud.” In crystal healing, Septarian is a “concretion,” or protective, stone. “Some customers stick them in their homes,” Kollum says. “I like to carry a rock in my pocket and about 12 in my purse,” she laughs. A Septarian stone costs $75. Fossils, placed to render a museum-quality feel to the shop, can cost even more.
Moon Stones also carries handcrafted jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
“It’s an experience walking in the store,” Kollum says. “We want people to ask questions and have fun. I love being in the store and making a real connection with people. We have all kinds of customers—no two are the same.”
Although they sell rocks, the pair is not working in the Stone Age; they have an online store, too. Their Etsy shop, JavaharaGems, exports products all around the world.
“We’re online and have expanded to the second floor of the building,” Kollum says. “We want to offer even more items than can physically fit in the storefront.”
For more information, visit magbloom.com/moonstones.