We met Crystal at a youth employment centre where she immediately stood out. Although she may be listed as "unemployed" on paper, she has her own way of making things happen and starting her own ventures is just the tip of the iceberg. Crystal is so talented and we truly believe she has such a bright future ahead of her. We wanted to give her passion for creating purposeful beaded bracelets a good outlet so we decided to have her create her own line which we have aptly named the "Crystal Zen Collection". This is her story:
"I have always been a creative person and the arts have always been my outlet and my inspiration.
Traditional school was never my strength and bad grades were proof that the structured education system was not ideal for me. I tried to make the best of the situation by applying to an arts-based high school but I wasn’t accepted and so, I continued on the path of failed tests and poor report cards. I was told I would never go to college because I wasn’t smart enough which actually meant that my teachers felt I wouldn’t amount to much in life.
But I proved them wrong.
I was eventually accepted into Sheridan College in their visual and creative arts program and while I am grateful for the skills it has taught me, it didn’t mean my struggle was over.
I jumped from job to job, never lasting long, because my roles were unfulfilling and I was neither inspired nor happy. I tried to find a place in the working world but I have always struggled because it was (and still is) so important to me that I am happy with what I do. It wasn’t that I didn’t try but like school, the traditional path was perhaps not meant for me. So I ended up unemployed.
Most people think that unemployed youth spend their time sleeping in until (at least) noon, living on the couch in front of the T.V. and reveling in the fact that they have no responsibilities. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I turned this period of my life into a chance to discover what I truly wanted to do and my unemployment allowed me to start my own business as a graphic and jewellery designer.
I find jewellery making extremely therapeutic and I have always enjoyed learning about different stones and their individual properties. I love incorporating their properties into designs that both look great but also have wonderful healing elements.
People believing in me and my talent has always been so important to my success and I truly hope other talented people can pursue their dreams like I am."