Anna Michielan makes healing crystal jewelry to enhance, heal and reconnect us with our authentic selves. She spoke to Stephanie Mee.
So tell us Anna, before you washed up on Bali’s shores where were you and what were you doing?
I was in Italy working in the antiques business and traveling to Southeast Asia to search for arts and antiques to resell in Italy.
What drew you to the Island of the Gods and what made you want to stay?
I was living in Greece when I heard about Bali for the first time from a guy I met on the beach. I was completely fascinated, so I decided to visit Bali on my next trip. When I arrived I was 23 years old and I felt at home. I started trading with everything that was available and I was fascinated with the Balinese culture.
How did Anna Michielan Jewelry come about?
I always thought that if I had a child, I would love for them to be raised here where kids are the reincarnations of our ancestors and treated with so much love, care and respect, so when I got pregnant I decided to move to Bali. At that time I thought my life needed to change, and as I was living on an island of the artists, I asked myself, ‘What is my art?’ I thought back to when I was in my 20s studying jewellery design at the School of Arts in Vicenza and working with a traditional Venetian beader, and I realized that was my art. Throughout building the whole concept I have always found people, friends and soul sisters who really believed in me, and with their support I was able to start from scratch. I’m very grateful for this.
For you it’s not just about creating pretty bling. Your handmade crystal jewellery pieces are designed to heal, protect and transform energies. Can you tell us a bit about that?
From the beginning I was selling in some of the best shops on the island and had been asked to work in fashion and design, which I did, but then I realised I needed more meaning. In the meantime, I received an invitation for a Crystal Healing Workshop in Australia and I went for it, as I felt in my guts that it was what I needed to do next. Parallel to that I started my personal spiritual path here in Bali. I was following the teachings of Balinese high priest Ratu Pedanda Made Gunung and attending his meditation and yoga groups. In meditation I received guidance to create the concept of ‘healing jewellery’. I had already been collecting crystals from a young age in Italy, and I felt the call of the crystals and let them became my passion.
What are some things people should consider when buying crystal jewellery?
First of all you have to realize what area in your life you want to work on. Once you tell us what your major issue is, we can determine what crystal can help you with that issue. But what actually happens is the crystal chooses you, so you automatically feel attracted to what you need. I learned this long time ago, and it works!
What benefits have you personally experienced from working with crystals? Any life-changing transformations?
The first one was quartz. It gave me guidance, insight and clarity on my path. My meteorite ring that I’ve been wearing for many years gives me strength in my work, and my watermelon tourmaline helped me to heal my heart. Lately the Herkimer diamond has been supporting my life changes, as it provides clarity to reach your goals.
With so many gorgeous collections under your belt, you must have a pretty amazing team with you. Can you tell us a bit of what goes on behind the scenes when you’re designing new pieces?
The office consists of a group of about 20 women, many whom have been with me since the beginning. It has not always been easy, but we are still together, and I recognize that I could not be where I am without them. Every morning we start with meditation, singing mantras and chanting the Ohm to get all the staff in the right space before starting to work. Then we clean the energy of the space with smudging, positive intention and Balinese blessings and clean and program the stones and crystals for healing.
You’ve been designing jewellery for 15 years here on Bali. What are some of the best and worse changes you’ve seen happen on the island over the years?
Well, when I came to Bali the first time, the road where I live (Double Six) was a jungle road covered in sand going to the beach, so that tells you how many changes I’ve seen. But despite the changes, I can still say Bali is a special place for me because it has a soul. The spirituality here is very unique, and there is nowhere else in the world people smile at you no matter what.
It takes a certain type to run a successful business here. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from running your own business?
I must say that I do have the personality to run a business because I am very determined. When I want something, I just work on it until I have achieved what I want. One of the big teachings here has been acceptance and tolerance. Working in Bali has not been easy, but I can say that my staff turned out to be my family. Even with the outside changes, I can still feel the love in my working space.
What are you working on at the moment?
I just finished my new website and I’m expanding my business in an international way using social media with the help of my assistant who is young and has a new visions about all these marketing strategies that are needed now.
Where do you see yourself 10 years down the road?
I still see myself as a designer and buyer because I love travelling and searching for new crystals, artworks and antiques that I can integrate with the jewellery. However, the expansion of my business will give me the possibility to travel more and slow down. I don’t see myself leaving Bali because I’ve spent more time here than in my hometown of Venice. Bali is my home and it has taught me a lot and helped me to be a better person. That’s what it does to you. Just like the crystals, Bali chooses you!