We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffanie Vu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tiffanie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
To be honest, I never would have imagined being a business owner if you asked me a few years ago. It happened organically and Earth & Soul Collection was the byproduct of finding a creative outlet during peak COVID. My plans changed when the pandemic hit two months away from graduating to receive my masters degree in Occupational Therapy. For the past two and a half years in my program, I envisioned my life during 2020 as a practicing clinician finally being able to apply all that I had learned out into the “real world,” but that took a turn when the shutdown happened. This was when I started looking into certain hobbies that sparked my interests for my own personal mental health and sanity. I was on my own healing journey before the pandemic by attending yoga classes and regularly meditating to find ways to help manage stress and wellness. I knew that in order to be of service to others, I must first learn how to fill my cup. Also as a therapist, I had to practice what I preach in order to help others live a life of independence and meaning. Occupational therapists are big on making sure that their clients are able to participate in meaningful “occupations” or activities that bring value to their lives. I started learning about crystals and their healing properties as well as the power of intention. I love learning about various modalities or tools that support people on their wellness journey. My friend brought up wire wrapping and I loved marrying the idea of wrapping beautiful crystals with their different meanings to be worn as jewelry. It was a form of self expression that was not only aesthetic, but could be used as a healing tool. Initially, I began wire wrapping pieces for myself and entertained the idea of possibly selling my work in the future. Friends reached out expressing their interest in pieces and even started requesting custom designs. Then I enrolled in the school of YouTube and self-taught myself various ways to wire wrap and create jewelry. From there, I started making products and experimented with photography by using every corner of my house with the best lighting. I took the plunge to make my own Instagram page, opened up my Etsy shop and the rest is history. There were so many doubts that crossed my mind before starting my business, but it was something that called out to me in the back of my mind that I knew I just had to give it a try. So what if I fail? What if I don’t? Will I still gain something valuable from this experience? Most likely yes! I just recently had my first pop up shop at Makers Arcade in San Diego and hope to have more pop ups in the future! It’s a wonderful way to build community, connect with others, and learn from other creatives and locals. The shutdown was truly a blessing in disguise because I was able to dabble into interests that I probably would not have had the time to nurture the skills towards if I had started working straight out of school. It has definitely been an experience that I learn as I go through trial and error, but it has blossomed into an endeavor that I am truly grateful for. At the end of the day, I find purpose in being of service to others and I am happy I found my calling in various ways through a creative outlet as well as through my occupational therapy profession. It has been a journey of learning more about myself, my growth as an individual, learning about discipline, and really tapping into the creative energy that has opened up so many doors!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I handcraft small batch Reiki infused wire wrapped crystal jewelry. Our goal is to provide a magical piece of adornment that resonates with one’s soul as a form of self expression. Reiki comes from the Japanese words “rei,” meaning universal, and “ki,” meaning life energy. As a Reiki Master, I infuse that energy into my jewelry pieces so it is ready for the wearer with the purest intentions and cleansed energy. Crystals can pick up and absorb energies, so it is important that they are cleansed before they are worn. Jewelry can be used as an extension of your spirit- as can any form of art, whether it is singing, writing, painting, dancing, etc. When we take it a step further and add meaning and intention to our pieces or art forms, they can be used as a catalyst for healing to support our journey. It doesn’t have to be that deep, but never underestimate the power of intention and how it can be harnessed as a powerful tool to support your greatest and highest good. I hope you find a way to reach your flow state by doing things that set your soul on fire. I am most excited about curating pieces that not only bring an aesthetic aspect, but to be able to provide a purposeful meaning to make it more special for the person. I am always honored when customers reach out to me for a custom piece that is carefully selected through collaboration to find the best stones or design that calls to them. There are so many businesses that they can choose from, but to know they trusted me for a piece is something I do not take for granted. The challenges have definitely been balancing a full time job and allocating time to tend to my business. I want people to know that if there is something calling out to them, that they should really reflect to see if it is something they should pursue. Take small steps and if it comes from a place of authenticity, then the world would really love to see it. You never know what it could turn into! I’ve learned that really setting out small goals in increments helps you with the bigger picture! I would like people to know that you do not have to categorize yourself in a box if you have multiple hobbies, professions or interests. It is possible to be of service to people in multiple ways and mediums because we are not confined to one path or career. We are all multi-faceted individuals who can bring so many different things to the table. As for me, I hope to also provide sound healing services to my community in the near future!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would love to start the day off with some movement at Torrey Pines Trail that has a beautiful overlooking panoramic view of the ocean with different levels. You can also circle your way back along the shore if you like feeling the sand between your toes and the waves crashing at your feet. For all the coffee lovers, Communal Coffee has the trendiest and yummy tasting lattes that also serves food, cocktails, and fresh flowers! Plus, they have a small little shop inside their stores that supports other small businesses as perfect gifts for every member of the family. A perfect place for a solo work session or to catch up with friends. Another coffee place I love is called Jaunt Coffee Roasters in Miramar. They make their own empanadas and some of their syrups, such as a Rosemary Latte, which is one of my top favorite drinks from them. I love their business because they also have a cork board inside the store for people to pre-pay coffee drinks for others who are having a rough day or are tight on funds. Talk about the community support and love! There is also a farmers market in Ocean Beach on the weekday that has vendors serving food, clothes, jewelry, and beverages. It has a laid back vibe that has so many shops for you to explore and window shop from local artisans. Plus, there is a pretty delicious burger place named Hodads in Ocean Beach with delicious burgers perfectly coated and battered onion rings. There is also a dog beach at Ocean Beach for all the pet owners. If you are having a long day, La Jolla Cove is a nice place to spend the evening where there is a beach park with more local vendors and a spot to check out sea lions and seals! There are nice spots to eat in that area as well. San Diego Zoo is also a very fun place to visit and one of the best zoos in the world. There are volunteers who work there that provide so much information and education about the animals. Balboa Park has lovely gardens such as the Japanese Friendship Garden or Botanical Garden as well as many local events hosted in the area. One of my favorite yoga studios is called Sojourn Healing Collective and they provide various yoga classes, meditations, and sound healing. The yoga instructors there provide such a welcoming atmosphere by taking the time to learn your name as well as leading themed yoga classes that you can integrate into your everyday life. You leave the studio feeling aligned, at peace and ready to take on the day. For a nicer sit down place to eat, I enjoy the ambiance at Juniper & Ivy for some delicious tapas. Some of my favorite spots to eat Mexican food are Vallartas, Lucha Libre, and Tacos El Gordo. Mexican food is a must when you’re down in San Diego!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my friends and family who have been extremely supportive and cheering me on every step of the way. It really takes a village to make the dream happen from helping with mundane tasks like labeling bags or jewelry cards, helping out with setting up and tearing down my booth, building jewelry displays, supporting my booth, showing up, providing feedback, spreading the word, reposting my products, and being models for my products. The list goes on! During my pop up event, I had other vendors express how supportive my friends have been and I definitely felt all the love. When your support system is strong, it really gives you the confidence to tread unknown waters because you know you’re not alone. With life in general, it’s always comforting knowing there are those who truly care for you through it all. I believe in spreading kindness and you will attract the right tribe of people who are down to earth. I also want to give my parents a shoutout for sacrificing their lives as Vietnamese refugees to provide a better life for me and my sister. Because of them, I have the opportunity to pursue passions that they did not have the luxury to afford while they were trying to make ends meet. They really achieved their version of the American Dream in their lifetime and now it is my turn to create my version of that. I truly want to make them proud and be able to give them the life that they gave me growing up because their unconditional love and work ethic were truly unmatched. I would also like to give a shoutout to my Reiki Masters, Kathy Cueva, Bob Bowen, and Rebecca Austill-Clausen for teaching me the principles of Reiki to lead a life filled with love, compassion and healing. Your wisdom has transformed my perspective and empowered me to have the courage to pursue what is important to me from a centered place. A shoutout to my soul family I’ve met along the way who keep me grounded to speak from a place of authenticity and to continue to put in the inner work to be a more compassionate human for myself and others. Lastly, a shoutout to my jewelry community for being so supportive and providing such helpful tips as a new business owner. It has been so nice to connect with people in all walks of life and learn about their story or how they got started on their business ventures.

Website: https://www.earthnsoulco.etsy.com

Instagram: EarthNSoulCo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Earth-Soul-Collection-112083167333457

Other: E-mail: EarthNSoulCollection@gmail.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.