We had the good fortune of connecting with Ysabella Bland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ysabella, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
The crystal industry is massive and extremely competitive. It is also very diverse with age and people all over the world being invested in mining, selling, re-selling, displaying, etc. I have met people who have been in this industry for 50 years, and new people are joining every day. Specifically miners have been invested in this business for so long, there is no chance of it dying out with the amount of people who dedicate their lives to crystals.
The crystal industry has become increasingly saturated as the demand for crystals rises. The amount of people who knew of crystals used to be far less, and miners almost cannot keep up with the demand for crystals from retail sellers. Since it is competitive, it can sometimes be hard to befriend other sellers as some are merely in it for money and will see you as a threat or competition.
When I first joined the industry it shocked me that there was an actual crystal community. The crystal community has its top creators and shops, favorite crystals, inside jokes, and so much more. There is an entire little world just created from the love of crystals. Overall, the community is very welcoming, supportive, and loving, and you get to meet people from all over the world in this industry, and even learn history behind the countries they come from through experience of buying from wholesalers.
Some crystals increase in value overtime, so just as many invest in stocks, the same goes for investing in crystals! It’s a crazy concept to grasp, but these crystals are much more than a decoration to most.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a child, I always had an entrepreneur mindset. I did yearly lemonade stands, I started working two jobs when I was 13, and I even sold slime to students in middle school. I never imagined myself having a business as I always thought it was “too much” for me.
I started my business when I was 18. I graduated high school at 16 years old, and started college at 16 as well. I studied Psychology in community college, and was set on becoming a therapist. My purpose in life has always been to help others, it was my reason for wanting to be a therapist. If I could at help at least one person a day with my career path, I knew I was living out my purpose.
After two years of studying Psychology, I finally burnt out mentally with school. Covid caused us to move online, and I found myself thriving with my grades, but at the cost of my sanity. I had given myself no breaks and lost my love and passion to continue to pursue a master’s degree. I told myself I would take some time off from college, and come back to it when I had healed my mental health.
Before taking a break from school, I came up with the idea of having my own business as a side hobby. I already had a previous love for crystals for the last two years, and I decided that I would love to help others on their spiritual journey with crystals. Crystals were a healthy fixation for me while being isolated during Covid, and have genuinely helped me throughout my life and I wanted to introduce this to others as well.
Eleven Entities was the first name that I came up with for my business. Eleven came from my angel numbers, 1111. I have always seen 1111 when I needed a sign from the universe that I was on the right path, so I wanted to include that in the name to make it personal to me. I chose the word Entities to reflect that everyone believes in a higher power or entity. No matter what entity or entities you believe in, you do not have to believe in any specific entity to own crystals. I wanted others to get the message that crystals are for everyone, for those who use them spiritually, as decor, or for those who just think they are pretty.
Starting my business was the easy part, continuing to run it alone was probably the hardest thing I have had to do. I started my business in my room, and only recently got an office 8 months into my business. My bed being two steps away from my desk and inventory made it extremely hard to balance work and rest. I was constantly working, I felt like I would never catch a break. Running a business can also be very isolating, I have lost a lot of friendships just because I simply do not have as much time to socialize or do normal teenage things. The only way I have overcome my balance of work and rest was getting an office and setting hours for myself which I only recently started doing.
I have had to learn the hard way that without my mental sanity, there will be no Eleven Entities. Prioritizing my health mentally and physically was hard since I did not have a boss telling me when to clock out and clock in. Being your own boss is such a blessing, but it has many challenges especially as a young teen with no other entrepreneurs in the family.
A specific challenge in my line of work is the fact that my business is entirely online. Because of this, my phone is automatically associated with work. Fixating on views, likes, follows, is extremely easy and it is easy to define your success based on social media audience. Isolation definitely comes into play when talking to a screen 24/7, social media and phone breaks have definitely had to be done because of how mentally draining social media can be.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned as an influencer and business owner, is that people are going to love you for you. Trying to be like another successful business owner will not work out, because people want to see YOUR personality, not a copy of someone else’s. People appreciate transparency over professionalism, they want someone they can relate to. The more personality you show within your business/brand, the more others will be inclined to be interested. My business name is unique which draws people in to ask the question of what it means or how I came up with the name. Find something that is personal to you, and I promise you others will soon love it just as much as you do.
I am the most proud of building a 6 figure business at 18 years old, within my first 6 months of business. It has never been about the money for me, but coming from a family of many immigrants it feels so good to be self-made and make them proud. Much of my family did not have the opportunity to do what I do, and to excel in it not only for me, but to show others what is possible makes me proud of myself.
I am extremely excited because I have now implemented merch into my website with apparel such as tote bags, sweaters, and shirts. This has been a dream of mine and the fact that others want an item that I designed is such an honor. This year I will be attending the Denver Gem Show in September to make connections with wholesalers, miners, and to purchase more crystals for my shop. I have never attended a gem show before but this will be a huge step in expanding my business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is definitely a hard question for me as I am the type of person who prefers to stay home over going out, but here are a few of my favorite places:
I absolutely love Laguna Beach San Diego, and San Luis Obispo. I would take a friend to all the beachside cafes in these areas as they always have the best breakfast and coffee. Staying in an Airbnb is always such a fun thing to do, especially when the owners of the house live near so they can give you all the best locals spots rather than tourist areas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s a handful of creatives that have helped guide me through my time as an entrepreneur. Mckayla Cosimato from Mckaylas Crystals, Imogen Oneal from The Hazel Witch, and Andrea Salazar from Kagomes Krystals. All of these women are entrepreneurs like me in the crystal industry, and have been some of my mentors as they have been in this industry much longer than I have. These individuals all run their business on their own for the most part, and have inspired me to continue this business longterm.
Beatrice Lim from Dom and Luna, a clothing boutique, has also helped mentor me as I have been an employee for her through her journey of starting her business. This helped immensely when starting my own as I was given the inside look on what it’s really like to run a business on your own.
Facebook: Eleven Entities