Xenia Mateiu is the founder and owner of the Village Rock Shop, located in Carlsbad, CA. She moved to the
San Diego area 13 years ago and now Carlsbad is her home and community, where she and her husband raise
their 6-year-old son. Before she built up her own business, Xenia worked in retail, in a management position.
Although exploring the world of crystals and minerals is her premier passion, she is also a passionate photographer
and Ayurvedic practitioner. She invested a lot of time, energy, and dedication in her small business, aiming to share with others her passion for crystals. Her store provides carefully sourced crystals, minerals, and geodes accessible to people from all over the U.S. Being fascinated by the beauty and the properties of the crystals, Xenia wanted to explore more, and opening the Village Rock Shop allows her to keep learning about the fascinating world of minerals. Xenia likes to source crystals and minerals directly from mines. She works with mines from Russia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Morocco and collaborates with rock dealers that bring the U.S., Madagascar, and Mexico sourced crystals directly to her store. This way she can find out more about how crystals are mined, who collects them and how they are being cut and polished.
Where did the idea for Village Rock Shop come from?
We choose our company’s name “Village Rock Shop” for multiple reasons, location and community. We wanted to make it simple and our name should suggest what type of products our company is selling. Because we are located in the “Village” area of Carlsbad CA, we felt that including that in our name would make it easy for locals to know where we are, but also give people a sense of community and inclusiveness. Our store makes crystals, rocks, minerals and geodes accessible to people for so many backgrounds, bringing them together through a common interest or curiosity over crystals.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I keep our store open every day of the week from 10-5. Usually make my trips to the post office for online orders either before or after opening hours. During the day I like to interact with customers, ask them about their day and what area of their life they are focusing on so i can recommend the crystals that would be in alignment with their interests. When I don’t have any customers in the store i work on taking pictures or products, editing, posting on social media, responding to messages and emails, getting shipments ready and updating our website with products. I feel there is always something to work on that helps grow my business so i try to get a few things done every day that is not included in my regular work routine.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I try many ideas and some will work out and some won’t. This allows me to see what people respond to and focus on that. I have many business related conversations with other entrepreneurs and business owners. I like hearing about how they do things because they might have more experience in the areas that i am trying to figure out and brainstorming helps with finding solutions.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think that I am most excited about more and more people being interested in crystals, that people want to know more and that crystals are fascinating to them. Seems that crystals are becoming a trend on their own and that people are looking more into their spiritual energetic properties, which means that people are willing to work on their inner self, grow their awareness and be in tune with their intuition and feelings. Also for some, crystals are part of their self care routines, and that is really exciting to see.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Having a daily routine and a pace helps me get a lot done in a day and pacing myself allows me to be relaxed and not rush while I go about my work day. This is how I can stay consistent in my work and growth.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Follow what you’re passionate about and do what you enjoy.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The way I advertise my business. I don’t know if people necessarily don’t agree with me, it’s more that I have a different take on it and maybe it’s not how other companies handle advertising. for advertising i like putting together fun events at the store like local art shows twice a year or concerts, so that people get to come out for a fun event and spread the word to their friends and family. I also like setting up pop up tables or tents at fundraisers for causes I like to support or donate raffle baskets if I can’t attend the fundraisers. This allows me to give back to parts of the community that can make a difference.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would recommend to anyone to start building a daily routine that makes them happy, relaxed and gives them a sense of personal accomplishment.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Making it as easy as possible for our customers to shop with us and also being open to new ideas and learning how to bring them into effect. Having an easy to navigate website for online purchases, being active and interacting with our customers on social media and creating gift cards and gift certificates when customers asked us for them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not allowing myself enough time at the beginning of my business to figure out what I was doing and how I wanted to run my business before adding other vendors in my store besides myself. I felt there was a lot to learn about myself and create boundaries before I had other people rely on me. Some people understood I was just at the beginning and others didn’t. I definitely had to own my mistake and apologize for not having a stable foundation before including other people in my space.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I always thought that a coffee and plant shop together would make a really nice business idea.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent for my business lately was the fee for being a vendor at a local Gem Show. This was my first time participating as a vendor in a Gem Show, what was great about this was that every person at this event was interested in crystals, they came specifically to shop for crystals. I also used this time to advertise my store in case someone didn’t know we had a store in the area. Personally, the best $100 I spent recently was on self care : Pilates sessions.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Lightroom to edit the product pictures. Lightroom is much faster compared to Photoshop so it saves me a lot of time.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, this book taught me that I am the only person in control of my emotions and feelings, and nobody can make me feel a certain way. It is the inner work that is most important and so powerful for your happiness and confidence.
What is your favorite quote?
“Love the life you live, live the life you love.” Bob Marley
- Always be open to learning new things.
- Keep it simple.
- Don’t over analyze.
- Stay consistent and don’t give up.
- Create healthy boundaries.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.