The decision to trade in his career as a seismologist to pursue meditation in India paid off tenfold for Mark Teahan.
There, he discovered his love of gems and crystals, which prompted him to open new age gift shop Crystal Heart in Perth in 1986.
Four years later, he moved the business to Carlton where the store is still a tranquil oasis on busy Lygon Street.
Inside is an Aladdin’s cave of rare gems, healing stones, aromatherapy, self-help books and gifts. There’s also a range of jewellery, much of it designed by Mark himself.
‘I love that Taoist saying that “a 1000-mile journey starts with the first step”. To me this means – make sure the first step is the right one,’ Mark said.
‘I still remember the day I sat in Perth jobless, with mouths to support, and asking myself one question: how can I make money, be my own boss, and yet help people?
‘Crystal Heart was where my interests in geology, evolution, love, business and meditation all came together. The first step was the right one.’
After reading tarot in a market, Mark opened a small permanent stall selling crystals, tapes and self-help books.
‘Every day, people enter this special space just to relax in the atmosphere here, get advice from my wonderful team, and enjoy the beautiful energy of our crystals and gemstones.’
This really took off and was the genesis of Crystal Heart, which has since become the longest running single-owner business of its kind in Australia.
‘Every day, people enter this special space just to relax in the atmosphere here, get advice from my wonderful team, and enjoy the beautiful energy of our crystals and gemstones,’ Mark said.
‘I’m really proud that Crystal Heart survives alongside all the chain stores because it tells everyone passing by that the new age search for consciousness, change and self-development is a very real thing.’
For Mark, Crystal Heart is so much more than just a business.
‘People comment on how much determination and dedication I’ve displayed to keep the Heart going for over three decades, through good times and bad,’ Mark said.
‘But I don’t see it like that at all. I feel blessed because I’ve been given this opportunity to fulfill my life’s purpose.’
Mark’s business was recognised in the Lord Mayor’s Commendations, which celebrate the long-term commitment of the 13,000 independent small businesses in the City of Melbourne.
For more information, visit Lord Mayor’s Commendations.