Crystal shop offers calm vibe

Staff Writer

Walking into Crystal E-Scentials, 5204 S. Harper Ave., results in an instant wave of calm and clarity thanks to the hundreds of crystals that make up the merchandise of the store.

Crystal E-Scentials opened quietly in June, but had its official grand opening with the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce’s ribbing cutting on Saturday, Oct. 22. The storefront is owned by Frontline Books and one of the store’s owners, Phillip Vaillancourt, said that the focus is simple.

“We want to bring value and high energy into this neighborhood,” said Vaillancourt, who has been dealing with gems and minerals for 20 years.

A vast assortment of crystal specimen is sold at Crystal E-Scentials—most from India or South America—from amethyst and citrine to apotholite, black tourmaline and rose quartz. Vaillancourt said that he travels to crystal shows across the country to add to the store’s collection of rare gems that are unique and affordable to customers.

He said that they fill a hole in not only Hyde Park—but the Chicago area—as a high quality metaphysical shop.

“There’s a certain mystic and magic about Hyde Park and it’s natural to be here,” he said.

Crystals are said to give off different energies, which are determined by their internal crystalline structure. Feelings of calm, focus, positivity, creativity, courage and protection are believed to be given off by different types of crystals. Vaillancourt said that for skeptics out there, the proof is in the science.

“For anyone that is unfamiliar with crystals, we are all natural crystalline beings…it’s in our blood,” he said. “Whether you believe it or not, it’s a sensational experience to find a crystal that speaks to you.”

There are plenty of gemstones and crystals customers can connect with at Crystal E-Scentials, from raw, uncut stones that glisten to polished wands and smooth spheres.

“You don’t choose a crystal, a crystal chooses you,” Vaillancourt said.

The store also carries apothecary products such as natural soaps and homemade salts that are locally made on the South Side, as well as a variety of incense and candles.

Along with the never-ending selection of merchandise, employee Kenya Mahone said that they also have workshops surrounding topics like crystal education and Reiki healing methods.

“We are here to educate people about crystals and welcome them to explore,” Mahone said. “Everyone is made to feel at home here…this is a natural healing zone.”

Crystal E-Scentials is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For more information on upcoming workshops, email