Location: Irinas Burg’s Stall, Artists & Fleas; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Material: Crystal & Other Materials
Purchasing this necklace was one of my more memorable jewelry-shopping experiences. My friend Bethany and I were at the Williamsburg location of Brooklyn’s major food festival Smorgasburg when we decided to take a break from all the eating and venture to nearby artisan market “Artists & Fleas” (there is one location in Williamsburg and one in Chelsea). We walked around a bit and each bought a few items, when we finally stumbled upon Irinas Burg’s stall. We immediately saw a very eccentrically-adorned blonde woman (Irinas) who was dressed in very whimsical white clothing, with thick string weaved into her two braids. She was also sporting a number of crystal necklaces and spoke in what sounded like a thick Russian accent (although I never confirmed with her where she was from). Her stall had a number of similar necklaces hanging from its ceiling. Equally whimsical in decoration, her stall was a sight to behold and definitely stood out in a market that was filled with a vast array of other unique artists’ creations. Bethany and I stopped to speak with her for a little bit, asking about the different types of stones, their prices (most of the necklaces were $45-60), and their meanings.
We soon found out that her zany and hippie attitude about crystals matched very well her dress and decor. She told us that “the stones mean someone different to everyone” and that if we decided to purchase we should “feel which stone was meant for us”. We were both so captivated by Irinas and her enthusiasm for crystals, stones, and gems that we decided to each get a necklace. After trying on a number of different necklaces and looking around, I decided on the necklace pictured above. The crystal on it was actually formed and found with a leaf inside of it, which creates a really cool effect on the appearance of the crystal and necklace. After choosing our necklaces, Irinas proceeded to give us advice about the them: the different ways in which they can be worn (they were made so you can change the style of which they hang on your neck), how to recharge the stones (using the moonlight), and how to carry the crystals (she told us to NEVER travel with them without wrapping them up in cotton first to keep them clean and protected). She also told us a little bit about herself: all of the necklaces are hand made; she weaves the chains so they have a “crocheted” look. In addition, she told us she used to work in the corporate fashion industry for a very long time, when she finally decided she what was not happy, so she quit and started her own business. I give her much credit for doing this; leaving a secure job in a competitive and high-paying industry to start a small business was probably not an easy financial decision. But, I am very happy that she did so because I ended up with this beautiful necklace! If you are interested in her jewelry, visit her at the Williamsburg Artists & Fleas Market, come to her her Manhattan store at 90 Stanton Street, or click here to go to her website.