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Jewelry From Machu Picchu Inspires New Venture

Julie Darling got help from the gods in starting her business. The owner of San Diego-based Talismans and Tokens frequently refers to mystical experiences that happened as she was setting up shop.

Darling is the business of “importing spiritual pieces from spiritual places.” The idea came to Darling shortly after a visit to Peru in May 2000.

While shopping in stalls around Machu Picchu, Darling found an attractive rose quartz with primitive designs in silver. Attracted to the energy of the stone , books on metaphysics teach that stones have healing qualities , she bought three of these to take home with her.

Once home, Darling’s friends were all strongly attracted to the pieces, just as she had been. Since nobody had seen anything exactly like them before, she realized she was on to something.

Darling realized that with her negotiating skills , which her friends called a “black belt in shopping” , she would be the one to import them wholesale. People would buy the pieces for their beauty as well as their healing energy, while the additional income would assist the people who made them.

It was an epiphany , although she was strongly resistant to the idea at first.

“‘Knock it off, no way, are you crazy?'” Darling recalled asking her spiritual self. “At the same time, nothing in my life was working anymore, and I had to totally regroup. The visceral grounding to Mother Earth that happened at Machu Picchu continued to connect me totally, and to my own amazement and dismay, I had no choice but to surrender to something I didn’t fully understand.”

Then things began to move. A call to the Peruvian consulate instantly got Darling in touch with the artisans who make the pieces. Eventually, she quit her job selling linens for a clothing company to devote herself full-time to her new calling.

In June, Darling began advertising in earnest. She is now expecting a shipment of 400 stones by the end of the month, which she plans to market directly to metaphysical stores. Already, she is working with High Vibes, a distributor based out of Denver, and an East Coast sales rep, she said.

Darling is also setting up a Web site, (talismansandtokens.com), which will feature pictures of the jewelry, along with descriptions of the specific guidance each piece can provide , rose quartz for love, serpentine for clarity, chrysocolla for tranquility, and so forth.

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