Michelle and Wayne are the dynamic duo behind Reiju, a brand that started out following Michelle’s fascination with crystals. Right back when her eldest was starting school in 2014, she felt like she was ready to achieve something new in her life. With her love for crystals, Reiki, angels and spiritualism, she decided it was time to learn as much as possible about these.
Now Michelle is a qualified Reiki Practitioner and Crystal Healing Therapist and nothing gives her more pleasure than being able to help people on a daily basis by sharing the wonderful, positive healing energy that is Reiki & Crystal Healing energy. Here at House of Coco you know we’re about the good vibes only, so when we stumbled across this brand we just had to find out more. We spoke to Michelle to find out more about her plans for the future and so much more…
How has Covid-19 Impacted Your Business?
Our initial thought was that we needed to keep our team safe as a priority so we told our staff to stay at home while Wayne ran the business alone. I was at home with the children so Wayne kept everything going single-handedly, from sending out the orders, to dealing with the many customer queries, accounts, paperwork etc. He has been working until late at night for seven days a week since the start of lockdown which has been really exhausting for him both physically and mentally.
At first we were really worried that customers would simply not want to shop at all, as it really started to quieten down but luckily it picked up again as people realised that we would still be able to operate safely online, and I’m so glad we were able to because people tend take comfort in crystals during stressful times especially.
What does self-care mean to you?
Time alone! My mind is always chattering away at me so I love to listen to music or read books to quiet my mind; I find this very soothing.
Obviously at the moment it has been a lot harder to find a quiet moment in the day so as an alternative I enjoy taking the dog for a walk as I find being outside in nature very calming.
Looking back since launching the brand is there anything that you would have done differently?
No, I don’t think so because everything that we have experienced has led us to where we are right now. We have learnt a lot and evolved and grown as people not just as a business.
If there was anything at all, I would say worry a little less and have more faith because what is meant to be will always find a way.
You are a Wife, Mother and Business Owner, how do you get the balance right to make sure no areas in your life are neglected?
Well nobody is perfect and I still have days where I feel like I have got it all wrong, but I do find that Wayne and I make a good team. We each play to our strengths and this means that we can be flexible when needed and make sure that at least one of us is around for the kids. It has been really hard this year especially, but we do try to make time for just the two to go out for a drink or a meal together.
Weekends are family time and although we never completely switch off from work we try to keep it to a minimum and spend some time together.
We also have a great team working with us who we can totally rely on and love working with, and we class them as our friends just as much as employees.
For sceptics, how do you overcome their objections and teach them that Reiki and Crystals are beneficial?
Scientists tell us that basically, every single thing in the universe is made up of energy. This includes you and me, trees, sunlight, radio waves, our thoughts, and emotions – everything. Reiki healing energy and the energy from crystals is no different, it is a gentle, positive healing energy. I would say simply give either Reiki Healing a try and take notice of how you feel or carry a crystal in your pocket and see if you start to feel the benefits. Some crystals offer comfort, some calm the mind, some give us courage, some help us to sleep more soundly so there really is something for everyone. I think Reiki is something that everyone should try, I use it all the time for myself and Wayne, but especially the children, for example when they hurt themselves or feel unwell. Animals intuitively know how to receive Reiki and where to source it and I often find I am giving our pets Reiki healing without at first being aware!
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social media is a crucial part of the business because crystals are very visual so if we can share a new crystal with our followers on social media this is the next best thing to actually seeing it in a physical store. Its so beneficial to interact and connect with our customers and so rewarding when we see a clip of a customer opening their order from us, and seeing how happy they are with it. We gift wrap each and every order as we want the actual receiving of the order to be a positive experience!
In 2017 you were able to retire your husband from his job and now he works with you. What was the transition like?
It was always our long-term goal for Wayne to come over and work full time as opposed to in his spare time, so it was extremely exciting yet scary! Wayne actually left his full-time job the same month that we moved to a new house and moved the kids to a new school. It was a relief however as it meant we could focus all our energies into building the business and obviously the extra support was very welcome. Wayne’s background is in Sales so he brought his own set of strengths over with him.
Talk us through an average day in your life.
The first priority of the day is getting the kids (Kian 11, and twins Rhys & Sophia, 10) up and ready for school (or ready for home schooling at the moment).
While our fab Reiju team are behind the scenes processing and packing the orders, I will take a look at my emails and any customer queries that need dealing with. There are usually quite a few as people like to ask advice on all of the different crystal types and healing benefits – finding the right crystal for you is especially important.
One of my favourite parts of the job is creating new crystal collections so I usually spend the afternoon taking photos of new crystals, researching how they can be used for the maximum benefit and coming up with new ideas.
I always make sure I find time to walk the dog each day as this is my ‘thinking time’ I find walking outside in the fresh air really helps to clear and focus your mind. This is when I come up with my best ideas!
If I am working from home then I will collect the kids from school and this is where the real work starts! Wayne and I are usually ready to sit down and relax at around 9pm. If we’re lucky.
What is your go to quote when you are lacking motivation?
It is actually one that I have on my youngest son’s bedroom wall:
‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think’
I think we all need to hear these words sometimes no matter how old we are; it is so easy to forget how much we have achieved in life.
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching Reiju…
For as long as I can remember I have always had an interest in crystals and their healing benefits and had a small collection at home. Up until having my children I had always worked in office-based roles which I did enjoy but found quite unfulfilling and really had the urge to have a career change. I wasn’t sure what but I knew that I wanted it to involve helping people. However, I was quite limited as I had three beautiful but incredibly young children at home, all under 18 months. After some research I decided to embark on a Reiki healing course and couldn’t believe my luck when I found a suitable Reiki Master who lived just a few doors away from me! I completed my Reiki training but found it hard to juggle this with childcare – it was hard to offer a relaxing Reiki session in my home with three toddlers running around! I didn’t want to give up on the idea though so Wayne and I had the idea of selling crystals that were filled (charged) with Reiki energy so I could still give the healing benefits of Reiki to people but just in a different way.
This idea seemed to work as it allowed me to look after the children during the day and then when they were sleeping in the evening we dealt with the orders and worked on the business. At the time we decided to name the business ‘Krystal Gifts’ using letters from our children’s names (Kian, Rhys, Sophia), however after a few years we made the decision to rebrand to Reiju which means ‘to give and receive a spiritual blessing’ which fits us perfectly! We then managed to secure the trademark to help take us forward to where we are today.
Follow this amazing brand via www.reiju.co.uk