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About Crystal Life | Policies, History, Staff

Q & A With The Owners & Staff of Crystal Life Technology

October 11, 2022

Jeremy Pena, Co-Owner

Jeremy Peña, Co-Owner

Do you have a favorite crystal? Why are you drawn to that one the most?

My current favorite crystal is labradorite. It’s powerful in strengthening faith & rids of any fear or insecurities holding you back. However, my very first favorite crystal was Howlite due to its ability to ease anxiety & create a sense of calmness.

You get the chance to choose one superpower, what’re you choosing?

My superpower would be to teleport so I could gather my crystals from different countries a lot faster & cheaper.

What is some advice you may give to someone just starting with crystals or any metaphysical practice?

Take your time & keep an open mind. Focus on the areas you want to improve in your life & grow from there. Crystals can often work differently with people, so it’s important you pay attention to what works best for you at that time or moment.

Who has been an influential person in your life or out in the world?

Alan Watts – an English writer &  philosopher. His theories & philosophies really opened my eyes when I was young & allowed me to see the meaning of life & accept things for what they are.

What is something you do at home to unwind from a stressful day?

Meditation has always been my first practice to unwind. Though at times an energy reset is necessary to keep my field & aura in balance.

What are some ways you stay grounded, especially now in these trying times?

Grounding stones & meditation. As I’m currently typing this, we have 6 planets in retrograde meaning energetically just about EVERYONE is working through something old or new. Having the ability to stay grounded during trivial times is key. There are many grounding stones out in the world, you just must work with them & feel which is best for you at that time.

How do I choose my very first crystal?

I would first familiarize yourself with chakras if you haven’t already. That will give you some sense of an energetic direction on what you need to work on within yourself. Different crystals work with different chakras. Knowing your chakras can help guide you to the crystals you need.

Any animals at home that also enjoy your crystal collection?

My adopted crested gecko Lizzo. When I first found Lizzo, his enclosure wasn’t what he needed & knew I could improve it. I made a bioactive vivarium for him filling it with his favorite live plants & then added some sandstone pieces we had to give it a natural feel. The best part is Sandstone promotes trust & eases change. Perfect for a new friend who has a new home.


Joe Foglia, Co-Owner

Why did you first begin your journey with your practice? In other words, what drew you in to do this? 

My friends thought it was cool in high school. They brought me into this store and we bought a bag of stones from the rock box. The variety is what turned me on.  There’s something intriguing about any place that can combine pieces from all over the world. At Crystal life I found literal pieces of the earth, all the same but each unique from every continent.

What is something you do at home to unwind from a stressful day? 

Sit down and listen to records. There’s something special about the way a record is played. Knowing that the music coming from the surface of a record is being generated by a tiny, diamond tipped needle resonating as it vibrates along the spinning record adds a level of physicality to any music you listen to.

What are some ways you stay grounded, especially now in these trying times?

Feel the earth in whatever way you choose whether it be holding a stone or walking along a dirt trail – these things remind you that you’re always connected to our home. Some people connect through sights, others like the feeling of touching something that grounds them. Some people cook to taste and smell the fruits of the world. Whatever it is, it’s a reminder of all that walks with you over the ground we all cover in our lives.

Any animals at home that also enjoy your crystal collection?

My dog Smallz is pretty small. He uses a Rose Quartz pebble as a door stop to keep from getting locked out of his tiny house. 

Do you have a favorite crystal? Why are you drawn to that one the most?

Sapphire. It’s my birthstone, the deep gentle blue color of it draws me and soothes my mind. It’s one of the hardest stones on earth. I find it fascinating how something so strong can feel so delicate.

Cloe, Jewelry Coordinator

Cloe, Jewelry Coordinator

Why did you first begin your journey with your practice? In other words, what drew you in to do this?

When I first started at CLT I was here for the jewelry! I had little knowledge about crystals metaphysical properties aside from the fact that I really liked “rocks” and had been a collector since I was just a small child playing in the creek. After working with the stones while stringing bracelets, designing new products/etc. I really began to feel the stones and their energies. Now I am much more in tune to metaphysical properties of our beautiful stones and I absolutely love to learn about them as I continue to create unique pieces for our customers to wear and enjoy.

Any animals at home that also enjoy your crystal collection?

At home I have two fire bellied toads (Baco & Gherkin) that LOVE my crystal collection. When creating their habitat I found some amazing (safe for tank) stones to give them the ultimate crystal oasis to live in (lol). They enjoy amazonite, carnelian and snowflake obsidian but I always find them sharing the rose quartz and sodalite stones as “lily pads” most often. I also enjoy setting stones that are not tank safe around the habitat with some of my plants as well.

What is something you do at home to unwind from a stressful day?

To unwind after a stressful day I love to CLEAN! Although silly sounding, there is no better feeling than sitting down to watch my favourite show (Friends, of course) knowing that you could eat off your kitchen floor if you wanted to. I also enjoy knitting, drawing and porch hangs with some good music. Anything from Indie to DMX is my jam.

Do you have a favorite crystal? Why are you drawn to that one the most?

My favourite crystal changes throughout the seasons but black onyx has been a steady love of mine for a love time. I really enjoy it’s grounding energy; as an air sign I most often have my head in the clouds. I also enjoy working with black onyx for self mastery as I am in constant action to find balance within myself and my life. Other crystals to honorably mention: aragonite, selenite, kunzite, green fluorite, botswana agate and sodalite.

Zahra, Store Manager

Zahra, Store Manager

What is some advice you may give to someone just starting with crystals or any metaphysical practice?

Being mindful and setting intentions is an important part of any metaphysical practice. It’s also important to go at your own pace when incorporating new things into your metaphysical/spiritual life.

What is something you do at home to unwind from a stressful day?

I love to unwind by making music and working on jewelry. I also enjoy baking, video games, and rearranging my crystal collection.

How do I choose my very first crystal?

It’s always good to take notice of your first reaction to a stone and which ones draw your attention. It can also help if you keep in mind any things that you want to bring into or dispel from your life. But more than anything, just find a stone that makes you happy!

Do you have a favorite crystal? Why are you drawn to that one the most?

At the moment, my favorite crystal is Kambaba Jasper. I’m drawn to its gentle, tranquil energy and am also just mesmerized by its beautiful swirling patterns.

Favorite employee?

My favorite employee is our “pet” Roomba, Mr. Whiskers! Even though he falls asleep on the job sometimes, he does a good job of keeping our floors tidy.


Our Staff

When you visit our store in Geneva, or call for assistance, you will be speaking with one of these staff members:



Atala with Camera
Atala Dorothy Toy, President Emerita

Atala is the founding president of Crystal Life Technology, Inc. She is a nature spirit photographer, energy jewelry designer, and author of three books on interdimensional communication. After leaving her job at the United Nations Development Programme in 1995, Atala started Crystal Life Technology, Inc. and traveled extensively offering workshops and lectures before settling down and opening her store in the Fox River Valley.

Zahra S., Store Manager

Zahra is our Store Manager, which means she is responsible for … pretty much everything! She shares her knowledge of crystals, energy, and the metaphysical world with our customers, makes sure the store looks great and runs well, among many other things. Zahra grew up in Chicago before settling in the Geneva area, enjoys reading, drawing, music and spending time with her three cats; Duff, Lattie & Alley.

Jeremy Pena, Co-Owner

Jeremy keeps us in crystals. His specialty is inventory control. His warm and friendly manner make him a perfect fit for the store. When he’s not working, Jeremy enjoys spending time in nature. He is a photographer, a fan of fish, and dad to a gecko named Lizzo.

Joe-FJoe Foglia, Co-Owner

Joe makes sure our online presence is streamlined and supervises shipping.  Born and raised in the Fox Valley, Joe became interested in crystals many years ago when he began to study mindfulness. His hobbies vary from fixing up cars, to tending to plants and taking care of his Chiweenie dog, Smallz.

Cloe Smith-WestphallCloë Smith-Westphall, Jewelry Coordinator

Cloë is our amazing designer. She crafts Crystal Life Technology’s designs, and also creates many of her own, while coordinating our other artisan crafters. Cloë is a multi-talented artist and comes from a family of artists and musicians. She has been working in the arts all her life, from helping at her Mom’s art school to designing and producing her own paintings, collages, drawings and jewelry. Cloë volunteers at Living Well Cancer Center, assisting in the arts program.

A New Year, A New Crystal Life Technology

January 1, 2021

I am very pleased to let our customers and friends know that Crystal Life is heading into 2021 stock full of new ideas, new energy, new products – and new owners. After 25 years founding and building Crystal Life into an established source for crystals and metaphysical information and products, I’m now personally stepping aside for the younger generation to take over. Two of our long-time employees have purchased the company and are eager to serve. They are all accomplished energy workers. As for me – I’m delighted to go smell the roses (and photograph them as well)! You can keep up with my nature spirit art and comments at AtalaToy.com.

I wish you all the best and may this new year bring healthy, positive energy for us all.
Atala Toy, President


As owners of Crystal Life Technology we are excited to carry on the legacy that Atala has created!

“Being one of the new owners of Crystal Life Technology is beyond any dream I’ve ever imagined. I am very grateful for this opportunity to not only carry on Atala’s passion, but to be able to help others with energy work & further education. I’m excited to see what new ideas & products my fellow energy workers & I create to continue to provide all we have for you, as well as experience this entire new journey that has been generously brought upon us. We look forward to seeing what our future holds at Crystal Life Technology & what we will be able to make of it!”

~ Jeremy Peña

“I want our customers to know they can expect for us to keep providing them with the high quality crystals that they have come to expect from Crystal Life Technology. We will continue to work to create the experience crystal fans want when they come to our store or website. I am excited to start this journey!”
~ Joe Foglia

The History of Crystal Life Technology

Founded in 1995, we are one of the oldest holistic websites and a number of our products, and our founder’s photographs, have received awards for their quality and originality.

Crystal Life provides the public with natural products that enhance personal health and contribute to world harmony. Many are designed by company founder Atala Toy and then handcrafted by our own local skilled artisans.

Our knowledgeable staff is always available to discuss with you the particular needs that have brought you to our store or website.


Crystal Life began in New York City, when Atala needed to find a solution for her health issues which were caused by environmental pollution. Like many metaphysically-oriented people, she was electromagnetically sensitive and the growing array of electronic devices were adversely affecting her health. She was working at the United Nations at this time.

Atala discovered that keeping stable natural products around her made her feel better. These included rocks of all kinds, and sacred geometry images. She also discovered that the components of the clothes she wore and the food she ate (organic was best for both) contributed to her sense of well-being.

Based on this knowledge, Atala first crafted a home and work environment for herself, then began crafting products she could wear and carry with her as she moved about the city. As other people approached her for assistance with their similar issues, she began providing her natural living solutions to others.

Eventually, Atala’s assistance developed into a passion for providing holistic options to the public. In June of 1995 she left the United Nations and started her company. She began by selling her handcrafted products at New York City’s street fairs and holistic expos, and gradually began traveling nationwide providing products and workshops at holistic and alternative events.

In 2001 Atala left New York City for the Midwest, settling in the Illinois heartland. She opened a store in St. Charles, Illinois then moved to Geneva’s historic downtown in 2008.

Atala has published three books on consciousness topics – We are Not Alone: A Guidebook to Interdimensional Cooperation; Nature Spirits, Spirit Guides and Ghosts: How to Talk with and Photograph Beings of Other Realms; and Nature Spirits in American Trees.

Atala is a nature spirit photographer and all the photographs and most of the cards carried by Crystal Life are her work. She also designs and our staff artisans handcraft much of our gemstone therapy jewelry and prayer beads as well as our metaphysical home decor line of mugs, mouse pads and coasters.

Atala has served on a number of boards of directors including as vice president of the American Society of Dowsers and as president of ISIC – the Institute for the Study of Interdimensional Cooperation. She is a past Chairperson for the City of Geneva’s Business Improvement and Retention Committee and taught meditation for many years as a volunteer with yoga groups.

Crystal Life Philosophy

We strive to always provide you with healthy, productive products that enable you to develop your self-awareness and your ability to improve your life in your own way.

Crystal Life Products

The core of Crystal Life’s work is its many Products with Purpose® We hope our customers enjoy our products for their inherent beauty and usefulness. But everything in our store and website also has an energetic purpose.

We humans move about so much that it helps to carry our healthy options with us. The easiest way to do so is to wear your protection. Crystal Life’s Resonance® Jewelry with Purpose® provides you the parts to tailor, for yourself, the specific elements to meet your specific needs.

When ordering your product, please be aware that patterned stones are unique. Thus while your specimen or pendant will be in the same family of stones, its specific pattern may uniquely vary.

Care & Other Information

All gemstones are unique and special. Variation in color and inclusions are natural and to be expected.

Bathe in full moonlight regularly to energize crystals. Cleanse regularly by placing on a piece of selenite or by moving through the smoke of sage. Honor your jewelry by removing it daily, allowing it to rest.

Crystal Life’s staff and local artisan crafters are energy practitioners of various disciplines. We work with hand-selected, top quality gemstones and materials. Our original designs are based on our knowledge of ancient and contemporary energy modalities.  

Crystal Life is renowned for its peaceful energy, which comes from our commitment to work in respectful cooperation with all life forms, including product, staff, and our in-store and online customers.

We would love to stay connected with you – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.  You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter at the bottom of this page. 

Disclaimer: Crystal meanings and spiritual healing lore are not a prescription, diagnosis or healthcare information. They are presented as spiritual supports to healing and other life issues. See a doctor or licensed medical practitioner for all health issues.


We guarantee our handcrafted jewelry for three months following purchase. If anything should happen to your jewelry during that time, resulting from its construction and not from your error (e.g. the dog played with it), we restring free of charge. After that time, we offer repair services at cost. 


We do not repair jewelry or prayer beads made by other companies. If you wish a favorite piece of Crystal Life jewelry restrung, our prices are: prayer beads (full length) $28. Necklaces $12. Bracelets, anklets $10. Replacement of beads: 10¢ per bead. Price includes return shipping in USA from us back to you; overseas and Canada slightly more.

Special Orders

We are happy to alter the length of our own handcrafted products according to your needs, at no extra cost; simply make note of this need in the comments box provided at checkout. Such a change will take up to two weeks for us to craft and send out to you. (Example: you need a necklace, bracelet or anklet made up to 2″ longer or shorter due to large/small wrists or for a child). We do not produce jewelry in other bead sizes than what is shown for that style nor do we craft gemstone combinations to order.


You may return most of our products for a refund within 30 days of its purchase. Books, DVDs and CDs, energy tools and stones that have been worked with are not returnable; we provide clean, new products to our customers and appreciate your understanding of this criteria! We carry earrings for pierced ears; by law, these are not returnable due to health factors. Crystal Life will refund the cost of the product but not the cost of shipping. The product must be in like new condition. You must ship back product in a protective box and not unprotected in an envelope; stones and gemstones are breakable. If you return an item improperly packaged and it is broken on receipt, we will not issue a refund. 

Contact Information

You can reach us by phone – (630) 208 6001; toll free (800) 871 9985 – daily between Central Time (Chicago area) hours of 11 am – 6 pm Monday – Saturday & 11 am – 5 pm Sunday. If you leave an overnight message for us, we will respond to you between these hours. You can reach us by email at: orders@crystal-life.com. Mail should be sent to: Crystal Life, 121 S Third St, Geneva, IL 60134, USA. 


Crystal Life®, Crystal Life Technology®, Jewelry with Purpose®, Products with Purpose®, and Resonance® are registered trademarks belonging to Crystal Life Technology, Inc. 


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