By Patte Purcell
I first met Joy Brown Meredith at Crystal Fantasy in Palm Springs, a place I frequent on a weekly basis. I enjoy the store as I’ve been into metaphysics for years and they have the nicest inspired gift selection I’ve ever run across plus some very talented spiritual teachers and psychic readers. We’ve become Facebook friends over the last year or so and I’ve gotten to learn a little about her. So when I was given the assignment to write the feature story on Joy, I was delighted to comply.
I learned that Joy, an admitted ‘wild child’ was the youngest in her family and was born to parents in their 40’s. She has 2 older brothers Joel and Alan. She was born in Chicago and went to high school in Maine. She moved to Palm Springs in 1978. In the early 80’s she got very sick with migraines and panic attacks and lost weight until she was only 78 pounds. No doctors could diagnose her problem and a friend, Ernest Sussman, suggested that she try meditation and crystals. She healed herself with these methods and as she put it, ‘took control of her physical self by treating her spiritual self’.
This spurred her interest in crystals and in 1987 opened their first store in downtown Palm Springs. Crystal Fantasy has been located at 3 locations within a few doors of each other including the present day location at 268 N Palm Canyon Drive. At the time of the opening not many people had really heard about crystals. Joy remembers Shirley Maclaine on the cover of Time Magazine holding a crystal cluster as a start to opening people up to the energy of crystals. Joy also credits her first landlord, Henry Frank, who ‘gave them a chance’. 26 years later Crystal Fantasy is alive and thriving filled with treasures. Joy says for her that the store is more than a store it’s a lifestyle and ‘her heart open for all to see.’ She likes to share ideas of peace, love, compassion and kindness with others. She also offers tools for spiritual growth including classes, readers and healers who also instruct on how to use crystals and other spiritual tools. There is a huge selection of gifts including crystals and minerals from around the world, jewelry, incense, candles, books, tarot and oracle decks, world culture items like Buddhas, local white sage for cleansing, fairies and dragons. Gifts range from $1 to $14,000 so there is something for everyone. In the back there is an art gallery and a ‘Lemurian Crystal Healing Bed’ for an amazing out of this world experience.
Joy’s husband Scott also works at Crystal Fantasy. They met when she was working at the Desert Sun in the 70’s.
Scott and Joy have been together 35 years. They have 3 adult children Patricia, Michael and Sara. They also have 2 granddaughters Erika and Auna, 3 grandsons Elijah, Darius and Darnell, and 2 great grandchildren Neveah and Elijah Jr. They also have a pug named Frank. Daughter Sara works with them in the store, as the other children have throughout the years. It’s definitely a family business.
Along with all the responsibilities of a business and a family Joy is also very active in the community. She loves Palm Springs and is President of the Main Street Palm Springs Merchant Association. Add to that she’s on the boards of the Palm Springs Hospitality Association, Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, the Police Advisory Board, and the VillageFest commission. She also is owner of the Palm Springs Body Mind and Spirit Network, a network of spiritual and intuitive businesses. She’s one busy lady! She said her parents taught her to be involved in the community and were great role models. She said she enjoys being part of the decision making process.
When I asked her about her hobbies she said she enjoys designing html websites and gardening. (Although she can’t remember the last time she did that). She said her passion is Palm Springs and she just loves promoting it. One local merchant I talked to called Joy “The Queen of Palm Springs” which says allot about Joy’s efforts.
When I asked her what her major accomplishments were she said she really enjoys being a mother and the bond between her and her family. Her parents, Norman and Bernice Brown, who were also very involved in Palm Springs, both passed away within 22 days of each other last year and she said she is grateful for the time she had with them. She gave her parents quite a time while growing up according to her so one of her favorite memories is that the day before her father passed away he said to her, “Thanks Doll, thanks for being here, you did turn out ok”. I think he was proud to have a daughter like Joy.