Intuition, Self-Care & Crystals | An Interview With Gem-Water's Anjanette Sinesio | #LivinT
Anjanette Sinesio is no stranger to the mystic, the creative, the world of high end jewelry and success in business (do those even normally go together?!) - in fact she is an expert. With a solid background in all of the above and endless opportunities at her fingertips, Anjanette still managed to listen to her intuition for her latest brand - and boy we are SURE GLAD she did.
We are fans of Gem-Water for its beautiful design and integrity, the pure magic it brings to every day rituals, and the impact it's making on our planet. We're talking Gem-Water, intuition, self-care and crystals with Anjanette today.
For 20 years I've helped women adorn themselves on the outside with jewelry and gems, now it's time for me to help women use the power of gems to beautify them on the inside.
- Anjanette Sinesio
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KL : Anjanette! We are so excited to have been introduced to your incredible brand and to YOU. Getting to know you over the past couple of weeks - what you're up to and how you've been brightening this world has been so inspirational. Can you tell us a little about your background and journey? You've been in the jewelry industry for over 20 years. What led you to where your brand is at today?
Anjanette : For someone who's worked a LONG time I hope you will enjoy reading about my personal journey...it has lots of twists and turns! After graduating from Parsons School of Design, I decided to do free-lance design work because I landed this full-time job that was pretty incredible. I was hired by James Lipton to help him start the Actors Studio School of Dramatic Arts. I started as his assistant. It was just me and Jim, and in a few months after getting the accreditation for the school and finalizing the curriculum he went on Charlie Rose and announced the start of the program. Long story short, huge success right away, and in a few months our little program became it's own stand alone University and Jim became the Dean of the School and I became the Director of the School and simultaneously the Executive in Charge of Production of the Emmy award winning TV show Inside the Actors Studio. Needless to say, that dual role took up all of my time and I wasn't doing any design work, and I really felt it was time for me to pursue that as I had worked so hard to get through Parsons. I actually had a full-time job and a part-job promoting nightclubs to pay for my tuition while attending Parsons full-time.I don't know how I did it, but I graduated with honors with a BFA in Communication Design, and after several years working with Jim, as much as I loved it and loved acting (it was another passion of mine) I thought, it's time to be pursing my art. I worked my booty off for this degree, and need to be more creative!!
I first began working in communications and marketing for Mayor's Jewelers 23 years ago, then held Executive VP level jobs for other brands like Stefan Hafner, Chimento, and LEVIEV. For years, I really wanted to pursue my own business in jewelry and start my own brand or open a store, and at the end of 2005 I had saved a bunch of money and decided to quit LEVIEV, and move to California.
One of my dear friends and I were talking about this and he convinced me to stay in NY a couple more years and we decided to start a business together. In 2006, I went on to create my first business as Co-founder and served as the President and Creative Director of Diamond in the Rough, which exclusively launched at Bergdorf Goodman. That year, we were awarded Best New Jewelry Collection by Robb Report magazine! We went on to expand our exclusivity to sister company, Neiman Marcus, where we grew fast and began selling worldwide in London, Korea, Italy and Israel, as well as US independent jewelers like London, Hamilton and Pageo. The market crash of 2008/2009 changed our business model and in 2012, I decided to leave after my partners really wanted to transition and have everything solely online, which just didn't feel right to me.
So I decided to start a new business in 2012 called SKY and LIVI. After seeing too many of my friends and family go through chemotherapy, and the trauma of losing their hair, an idea came to me that there was a way I could have a jewelry business that was also philanthropic and helped women on a deeper level. I was inspired by my dear friend, Lizzie, who lost her hair while battling Sarcoma. So, as crazy as this sounds I thought I can help women transform this hair loss into something beautiful...a diamond! The idea was women could take their hair and instead of just discarding it they could create their very own lab-grown diamond using the carbon from their own hair. I wanted to create an empowering alternative to the sadness and trauma of that moment. I thought we're carbon. A diamond is carbon, which under extreme heat and pressure crystalizes and forms the most incredible stone. It's the hardest natural substance on earth. We are in essence a diamond, and can tap into that strength to beat the disease and empower women. I wanted them to say hey – "I'm as strong and as beautiful as a diamond, and I can beat this disease!" A few years later Lizzie, who was my muse, as I shared earlier, got pregnant after being cancer-free a few years and received news a few months into her pregnancy that her cancer came back. Sadly, six weeks after giving birth to her beautiful daughter Lily, she passed away and I was heart broken. I felt a sadness and devastation like I had never experienced in my life. I decided to stop the business. I honestly just couldn't go on with this business w/out her being alive, and decided to start working again for someone else.
I called up Todd Reed, one of my favorite designers who also used rough diamonds, and told him I was available and would love to be a part of his team. We met and I soon became the GM of Todd Reed in Venice and simultaneously got a promotion to be the VP of Sales & Merchandising, overseeing all of wholesale and retail.
After several years with Todd, he made the decision to shut down the Venice location, and it was perfect timing because I was getting antsy, I wanted to start my own venture again and that's when the universe unfolded it's magic. I came across Vitajuwel, a German-based company created by Ewald Eisen, and I knew I had to start something with them. I fell in love with their product and knew I could bring this to my jewelry stores and fashion partners. I immediately texted my husband – saying something like I don't know exactly how, but I'm going to contact them and bring this to the world. All my jewelry and gem lovers HAVE TO know about this! I bought the products, tested them myself and simply fell in love. Truly tasting the difference and coming to understand the scientific and metaphysical benefits completely changed the experience of drinking water for me. I thought, for 20 years I've helped women adorn themselves on the outside with jewelry and gems, now it's time for me to help women use the power of gems to beautify them on the inside. It was SO powerful to me and knew this now was my calling!
KL : Did you grow up with a fascination towards the mystic? If not, when did you begin to be draw to and start to realize the benefits of gems and crystals?
Anjanette : I remember seeing a geode in the store in San Francisco when I was visiting my father (divorced parents) when I was around 8 years old, and being so drawn to the stone and having to get it for my mom as a gift. I also would always get her these gemstone eggs every year for her birthday or holiday, that she would display in the house in her china closet. I've been fortunate to see early on that I could connect to certain people, or think of something specific in my mind and know that it would happen without a doubt. For example, when I was about 14 out of nowhere when I was at a friend's house I felt my step-dad needed me and I had to go home. Sure enough when I got home he was very ill and had to go to the hospital and he was praying to send me home. In my business life that intuition has been huge. I've seen things to do, like launching my gem-water businesses and had this 100% certainty about it.
A funny story about my home that I've lived in for the last 9 years. I saw it online and just knew, this is your house. I went to see it and immediately told the realtor to make an offer and he said, sorry, there was no way I would get the house. An all cash offer was in, and he was certain they wouldn't take my offer and I said to him please offer a little more money, just do it. He came back a few days and said I don't know how it's possible but the house is yours, they've taken your offer. I said yes, I told you I just knew this house was mine. And I have other amazing mystical things that have happened in my life with healing myself and such that would be a lot to go into. I'm so grateful for these gifts and I try to stay as connected to them as possible. I've actually enrolled in Shaman School this year to further expand my knowledge and what I can do contribute, love, light and healing to the world.
KL : The Gem Water brand has seemingly EXPLODED. You've been featured by Oprah, in Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Self and all of the major publications. Gem Water is featured in hundreds of boutiques and major upscale retails stores including Bloomingdales, Four Seasons and Nieman Marcus. (on my knees BOWING down to you, this is INCREDIBLE!) Can you give our readers a little insight on the journey of your brand? Any advice for our readers creating their own energetic brand?
Anjanette : Oh my goodness you're too sweet!!! I can only share that I personally use my intuition coupled with solid business sense. With Gem-Water I received this download that I had to start this, found the guys from Germany that created the VitaJuwel products, and did my research. I tested things out, got opinions from other friends I trusted, showed the product to them and felt 100% that this was what I was going to do. I talked to my husband Dominic (who has owned his own branding agency for 20+ years) and worked closely with him on how we could position the brand and we worked on strategy and launch dates and the financial implications for us. It wasn't a "blind" choice based solely on intuition, but a real conscious choice looking at the big picture.
My best advice is to look at that big picture, the ins and outs and if you're able to set yourself up for success. I had 20 years of working with all the exact buyers I needed with my years in the jewelry business so I had quick access to those buyers who knew me and trusted me for years and those relationships were key. It's important to know if you have the right people in your orbit to make things move forward.
We made investment in working with an amazing PR agency that helped tremendously to gain press coverage. We have worked really hard. The first year it was only me FT, my hubby PT (I was more like a "client" to him) with some PT help. Then things grew so quickly after a year my husband let go of his retainer clients in the agency and just does special branding projects, so he could concentrate more on building this with me.
We literally worked doing fulfillment out of our garage for a year, then doing it from a ground floor storage unit, then we added two more storage units, and I'm excited to share that just this Feb 1st we moved everything into our own office / fulfillment space that we love and have our assistant Cesar with us now who is just a joy to work with! We also have our niece interning with us specifically to help us with social media. She's studying merchandising at FIT, and we work together every Sunday to lay out the posts for the week.
KL : You must have a TON going on. What does a typical day look like for you? How do you keep your own self care a priority? What are your favorite ways to practice self care?
Anjanette : I of course drink a minimum of 64 oz of water a day which has a huge impact on my skin and brain function. Dehydration is one of the key factors to brain fog, head aches and deadened skin. There's a great book called Your Body's Many Cries for Water - You're Not Sick; You're Thirsty - Don't Treat Thirst with Medication by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D that is fascinating insight into the body and what happens when you don't drink enough water. It's literally our human machine's version of putting the right gas in your car so it can make it from point A to point B! You must drink water to fuel your body.
I'm at the computer a lot as I have to correspond with my stores, handle inquiries and such and we travel a bunch doing trade shows. And we've recently decided we have to have one full creative day with no computer distractions, which we're still struggling to do when you're a small company. I try my best to eat healthy and organic. I love taking walks on the beach, which I'm steps from. I also just recently joined the gym so I can work on strengthening my muscle as I'm now in my late 40's and feel the need to pay closer attention. I go in and out of practicing yoga for years, times when I'm super focused on it, and times when I'm just not doing it at all for a couple years. My hubby and I love to go to the movies. And when I'm feeling run down sometimes from lots of travel when the weekend comes, I just do nothing and binge watch a great TV show because my body just needs that complete rest an it's so therapeutic for me to just stop, you know what I mean?
And one of my really fun things is I get my mani and pedi every two weeks and you'll see my nails usually have some glitter, hologram or sometimes magical to remind me that the universe is inside of me, which makes me smile throughout the day. I also have a ton of books always around, crystal books, books on healing and such that I read through. And hubby and I sometimes take little "staycations" and drive to Palm Springs or Laguna Beach and recharge with good food, spa treatments, yoga, etc.
KL : Ok, let's talk about Gem Water and the benefits. You say you've always "had a hard time drinking enough water, and upon tasting the difference, it completely changed your life.". So there is a difference in the taste of water when drinking from your bottles?
Anjanette : Yes, the "taste" difference is textural, not flavor per se. The water gets this velvety texture. Many people also describe it as softer or lighter on the pallet.
At shows and events I often do taste tests for people to try before and after side-by-side so they can feel it and they are amazed. So when you have this water that has been restructured and is living and enlivened with the crystal energy it's so beneficial to our overall body working well and staying in balance.
Many people have read about Dr. Emoto's tests with water and saw the movie What the Bleep?! that he was featured in. His lab also tested the water before and after from the bottles so you can see the beautiful restructuring that happens. I had a hard time drinking enough water because when I was little my mom used to say don't fill up on your drink, eat your food, then drink after. It instilled in me this habit of not drinking that much in general for many years. Having my bottle with gemstones next to me that feels so velvety and looks so beautiful just makes it so easy now, it's not even an issue.
I think my favorite way we've made a difference is knowing we're helping cut down on single use plastic water bottles which are killing our planet, and that is a huge goal of mine.
- Anjanette Sinesio
KL : What is gem water?
Anjanette : Experts all over the world agree that water can be restructured, or "informed" in many different ways. One of these ways is using radiation. Take for example a microwave: Put a glass with water in a running microwave for some time and it will begin to boil. The microwave shoots waves at the water molecules that causes them to vibrate. Everything that emits radiation can influence water.
A very natural and subtle source of radiation are gems (or crystals). People have been using gems to infuse their drinking water for thousands of years. The ancient Greek did it and wise men and women in the Middle Ages. Of course they couldn't understand the scientific process but they realized, it changed something in their water. Something they could feel and taste. Over the time, they studied the effects of this "gem water" and developed a tradition called "crystal healing"*. VitaJuwel has rediscovered this tradition and created glass vials that contain different blends of crystals, following tested and tried "recipes". VitaJuwel is the only way to inspirit water naturally and revitalize it with its original quality like fresh from the spring.
KL : Do you recommend a certain kind of water (ex filter/mineral/electrolyte/spring/etc) with your bottles?
Anjanette : I personally like to use filtered water, but you can choose any water. My friends in NYC love their tap water and some just put that directly in their bottles. I have others who like to use their spring water because with shipping in plastics, that water sometimes gets deadened so they use that. It really whatever water you feel most comfortable with.
KL : Any specific tips on how to use?
Anjanette : It's very easy, you just fill your water bottle, wait 7-10 minutes for the crystals to work their magic, and go! A few simple pointers on filling and cleaning. When filling the water bottle if you let water run over the edge of the glass when filling it water can get stuck in the bottom pod (where it screws into the glass) so when you tip to drink you can think it's "leaking" but it's just the little bits of water that ran over the outside of the glass. So just be aware and don't let water run over, but if you do I suggest to people after they fill and put the cap on to simply turn the bottle upside down and any little bits of water that ran over will just come out, and then dry off your bottle.
When cleaning you can put the bottle itself in the dish washer, but never put the caps or pod in the dishwasher, wash those by hand in warm soapy water and let air dry. The little gem pod also unscrews from the base so you can clean the inside of the bottom cap.
There are detailed instructions to show all this with every item we sell.
KL : Your gems have different meanings and evoke different reactions. How should an interested human go about picking a blend? Do you offer an option to customize?
Anjanette : We don't offer options to customize, we create the blends and sell them completely as is. As far as choosing, I have customers who know a lot about gemstone healing and others who have no idea, so my few pointers are this:
One, you can simply use your intuition and find what stones you are most attracted to. Usually when clients then read the benefits of that blend they're like, OMG, that's exactly what I needed!
You can simply choose the colored gems you're most attracted to that are beautiful to look at and will inspire you to drink your water.
Or lastly, you can read through their naturopathic benefits we've shared, and choose based on that.
KL : What benefits can be expected from drinking from your gorgeous bottles?
Anjanette : I've had clients share with me that things like their acne cleared up, or they didn't feel as tired as they used to, and they no longer have brain fog. I of course can't guarantee anything, and the benefits are not "FDA" approved. I can just share that gemstone healing has been around for millennia and if this gorgeous bottle keeps you focused and inspired to drink enough water, which is integral to our functioning then it's done its job!
KL : Do you have a favorite gem or blend that you've been drinking lately?
Anjanette : I switch, but right now I've been drinking from my love bottle. And I always have my diamond vial and ERA decanter on my kitchen counter and use that throughout the day. It's very fortifying to me and keeps me on my game. My husband at one point ended up drinking less coffee because he felt a huge difference with not crashing mid-day from regularly drinking the water infused with the diamond & clear quartz energy!
KL : What's your favorite way that you've seen your brand make a difference in our world?
Anjanette : I think my favorite way we've made a difference is knowing we're helping cut down on single use plastic water bottles which are killing our planet, and that is a huge goal of mine. They say around 30 million bottles of plastic are sold in a year and only 20% are recycled and if you've read recent articles with the issues with China we now have even bigger recycling issues here.
Also, I know that we've helped introduce crystal healing to many people which just makes my heart sing. I'm grateful to all the editors who have helped share about how crystals can be used, and have opened people up. I'm especially grateful to my dear friend Colleen McCann who recently released her new book Crystal Rx and featured us. She, along with our little "crystal coven" want to be a loving voice in the world to help people stay connected to that magic and the many different ways that crystals can be used.
KL : What is your favorite gem/crystal (outside of your gem bottles) and how do you love to use it in daily life?
Anjanette : So hard - I have three - Natural Rough Diamonds, Rose Quartz are Lemurian Quartz. As a jewelry designer, I launched one of the first ever lines of rough diamond jewelry called Diamond in the Rough at Bergdorf Goodman in 2006, and I have such a connection to these stones. Their natural state with inclusions and odd shapes reminds me of us as humans, perfectly imperfect. I love that there are no two identical when they are in their rough state. So, my engagement ring is of course a rough diamond and no one in the world has anything like my rough diamond and I love that. And when I launched our bridal line a few years after we started, it was such an honor to have couples choosing my rings to symbolize their unique love.
Rose Quartz is the quintessential stone of love, which to me is just the number one thing we all want and need, so I personally carry rose quartz with me all the time and in fact I have thousands of rose quartz I give away to random people all over the world with a card that says "You are Loved" and tells them about rose quartz, just to remind people to stay connected to that LOVE.
And lastly Lemurian Quartz, I have two always on my desk right under my computer because I felt this immediate connection to them, which I didn't understand at first, but later had an Angel reading which totally brought it full circle for me why this stone was so strong for me. So, I then bought hundreds of stones at the end of last year and am working on some special things with them right now, which I will be launching this year so look out for that!
KL : Anything else you care to share?
Anjanette : Like I mentioned above, Dominic and I are working on a bunch of new things, some crystal accessories, a new jewelry line, and more. I can't seem to keep myself from finding more ways to share the crystal love - I was up until 3:30am last night unable to sleep because of these ideas that kept coming so I just began sketching the ideas as they came to me and emailed them to Dominic to go through this morning!!!
I know that we've helped introduce crystal healing to many people which just makes my heart sing.
- Anjanette Sinesio
Be sure to check out Anjanette Sinesio's Gem-Water.
Jenny is a mama, DJ, yoga teacher and beach-obsessed boss babe at TheKaiLife.com. You can find her with a huge smile on her face adventuring with her husband, son Kai and fur babies Koa & Snorkel; spinning music and dancing with you late night; on her yoga mat or under a palm tree.
Follow her on instagram @iseekthewaves @jadoreurlife .
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