Four years ago, Byanca Flores had a spiritual awakening. “I got into the whole yoga, meditation, and then I got introduced to crystals,” she says. “My husband actually gifted me a piece of labradorite, and that’s what got me into the whole world of crystals. And then my journey began.” A journey that, in October of 2021, led her to open a shop in Centralia, The Crystal Cave, along with her husband, Paul Ramirez where the couple sells magnificent minerals.

The Crystal Cave Centralia
Crystal Cave owners Byanca Flores and Paul Ramirez both love the opportunity to connect with their customers and want their shop to be a place where people feel comfortable exploring the world of crystals. Photo credit: Madeleine Elliott

Opening The Crystal Cave was a leap of faith for Byanca and Paul. “This is our first business,” Byanca says. “We really didn’t know what to expect.” But she felt drawn to follow her passion. “With my spiritual awakening and meditating and tapping into that side, I feel like my purpose here in this world is to spread light,” she says.

Running The Crystal Cave, and connecting with its customers, allows her to do just that. “If somebody’s going through a bad time in their life and come in here, I’ve heard so many people that have told me that it just makes them feel lighter and happier,” she says. “They come in here, telling me what they’re going through, and there’s always a smile leaving the store, and it just makes me happy.”

The small shop room is filled with display stands teeming with crystals of every color, such as red fire quartz, orange carnelian, yellow honey calcite, green malachite, blue apatite, purple amethyst, pink rose quartz, and even UV reactive Yooperlite. Some are raw and uncut, including a tall amethyst geode towering over the rest of its table. Others are carved and smoothed, shaped into pyramids, hearts, dragons, elephants, turtles, mushrooms, palm stones, and towers of every size, among other things.

The Crystal Cave Centralia
The Crystal Cave stocks crystals of all different colors and types, many of which can only be found in specific locations around the world. Photo credit: Madeleine Elliott

It could easily be overwhelming, but Byanca has advice for people who do not know where to look first — go where your feelings take you. “Certain people, depending on their energy or what they’re needing at that time, will be attracted to certain ones,” she says. Paul agrees. “Walk around the store, feel the crystals,” he says, “A lot of times, you’re attracted to what you need at the time.”

Byanca also encourages people to learn about the crystals that interest them. “I do have cards that talk a little bit about the crystal,” she says. “But it goes deeper than that.” She has spent the last few years, since her spiritual awakening began, researching the geologic and spiritual properties of minerals and stones. She loves to learn from owners of other crystal shops and her customers. “I’m teaching them a little bit about crystals, but I also learn from other people,” she says. “It’s really nice to just learn from each other.”

The Crystal Cave Centralia
Each crystal for sale in The Crystal Cave has interesting and unique properties. One notable example is Yooperlite, which appears to be a simple grey and black stone under natural light but glows orange under UV light. Photo credit: Madeleine Elliott

Both Byanca and Paul have a passion for minerals. They value them for their spiritual qualities and also as beautiful creations of the earth. “There are certain crystals that only come from one place in the earth,” Paul says, and Byanca has many examples of such stones. “Larimar only grows in the Dominican Republic,” she says. “Seraphinite only comes from Siberia, Russia. Yooperlite was just discovered in Michigan here in the United States in 2007. That same year that one got discovered, another one got discovered — Caribbean Blue Calcite in Pakistan.” She appreciates how amazing it is to hold stones that come from so many different faraway places. “[We] give people a chance to have something in their possession from another part of the world,” she says.

It is important to Byanca to give everyone the chance to explore the world of crystals. The shop stays open until 7 p.m. on weekdays and is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. “It gives the people that do come out of work, that comes out at five or six, to give them that little chance to be able to come in here,” she says.

She also does a weekly giveaway of one item, often a carving or a larger crystal, and holds the name drawing on Instagram live every Saturday at 5:30 p.m. “It’s just a little personal touch to get people excited,” she says. “You’re entered with pretty much any purchase. Everybody has a little chance to win something special.”

The Crystal Cave Centralia
Crystal Cave Owner Byanca Flores holds a weekly giveaway on Instagram Live, where she draws the name of one customer who will win an item that has been on display in the glass ticket jar on the counter that week. Photo credit: Madeleine Elliott

Byanca wants to encourage people unfamiliar with crystals to not be hesitant or misunderstand them. “If you dive deep, crystals, for example, quartz is actually used in technology,” she says. “Crystals are not just for witchy spells and stuff.” The couple has also found plenty of people who understand the world they have found themselves immersed in and see it as a very welcoming community. “With the whole spiritual awakening, I’m not the only one that is going through that,” Byanca says.

The best places to find The Crystal Cave on social media are Facebook and Instagram, where Byanca posts photos and videos of some of the magnificent crystals she has for sale, as well as updates about store happenings such as giveaways and holiday hours.

The Crystal Cave
826 Harrison Ave. Centralia

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