New metaphysical shop brings ethically sourced crystal magic to St. Paul

We the Starborne, a new St. Paul metaphysical shop, opened its doors in March and offers shoppers ethically sourced crystals, tools and more.

Cait Gottschalk, the owner of We the Starborne Metaphysical Shop, poses for a portrait.

Megan Phillips

A new metaphysical shop, We the Starborne, opened in the St. Paul Hamline-Midway neighborhood in March, is focused primarily on offering ethically sourced crystals, tools and books to the community.

Although few people in the area are familiar with this kind of shop, the owner, Caitlin Gottschalk, said the opening was met with “genuine curiosity and excitement” and “open arms.”

“This neighborhood is fantastic,” Gottschalk said. “People seem really excited.”

Sarah Olson, a University of Minnesota student who lives close to We the Starborne, said she is especially excited for a crystal store to be in her neighborhood because unlike in Minneapolis, there aren’t a lot of similar stores in the area.

“I got really into crystals during quarantine,” Olson said. “It’s so nice that St. Paul is getting a store that sells them.”

The shop features a variety of crystals, each with their own unique properties and uses, plant medicine and other gifts for those who want to get in touch with their spiritual side. The lounge space inside is devoted to tarot and astrological readings.

One of the most important things in maintaining a shop such as We the Starborne is ensuring the items are ethically sourced, an issue prominent in the metaphysical community, Gottschalk said.

“The farther away you get from the source, the more room there is for the unknown,” she said, describing the various ways that buyers can be misled, unwillingly supporting unethical mining practices.

Crystals in We the Starborne Metaphysical Shop, courtesy of Jenna Dailey

Before the pandemic, it was easier to ensure the authenticity of crystals because buyers could go to shows around the country where they were able to speak with people who had a direct relationship with the mines or quarries.

Now that everything’s online, it is more possible for the source of crystals to be murky, but luckily the rock and crystal community has adapted, hosting shows online from their warehouses to ensure buyers that what they’re getting is real, Gottschalk said.

One example of the shop’s dedication to ethical sourcing is their palo santo, trees whose branches are burned and used for spiritual cleansing, that come from a single farm in Ecuador dedicated to repopulating palo santo.

Rather than tearing down the trees for their branches, the farm instead cuts the branches from dead trees in addition to planting new ones. The shop also sends a percentage of their palo santo sales back to the farm to help with repopulating costs.

ZRS Fossils and Gifts in Minneapolis is also devoted to ethically sourcing the crystals they sell, the owners, John McArdle and Kelly Lund, said.

Their store has been running in Uptown for thirteen years and Lund said each item in the store is “from someone we know personally or mined ourselves.”

Crystals featured in their shop are collected on regular trips to countries such as Morocco or Brazil where McArdle, Lund and others mine for crystals with the permission of landowners, sometimes paying them for the chance to mine on their land.

The owners said they are committed to not harming any land or person to obtain fossils, crystals and other treasures. They visit a village in Morocco about once every other year, bringing medical supplies with them.

McArdle and Lund also said they have no issue with paying more for products from conscientious vendors such as those who pay their employees a minimum wage.

“It’s a personal and professional passion,” McArdle said.

Whether they’re first-time buyers or metaphysical lovers, We the Starborne can help anyone on their spiritual journey to connect and learn more about crystals and other mystic tools.

“Ultimately it’s about connecting folx back to their magic or their intuition,” Gottschalk said.
The shop offers online shopping and is currently open for in-person shopping by appointment Friday through Sunday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 593 N. Hamline Ave.