With the arrival of summer sunshine, Reign Apiim is steady at work creating bright and stunning jewelry from transformative crystals for her brand Palais Apiim. "Palais" is a French word that means, "Palace" and "Apiim" is the acronym for "All Power Is In Me." Both translations reflect the empowerment that Apiim intends for each of her pieces to inspire. She says, "The idea behind my name, Reign Apiim is that if you believe all powers within yourself then you’ll forever reign as a king or a queen in whatever you do." The majestic stones that she uses in her pieces derive from the earth but all serve different purposes according to their mineral make-up. She uses brass or gold-sealed copper or to wrap each crystal which enhances their energies. Apiim's alluring collections are created with intention and customized according to the requests and spiritual needs of her clients.
The FADER spoke with Reign Apiim over the phone about how she found crystals, how she connects with strangers through her pieces and why she thinks people are gravitating to them.
Crystals are becoming more and more popular. Why do you think that’s happening?
REIGN APIIM: I think it’s really trendy but with every movement becomes a trend. People are trying to capitalize off of this new age, awakening movement. I believe there’s a big shift that’s happening with the earth. Look at the weather right now, it’s talking to us. New York didn’t have a winter. There’s some kind of universal shift and I feel people are looking inward more because we’re forced to. People are seeking a higher level of energy to make up for that shift.
What inspired you to start this brand and to start working with crystals?
I was with my ex-boyfriend and he told me that he flew in his dream and I was like, “What are you talking about you can fly in your dreams?” At this point I was just beginning my spiritual journey and just getting into the idea that I can manifest my world. Then I got into dream research which has been an amazing eye opening spiritual journey which has put my life into perspective and been a really fun experience. He was also into healing crystal research and he told me that they would open up my dreams. At the beginning, it was just about the dreams and I thought the crystals were just pretty. I didn’t really care about the healing properties behind it. I wasn’t even there yet. I began to get a few crystals and then it turned into my whole entire room being filled with them and then my room started to feel like an acid trip. So, I said okay, “There is an energy behind these little rocks.”
After that, I wanted to carry them with me and instead of putting them in my bag, I began to wrap them with hemp string. After bringing them around with me, I began to experiment with the beading. The beading changed everything because I decided to make art pieces. I went to Fashion Design school at Parsons, so I have an art background. I’ve studied art history and culture so, I have a crazy memory bank of artistic things from palaces to paintings in my head. That influences a lot of what I do. So, I wanted to make something that’s one of a kind. I don’t make anything twice. I make collections but each piece is unique within itself. I want each person to have something that was made specifically for them. The beading makes it royal and it’s the vibration from the crystals and the beading makes the person feel like a king or a queen. That’s the entire idea.
Do you do custom orders for specific purposes or people?
Yes, all the time. I love the response and the fact that I can help people. Some people have gone through a divorce and they want more love in their lives and more abundance. Sometimes they’ll have a crystal or they’ll give me a crystal to wrap in their piece but every person is different and I get a lot of custom orders from around the world asking for different things. Sometimes, they’ll go, “Just surprise me,” and that’s really fun too. It’s crazy that people trust you enough to email you from across the world, give you the money, and when you send it to them they’re pleased with it.
What are some of the ways that you like for your customers to style the pieces? Do you look at it like that?
I leave it up to them. I got a call from my friend the other day and he told me that his chain broke. There are people like him who tell me that they literally can’t go a day without wearing the jewelry or keeping it with them. Some people wear it around their necks or just keep it next to the windows. Some even keep it in their pockets. Most people that buy the jewelry that I talk to on a daily basis, they’re attached to it. They like to keep it close to them. It’s just a reminder that everything is fine. You got this, you’re the shit, basically.
What is one of the most common crystals that people request for you to use?
Clear quartz hands down. It’s the master healer, the overall energy giver, it’s like a energetic coffee. Everyone wants it and feel like they need it because people just need energy. Especially nowadays with what the weather is doing and the things that are happening in the world. Clear quartz gives you that boost.
What are some of the ways that you’ve seen people benefit from your pieces?
I give them to my friends and sometimes I’ll give them to random people on the train. They tell me that they feel more balanced and calm. Everything that they go through in their lives, it doesn’t seem as hard as it would have been if they didn’t have [the crystals] around. Who knows? People think that I know a lot more about crystals than I actually do. The only thing I know is the energy that I feel and the people that talk to me about what they feel when they wear them.
Some people tell me they feel high. Everyone has their own experience. I had a reaction to weed a few years ago that affected my voice which is why I can't scream when I want to be expressive and crazy. I think wearing crystals for 3 years straight raised my vibrations so high that I always feel like I’m high without doing anything.
Do you use crystals that open up the throat chakra?
Yes. I had to do a lot of throat work. Honestly, I write better than I’m able to speak and I’m shy, so there are a lot of crystals like the blue kyanite—any blue crystals are really good for opening up the throat chakra. As well as the third eye.
So when you meet someone on the train and you give the person a crystal, do you feel something from their energy that compels you to do that?
Usually, I’m talking to them about life. Because of the way that I look, people are always like, “Where are you going?” I have an open door to talk to anyone that I want to talk to — someone who maybe feels like they’re going through a doubtful, insecure, or sad issue. Artists I really vibe with hard and if they’re on the same level as me mentally, I’ll just give them a crystal and I say that I like their energy and I want them to have it.
I realize that they have the powerful association not only with the stones but they also feel some sort of powerful energy within me or on a higher level that means like, “If she blesses these crystals means they actually have a really good spirit or energy to them.” That’s really humbling and a blessing for me.
Do you have a collection set to come out soon?
I create them based off the time. I don’t have a season, I create my own season. I’m making jewelry as we speak and these pieces were meant for me. They take more time and have more expensive crystals in them so I can wear them to different events, but they’re so beautiful that I’m debating on making a summer collection for June/July.