Anna Patricia “Pat” Gangoso Santos, wife and mother of two, juggles two careers in the East Bay of San Francisco. She is a Montessori lead teacher for primary level, and the creator of The Mineralist, a jewelry line.
Two summers ago, Pat, husband Raphael, daughter Viviana and son Stephan went on a family vacation to the Big Island, Hawaii. She recalled how, at the onset, she felt inspiration and signs from the universe—from the plane ride when she read random magazine articles about jewelers and their craft, to attending a luxurious trunk show and seeing American jeweler Kimberly McDonald in person.
That trip, which she likened to being in paradise, inspired her to work on her jewelry ideas.
She created a line called The Mineralist—referring to one who studies minerals. For Pat, The Mineralist is no specific person, but anyone who appreciates the wonder and beauty of natural crystals.
She stressed that crystals are specimens that took hundreds, even thousands, of years to form under intense conditions within the earth: “Their atomic structure is repetitive, which is why there is also a mystical belief that these treasures can absorb or amplify energy. I want people to have a connection to my jewelry.”
Pat had no formal training in jewelry making. She is self-taught. She has always had the passion for creating and, to her, making jewelry is a form of personal expression.
She prefers her jewelry to be raw, keeping the irregular shapes, swirls and ruggedness unique to each crystal.
Pat says her minerals are “like individuals, each honing its own energies and physical qualities so that it becomes almost like a matchmaking game to match the mineral with a specific owner who gets drawn to it.”
Each stone or crystal releases its own energy. She loves how different crystals have different meanings and how, as tokens, they remind a person what they stand for, channeling a person’s feelings or thoughts. Or, they can be worn simply as adornments.
Pat and Raphael (who works as head sommelier at Acquerello restaurant) share house chores and find time to host get-togethers at home.
“I am a Montessori teacher by day, hands-on mother at home, and jewelry designer late at night,” says Pat.
It’s in the evening, in the peace and quiet at home, that she finds time to be the Mineralist. —CONTRIBUTED
Visit themineralistshop.com. Follow @themineralist on Instagram.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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