Ever wondered what it might be like to start a business with your life partner? Eva Cangarova shares her story of growing up with some big goals in Slovakia to the journey to creating Zalah Crystals with her partner Jason. Eva shares the challenges, the joys and also some of the lessons she has learnt along the way.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
As a child, my aspirations kept changing quite a lot and I still remember some of my biggest goals. They included:
Bank Director (I assumed they’re wealthy haha),
Cabin Crew (I assumed they holiday a lot)
European Union politician (I was once very involved and passionate about politics)
All of these immediately dissolved when I was a 17 year old and experienced what it feels like to run my own business. I thought “why would I ever need to work for anyone else in the future?”
Who modelled “success” for you growing up?
My biggest role model at the time was my aunt Danica, who was in a harmonious relationship, financially very stable, got to travel around the world and experience different cultures. It seemed like my ideal scenario at the time. At a very young age, she was the first woman who taught me the concept of independence and strong motivation.
How do those early experiences relate to your life now?
I always knew that my home country Slovakia wasn’t really my jam and I would do whatever it takes to begin a new life in another, more aligned, environment. My family and lots of vibrant professional experience as a teenager offered me a great foundation, courage and self trust to pursue whatever ventures my heart desired and I’m super grateful for that. Because I had a chance to try different career paths very early on and most of them did not really suit my personality, I realised that my soul was calling for creativity and freedom within my own business instead of working for someone else.
However I must say, I spent most of my teenage years and early adulthood being driven by my masculine self. In 2020 I practiced dropping into my body and relaxing more and more.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Definitely the freedom and the ability to work whenever I feel like creating and showing up. I also believe in the idea of turning our deepest passion into our life mission, which then happens to be our source of income. The money flow we create feels a lot more ethical and healthy as opposed to spending half of our life in a job we dislike. Through my business I’ve attracted some of the most beautiful and aligned souls that I now call my soul family and my own platform is my favorite way to channel my true self.
What are some of the challenges?
Working with a partner can carry a few challenges, especially when we’re both so passionate about what we do. We really have to maintain a healthy harmony between creating content and rolling the sleeves up in business and then dropping into our bodies while spending time together being love birds. Also, Zalah feels like such a huge part of me that it’s been a journey to separate from it and trust that it’ll evolve on its own even without me doing anything.
In what ways have you had to redefine success during your journey as a business owner?
At the very beginning of Zalah, I absolutely devoted myself to it with no particular working hours or boundaries, hence why I’d be working all the time making my baby to grow. During the initial period I felt really proud and content, but I soon realised that this lifestyle is not fully sustainable as I noticed I found it difficult to keep showing up for the community when I haven’t fully shown up for myself.
Businesses truly are like babies in the womb and they need time to grow and be ready to be birthed, so I shifted my mindset from making it grow into allowing it to grow. It’s not always about the numbers, perfection and volume of the business as much as it is about whether it feels aligned and healthy for me personally.
When you look back on your life, what do you want to celebrate?
Oh, there is SO MUCH. I’d love to celebrate everything. Every minute, every decision, every lesson that has come my way, all the light and darkness and show nothing but deep gratitude for my journey and to be where I am now. I often forget about acknowledging my wins and can easily slip into wanting to achieve the next thing, but this year is all about the celebration of what I already have.
Tell me about your journey to falling in love with crystals? How did this become the focus of your business?
Ever since I was little I used to collect little rocks and crystals at my great-grandparents’ backyard and felt very connected to the different types without knowing much about their properties, or that they even had any properties. In my late teens during my life in Egypt, I connected my passion for minerals and jewellery and created my own label called Ores, but unfortunately due to my studies abroad I ended up closing the jewellery workshop, but life brought me back to crystals again.
After my partner Jason and I met, we’ve gone through a long journey of chasing each other around the world and one of the countries Jason was based in was India, which is also a birthplace of Zalah. He then connected with our beloved supplier Peter, who is the man behind most of our crystals and felt a strong calling to bring these beautiful pieces to Australia. I must admit that I wasn’t very convinced when he initially announced that he had just purchased 30kg of crystals over the phone to me (which is still a big joke to us), but when I saw a few of them when we reunited in Egypt I was shocked by their beauty! I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to work on such a beautiful company with him and I forever bless the moment, he didn’t listen to my silly head at the time!.
What are some of the misconceptions about crystals?
One of the most common misconceptions I find is the expectation of crystals working their magic without the owner putting some solid work into whatever they would like to channel and manifest. Crystals don’t just bring abundance and universal love - they help us shift our energetic field so we can then shift our patterns and behaviours, which later results in attracting what we need and desire. A shelf full of crystals and no introspection unfortunately won’t do the trick. :)
How should someone choose a crystal for themselves?
Crystals are so intelligent and so is our intuition, so the best tip I can share with whoever is searching for ‘The One’ is truly listening to our inner voice. It’s not even about the properties as much as it is about observing what we’re attracted to, as crystals attune to human’s energy automatically. The suitable stone will present itself and will certainly let us know deep in our gut (not in our brain) that it would like to come home with us. What I often notice is people thinking about their choice way too much, instead of feeling it, which can result in a heavy indecisiveness after all.
Practices and habits
What habits do you have to support a balanced approach to work and rest?
I start my mornings with a meditation, connecting with crystals, stretching or yoga and making a grounding potion of medicinal mushrooms & herbs. That way I can assure that no matter what happens later on in a day, I got at least half an hour to myself and feel a lot more in tune.
I also practice firm boundaries of no work after 6 PM and on weekends, which is the time for me to unwind, rest and connect with myself and my partner Jason.
Lastly, I really enjoy taking regular breaks and holidays either in nature or in some beautifully designed spaces, even for a couple of days, to change the environment and recharge with creativity and new ideas.
How does your energy impact your ability to produce meaningful and impactful work?
My energy and work outcomes are strongly related and in 2020 I certainly noticed a little drop in my creative production as working from home and isolating there was really challenging. There were days I’d skip my meditation practice and go straight into my phone and work notifications, which later resulted in me being moody and irritated, so I quickly realised how important prioritising myself and boundaries are.
It’s important for me to embody my words and practice connecting with crystals and spaciousness instead of a jam-packed schedule and new projects pumping out in order to maintain the harmony.
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