Discover what speaks to your soul at Frances Fitz-Gerald Jewelry, Antiques and Estate Sales. The shop is located at 1830 Ryan St. in Lake Charles. Don't let the metal building storefront fool you. It's big and it's full of antiques that have stood the test of time, gemstones that shimmer, the naturally delightful and the anything but common je ne sais quois.
The experience of stepping into the store is more than a fun diversion. It's inspiring. Maybe the feeling is due to the presence of selenite crystals found here and there throughout the store, said to be responsible for opening, clearing and activating the crown chakra.
Selenite is one of a few minerals found in Fitz-Gerald's. Other natural wonders include amethyst geodes, fossils, seashells, sea fans, coral, 100-year-old grape vines, cholia wood, stained gourds and baskets woven with pine needles by Native American tribes.
Kate Roane, Fitz-Gerald's daughter and business partner has a background in interior design. She admitted it's fun to talk about healing properties attributed to crystals. Her forte, however, is helping clients effortlessly pull together a space that resonates.
"I've met many great designers. Some say you have to do this, this and this – without fail – to create the perfect space. The truth is, sometimes you throw the rules out. A home should not reflect the latest trends, it should reflect the owner's soul, and that reflection is as individual as each person. Each piece you acquire for your home should gratify you. You may not even know why, but if you'll do this, without even realizing it, your home will come together."
The texture and shimmer of a cluster of amethysts can be a great way to add energy and style to the room, according to Roane. When you think about how long it took the earth to create a piece of agate or the fossils, which resemble tightly coiled ram's horns, you begin to appreciate decorating with these items even more.
"We have quite a few things in the store that I would consider rare, but when you buy a crystal – and these are affordable – you're getting something that is one of a kind," she said. "There's no other like it."
Now is a great time of the year to use nature's bounty to herald the fall season, for instance, arranging deer antlers with pumpkins on a silver tray.
Roane dished a little about what's in and what's out, not just in Lake Charles, but also in other markets. The mother-daughter team has assembled a cast of pickers throughout the U.S.
She pointed out some of the store's most singular objects, a painting just in from New York, a large antique gilded mirror from an Arizona estate, carved with cherubs guarding the center-placed dragon and a pair of tin, metal, iron and gold sconces from the 18th century, French in style and carefully rewired for electricity.
"Fast fashion was listed as one of the things that Elle Décor dubbed ‘out,' along with Mason jar mania and word signs," she said. "These inexpensive designs are sometimes purchased then tossed out after a season."
Purchasing an antique, natural or rare object is a way to add character to a space. It's not fast fashion. It's timeless. These items are often better crafted than those found today in retail stores. Some are more than collectibles. They are investments and can be passed down generation to generation.
Frances Fitz-Gerald Jewelry, Antiques and Estate Sales not only offers fine, costume and repurposed jewelry, the store purchases gold, diamonds and silver. Frances and Kate offer professional estate sale services for certain estates.
"We have gifts, jewelry and antiques in all price points," said Roane. "No matter what amount you plan to spend, make sure you get the best quality you can afford. Make it something different. And make sure it speaks to your soul."
Call (337) 540-1223 to find out more. Shop hours are Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.