Laila Lambert is the Sparkle Fairy, the founder of the eponymous New Age online boutique that sells all manner of sparkly things and quite a bit more besides. Now, she may well have a penchant for pretty things and is certainly more openminded about the existence of fairies than most of us ("Everyone loves angels and fairies, don't they?"), but Lambert, who is originally from the UK and has lived in the Middle East for 13 years (the last seven of which were in Dubai), is no airy fairy amateur. In fact, she's very personable, with a business mind and a passion for crystals.
"I've always been a bit of a workaholic for most of my working life. I've been involved in the wellness, health and beauty industry," she explains when we meet to discuss her products. However, it was the birth of her daughter that prompted her to reassess her area of focus. "My background is partly in business development. I was the area manager for a hair and beauty salon in Kuwait and had my own salon in Dubai but I always leant towards the healing side: energy treatments, stones and life coaching. My passion has always been crystals and stones so I decided to take a side step and specialise in that," she says.
In 2006, she founded Sparkle Fairy and started to sell handcrafted jewellery made from healing gemstones, often with angel and fairy charms attached. "Crystals are a form of stable energy; each crystal resonates at a different vibration and has different healing properties. Depending on what's going in your life, you'll be drawn towards a certain crystal," she explains. "For example, if you can't sleep, amethyst is a good stone for that, it's a natural tranquiliser and works on that emotion in your body - on the energy factor. There's no hocus pocus with me, I like to be quite down to earth; it's just energy. There is a spiritual side to it, but all in all, it can be just about the nice energy the crystals give off."
Lambert says that if a customer comes to her with a particular ailment, she'll draw on her experience as a life coach and encourage them to select a crystal that might help, as well as some form of conventional medicine. "It's important to remove stereotypical attitudes; you can be as 'New-Agey' as you like, but people want logic. As long as there is logic behind something, people accept it and I think they like that approach with me."
It's in part this down to earth attitude that means, sceptic or otherwise, you can't help but like Lambert. She talks knowledgeably and engagingly about her subject and is fully accepting of that fact that for some people, talk of vibrations, energy and healing power is a step too far. "It's not for everyone, I know that. But if someone is dismissive about the crystals, I just give them the example of quartz; there's no denying that there's energy in them. That's how quartz clocks work," she says.
Lambert sells her products both internationally and locally through the Sparkle Fairy website and at the Dubai arts and crafts market Arte (she is one of their longest standing vendors). As well as raw and polished crystals and stones (sold singularly or as hand-wrapped silver necklaces), these include handmade rose quartz key chains and bracelets (with angel and fairy charms), elegant pendants, shambella bracelets, dream catchers, silver angel callers ("When the bell rings it means that the angels have come. You ring it when you're feeling distressed and it gives you a sense of protection") and a number of other new age products and gifts.
Sparkle Fairy will be exhibiting at Arte on September 14 at Times Square Centre, Dubai. For more information, visit www.store.sparklefairy.com.