ES fashion – The art of meditation

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Photos by Jessie Lee Cederblom 

Carrie Brooks noticed an unusual phenomenon during a decade of teaching meditation classes at True Insight, her meditation center on the edge of Smoky Hollow. Students frequently arrived with arts or crafts they’d created and would sell them to one another. To her, meditation and bartering aren’t meant to mingle. But rather than telling her students they couldn’t bring their art, she built them a store.

Create and Express, a tidy crystal and art shop on Holly and Main recently relocated after five  years alongside True Insight. The new store is designed as an outlet for local artisans to “create and express.” Store manager Caroline pays close attention to the flow of artists through the store.

“Most of them have day jobs — only one is a full-time artist. They’re just regular people with big passions.”

Of the store’s current artists, one is a rocket scientist who creates fantasy-themed scratchboards. Another is a stay-at-home mom, who after a first showing at Create and Express, developed her crystal-themed paintings into a sustainable source of income.

A third of the shelf and wall space is reserved for the artisans. The rest glows with colorful crystals and stones — relics of Carrie’s childhood.

“Our family didn’t grow up with a lot, and there were no phones when I was a kid. What I had to play with were the elements.”

Create an Express offers aromatherapy as well as rock and crystal workshops and participates in community events like the El Segundo Art Walk. Their doors are always open to local artists and community collaborations.

“It’s a location for everyone to use,” says Carrie. “We just want the community to come play.”

Create and Express is at 405 Main Street, El Segundo. (310) 955-7355.


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