Joy Brown Meredith is the owner and operator of Crystal Fantasy, a fascinating gallery and boutique on Palm Canyon Drive in Downtown Palm Springs. Originally from Chicago, Joy is now a passionate promoter of Palm Springs and serves as president of the Main Street Palm Springs Association.
Joy, I’ve followed your pursuits for years now and have always been impressed with your commitment to civic matters that deeply concern the tourist base and vibrancy of downtown Palm Springs. Through Main Street Palm Springs, you’ve mobilized merchants, informed the public, lobbied the town council and so much more! How in the world have you done it all?
I’m very passionate about the causes I am involved in so it is a driving force that keeps me going–plus I couldn’t do it without the support of my family who are gracious enough to pick up the pieces when I mess up!
Passion involvement + family love and support; sounds like a winning combination to me! Please tell us a little about how you came to found Main Street Palm Springs.
I was on the first board of Main Street Palm Springs in 1992 and have remained on the board ever since. We needed an organization to strengthen the downtown business community and I am honored to be a part of it.
And what is it about Palm Springs that led you to make your home and business here?
My parents came here in 1977 and I followed in 1978. I always dreamed of owning a business in world renowned, beautiful downtown Palm Springs, and one day I went to talk to the man who would become my 1st landlord, Henry Frank. He believed in me and he is the reason we were able to set up shop downtown. We also became friends with his sons, Don and Jay. Both offered great suggestions and helped enhance our vision.
Sounds like it was meant to be! Joy, I know people have to be intrigued by the name of your business. Please tell us more about Crystal Fantasy! Your tagline alone is pretty intriguing: “Gifts for Conscious Living and new Enlightenment Center.”
I became interested in crystals due to some serious health problems. My friend Ernest Sussman turned me on to using crystals and meditation to focus on healing and to gain balance with my physical, emotional and spiritual issues.
Crystal Fantasy is all about helping yourself, your family, your community, and the world through furthering love and peace. It’s sort of a community center for kind people. We embrace all religions, races, sexual orientations…
Wonderful! And Crystal Fantasy has been in Palm Springs for over 20 years now, right? Congratulations–that’s quite a feat! What sort of changes have you seen to downtown Palm Springs in that time?
Crystal Fantasy will celebrate 25 years in downtown Palm Springs this November. It’s been a wonderful and enriching journey. Palm Springs has been through many changes. Flexibility is the key. Also, as Jerry Ogburn used to say: “Don’t compete. Be unique.” That has been a mantra of our store. We have things you would not find elsewhere. Our customers are the reason for our success. They really are more like family than anything else. They give us feedback and suggestions that have helped shape Crystal Fantasy over the years.
Jerry’s is a wise philosophy indeed and surely an important component of your success! Can you tell us which Palm Springs project or event you are currently most excited about?
I love the Forever Marilyn sculpture! She brings a smile to so many faces every single day. She looks so serene and peaceful…blissful. She’s definitely feeling the Palm Springs vibe!
Absolutely! You can’t help but grin when you see her holding court on the green lawn at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive overlooking downtown Palm Springs! I’m also really excited about the Free Summer Screenings! (Every Friday through August 3rd, a series of films starring Marilyn Monroe will be screened outdoors at the Forever Marilyn sculpture at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way). Joy, please share with us some of your favorite restaurants, retail stores and hot spots to enjoy in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs has an incredible amount to offer a town of under 50,000 residents. Downtown has over 500 businesses! I do all my shopping, dining, etc. downtown whenever possible.
And what is it that you most love about Palm Springs?
The vibe… It’s difficult to put it into words. There’s a feeling I get when I see the radiant blue sky with majestic San Jacinto mountains in front of it… It’s the sort of place where neighbors are friends and customers are like family. People get involved and truly care about this place they call home…Palm Springs.
I know just what you mean! Joy, from all of us at PalmSprings.com, thank you so much for all you to do support and enhance our wonderful desert oasis. And thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk with me today!