Community Spotlight: AGEV Co.
Amiable. Grounding. Empowered. Vibrant. These four powerful points make up the name for AGEV Co., a Black-and-Queer owned crystal shop in Barrio Logan. Opened in 2017, the owner Anah Turner Vega and her wife Gabi Vega (both she/hers), have kept the space small and filled with intentionality as it doubles as a studio for this pair of artists.
As the pandemic continues challenging businesses with creating new ways to engage us while feeling safe, the shop owners on Logan Avenue decided to launch the “Walk the Block” initiative, which pushed the merchants to set up booths outside to draw people back for support. A month into this new outdoor event, our Communications Chair Jordan interviewed Anah about her store.
What inspired you to open a crystal shop?
My wife has lupus and we were looking for spiritual alternatives for her medication. We found a stone called bloodstone and we would meditate with it. Then I started making jewelry for her with it, or putting crystals in her bag, and I realized I wanted to do more with crystals.
When did you open AGEV Co.?
We first opened in April 2015 in Chicago, but then my wife got a job out here and a year into living here we found this spot in Barrio Logan. We’ve been here since.
What’s the experience been living and working in Barrio Logan, and how do you navigate the gentrification happening in the neighborhood?
It’s really been amazing since we moved. The community has shown so much love and we love them too. My experience as Black, Queer creator has been so pleasant because the community is all about the art. As for the gentrification, you can see it. But the neighborhood is tough against that. Barrio Logan is a strong neighborhood that takes care of its own.
Black culture, and many African cultures, have a long history of spiritualism. There’s belief is different deities, and even belief in magic, yet it’s never been so forward facing. How does AGEV navigate that?
I’m spiritual, with a little bit of magic. I’m still working on my healing, but how my work is affecting the community is by connecting them more to their spiritual side and magic side with each stone. The stones give off different vibrations and those vibrations can help people in many ways.
How do you educate people in your space?
First, we have cards for each stone with information about what they do and what they are. People can take them home to understand their crystals more. We have two books, Encylopedia of Crystals and Love is in the Earth, which can help us get more in-depth with others to educate them on the stones they’re using.
My current favorite crystal is Black Tourmaline. I’ve always connected with Black Tourmaline since it first vibrated in my hand. It's my first baby. I still have the same piece to this day. It is a power crystal that helps ward off negative energy, protects you and grounds you.
We have 70 different crystals in the shop and each one is a little sassy. I want people to feel the vibrations and love of each stone when they purchase one. Citrine is a popular crystal, which helps with manifesting, and people have a lot of dreams they want to manifest, especially during full moons, and aids in cleansing out energy.
It’s clear in your space that AGEV also has art. Can tell us more about that.
In our first year, we started to host artists on our wall, and we have our own wall for Gabi’s drawings as she’s an artist too. We realized that, as artists, we wanted to display our work, especially as this space is also our studio with Gabi and each having our own corners. Not every artist is Queer, but each piece is beautiful.
Where do you see AGEV in three years?
The dream was always for AGEV to be a small space and we love Barrio Logan. The space is small but it packs a powerful punch in the neighborhood. I’m proud of it.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.