Meet Andy Clements + Josh Johnson; Owners of Mountain Mineral Market

Hi Andy + Josh!  Tell us about your journey to Owning “Mountain Mineral Market” and “Crystal Wholesale Denver”?

I’m Andy Clements, and it has been quite a journey leading up to co-owning Mountain Mineral Market and Crystal Wholesale Denver!  My husband, Josh Johnson and I met as teenagers at summer camp in Chautauqua, New York.  It’s an institution for the arts where every summer people gather from around the world.  There’s a symphony, opera company, theater company, and ballet company, as well as concerts from popular musicians and talks from renowned philosophers and thinkers.  We auditioned and were chosen to live, train, and perform in the amphitheater there for the entire summer.  At the time, I was sixteen and he was seventeen and we had no idea what our future would hold!

After high school, Josh got his degree in Wilderness Recreation Leadership as well as completing his Wilderness First Responder.  I completed my bachelor’s degree in Art History and my master’s in Educational Psychology from University of Colorado.  After graduation,  Josh worked as a chef for Frasca Food and Wine as well as Dry Storage, and I taught at Colorado Ballet and the Jewish Community Center.  However, when the pandemic set in, we were both laid off and had to come up with another source of income, which is how our family businesses were born!

We started out of necessity by selling and trading some of the crystals in our personal collection to make ends meet.  We quickly realized that while people were not going to schools or restaurants, they WERE making purchases to enhance their home and home office spaces.  One thing led to another and we opened Mountain Mineral Market in March of 2022 selling crystals, plants, jewelry, and home decor. 

We also host monthly festivals and full moon gatherings.  A few months after opening, we realized we needed to be able to supply our shop with inventory in a more economically sound way.  In July of 2022 we opened Crystal Wholesale Denver, a wholesale crystal warehouse on the same property as our shop.  With Crystal Wholesale Denver, we host online live sales and in-person gem shows allowing our own shop as well as  customers in our area and worldwide to purchase crystals at rock-bottom prices (many of whom are running rock shops in smaller towns in our great state)!  Did I mention that we had our second child in April of 2022?  It certainly was a big year for us!

Your Business is also a Venue; What Upcoming Events are Happening?

We host monthly festivals at Mountain Mineral Market where local start-ups and food trucks set up on our property to sell their creations and showcase their work.  Every full moon we have an after hours gathering with live music, live painting, tarot readings, free refreshments, and food trucks.

March 12th 6-8pm: Birthday Gathering (live music, live paintings, tarot readings, mocktails, and a food truck).

March 25th 7-9pm: Full Moon Gathering  (live music, live paintings, tarot readings, mocktails, and a food truck)

March 30th & 31st 10am-6pm: March Festival (local vendor booths, blowout sale, food truck)

April 24th 7-9pm: Full Moon Gathering  (live music, live paintings, tarot readings, mocktails, and a food truck)

April 27th & 28th 10am-6pm: ANNIVERSARY Festival (local vendor booths, blowout sale, food truck)

Are you from Colorado?

Which neighborhood did you eventually choose to call home? 

Josh and I have both lived all over the world, however he is originally from upstate New York and I was born in Denver.  We lived together in Golden and Boulder for a few years, and I lived in the Washington Park area and Georgetown growing up.  We chose to put down roots in Wheat Ridge on a sort of family compound where we share the property with my parents who live in a granny flat that used to be a detached three car, two-story garage!

Why did you choose Lakewood for your business?

We looked at a lot of different properties in preparation to open our retail space.  Originally we had thought of something in Larimar Square or Bellmar, however we found both to be still quite quiet in terms of foot traffic when we were first starting out.  The property itself in Lakewood is what really drew us in!

With ample parking, lots of land for our festivals, and a warehouse on the same property it felt like the perfect fit for our dream businesses!  We’ve found that it’s close enough to Denver to draw tourists who are staying downtown, and also close enough to the routes to the mountains to bring in visitors who are on their way to or from the mountains and want a souvenir along the road.  Not to mention our great community of locals, many of whom have become regulars at our monthly events, and really feel like extended family in so many ways!

What are some of your most popular items you sell?

Our statement pieces are very popular, we have two crystal thrones and a crystal table as well as a wide variety of very large crystals which draw a lot of attention from most of our visitors.  Many collectors have found that we have a healthy selection of one of a kind specimens to round out their collection. 

Lots of customers come in for jewelry which we have lots to choose from in ready made form as well as the ability to create your own treasure using gems from our shop and help from our resident jewelers.  We work with a fantastic family owned wholesale greenhouse, so many customers have found that our plant selection is healthier and more affordable than most of our competitors.  Funny enough though, our two best selling items are our treasure trolls (tiny clay trolls holding crystals – no two are the same, made by a group of ladies in Peru), and the mini crystal phalluses!

What challenges have you experienced along your journey? 

The pandemic was actually a catalyst for the start of our business!  From what we’ve studied since we dreamt up the idea to open these businesses and become entrepreneurs (neither of us had studied ANYTHING about business before), our challenges have been in line with those that are typical of young businesses.  Finding the right strategies for marketing and promotions, employee retention, and inventory purchasing have definitely been our biggest learning journeys! 

The other aspect we might not have been completely aware of when we opened was definitely the amount of hours we would be putting into each business each day … While more mature and successful businesses often allow their owners to have more free time, at this stage in the building of our businesses we have almost no free time!  Luckily we truly love what we’re doing and our kids are able to join us (and oftentimes also have FUN) while we’re also working.  It’s a huge bonus to know that all the hours are being put towards businesses we can hopefully someday pass down to them and that the possibility for growth is truly dependent on the effort, creativity, and passion that we put into what we’re doing everyday!

Tell us about your Full Moon Gatherings? 

Our Full Moon Gatherings were born out of necessity (much like the shop itself).  A few months after opening, business slowed down as gas prices and cost of living sky-rocketed.  Our monthly festivals had been very helpful at bringing people through the door of our little shop so we brainstormed a way to offer another event that might do the same.  Josh was a DJ in Boulder during college so we had a lot of DJ friends, we had developed a relationship with a couple of local artists who were consigning artwork in our shop, we had quite a few delicious food trucks who were always happy to come to our festivals, and numerous customers of the shop had offered to come and read tarot for our customers over our first couple of months being open.

We decided to make an indoor evening event (a sort of polar opposite to our outdoor, daytime festivals), combining the talents of some of the closest friends of the shop and that’s how the Full Moon Gathering was born!  We had no idea whether it would be successful or not, but on the first night of the first Full Moon Gathering our parking lots filled up and people were waiting outside for the event to start!  With live painting, live music, tarot card readings, mocktails, and a food truck, the event has been incredibly successful and FUN for all of us!  The rest is history and we’ll celebrate two years of moons this summer!

How would you describe the Personality or “Vibe” of Denver? 

While our oldest son was in karate this past Saturday, I walked around Sloan’s Lake with our youngest and it was PACKED!  It definitely gave me a strong feeling of the vibe of Denver!  Denver is definitely outdoor-loving, connection oriented, dog friendly (did I mention our 180lbs shop dog named Mica?), and innovative!  We saw so many people of all ages and walks of life out enjoying the outdoors, companionship, and creative physical activity (so many different kinds of people were biking, running, walking, scooting, skating and so much more).

What else do you want Denver to know about your business? 

We want to meet YOU!  We love where we live and are so proud to be part of the Colorado community and we’ve found that every single person we meet through the shop and the warehouse has something valuable to share.  Whether you’re supporting us by being a customer, or sharing your knowledge, or selling your creations at our events, or simply rooting for us from afar by following us on social media; we’re so grateful for every single person who connects with the shop and/or warehouse!

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