|Many, many moons ago, when man still traveled by foot and dinosaurs walked the earth, in a place called Massachusetts, Wendy Ansel was born... Well, OK, maybe not that long ago. But sometimes it sure feels that way, she said. Born in Dorchester, Mass., granddaughter of Senator Julius Ansel, ambassador to Israel and best friend of JFK, Ansel was educated in Natick, Mass., before setting sail for a 15-year overseas adventure that would lead to a lifetime of free-spirited travel. |
She spent 12 years in the Australian outback, on the Great Barrier Reef, living off the grid in a beautiful tropical wonderland. She became a professional dancer, which led to an opportunity to compete in a Queensland body-building competition. Following a strict diet of boiled potatoes, black coffee and cigarettes, she earned the title of Queensland body-building champion. Ansel then traveled extensively throughout Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Phillippines before returning to Australia. In the early 90's she attempted to re-establish her American roots in San Francisco, where she met up with mentor and boss Jerry Frankle. He generously gave Ansel an opportunity to learn retail and jewelry design in the Australian-owned Opals and Gems of Australia opal shop.
Five and a half years later, she helped establish the first metaphysical healing jewelry store in San Francisco with Laura Kauffman, called Earth-heart Healing Jewelry on Union Street. The store was then sold to a Fortune 500 company, and Ansel ventured off to explore other options. OK, so she got fired again and had no choice but to move to L.A. and open her own business, Rocks and Runes in Burbank. Thank you, Burbank, for being so open-minded, diverse in your thinking and incredibly supportive of our small business. You rock, Southern Cal!