the story of zalah.

The Story Of Zalah begun in June 2017 when I during my one way ticket around the world. I was travelling and wandering through the streets of Dharamshala {India} a place I called home.
As I was walking from my apartment on top of the hill one day, A man sitting on the wall that I hadn't seen before caught the corner of my eye. Laying before me was a cloth with a handful of beautiful raw crystals that grabbed my attention. I was so amazed I hadn't seen anything like these crystals ever in my life before. I picked up one by one and admired their beautiful shapes, textures and colour. These crystals were unfamiliar to me as I was use to the more traditional ones you see like Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz and others. The man could see my connection towards the crystals and slowly began emptying out more crystals to show me out of his backpack. Without knowing if I would ever seen this man again I chose a few crystals that were calling and this was the start of my crystal collection. I said goodbye with a huge smile on my face.


A few days later whilst walking around town, I met the same man on the top of a mountain. This time I had the opportunity to speak to him on a more personal level and find out more about his life. His name was Peter, now Peter is from the region of Maharashtra and travels about 32hrs by car to Dharamshala. He leaves his family for months at a time to sell crystals in areas where there are more foreigners. He would walk with his 25kg backpack up steep mountains to areas like where we were in hopes of selling a crystal or two sometimes with no avail.
As my magical stay in Dharamshala was coming to an end i told Peter that I would like to purchase a few more crystals for myself and gifts for others. I told him that I would like to see his full collection to choose from as I saw him everyday he would come out with a new one. He let me know that he would be getting another shipment posted at the end of the week. When the day finally arrived I followed him to a tiny apartment tucked away in a village he was staying to show me his entire collection. I was in awe there were so many of different types, shapes, colours, combinations I was in crystal heaven making it extremely difficult to choose from. At that time I knew I was travelling and only with a backpack so I didn't have the space to choose many so I narrowed them down to 5, Peter could see the dilemma of how difficult it was for me to choose them all. He offered to give me a better price if I really want to purchase more and bring them back to my country. 

At that moment I thought to myself "What do I really have to lose? These are such beautiful creations and I'm sure people in Australia will feel just as drawn to them as I did myself when I saw them for the first time."

There were a few things going through my head at that point, one was trust. With a rocky start to India I had trust issues and people being truthful to their word, was this man giving me a good deal? My gut told me was after bonding with him over the time we spent together. Logistics was another, would these packages make it to Australia safely? Lastly I thought to myself am I really doing this? I have always been some what of a risk taker and opportunist in life and right there and then with some doubt the crystals there before me popped into my head and it was a done deal.




I decided there and then to choose some of my favourite crystals that would meet me on a date yet to be confirmed in Melbourne. The total amount of crystals came to a total of 28kg, It was a surreal moment to think that I had gone from 5 little travel crystals to spontaneously choosing 28kgs. I sat with Peter over some Chai and watch him carefully wrap the crystals one by one to all fit into 2 boxes. We travelled to the post office the next day to see them get sewn up in cloth, labelled and sent on their way to Mum and Dads house to Australia. I continued my journey from India to Egypt where I reunited with my partner Eva, during this time I had received a photo from my parents letting me know that the crystals had both arrived. This brought me a lot of joy as the trust and logistical side of my worries were alleviated and after a few months I returned back home to Melbourne after year of travel to see the same two boxed sent from India.
When I finally got a chance to open up the boxes I was so excited to see their beauty again as I had forgotten what most of them looked like. I named the company ZALAH {Zen + Dharamshala} because this was the place where the idea was born and I had such a magical time in there! This was the beginning of our partnership with Peter and we form a close bond together as we have changed his life and he has changed ours. The relationship has grown from a random seller on the street to apart of our daily life whether that would be a message to say hi or a video call to show us what new stock he has available for us. Since starting the business we have really found our identity and without Peter Zalah would never exist and are so happy that we can support Peter, his family and the communities of India.
Our biggest upcoming project for us is to go back to India in 2019 and shoot a documentary about Peter & The Journey of our Crystals to show our community what kind of impact were having on his life. We strongly believe that doing good in this world is crucially important and that's some of our strongest values. 
Jason Lim
Founder Of Zalah