Living a Balanced Life: An Intimate Talk with Courtney Abbiati, Founder of The Urban + The Mystic
The Nopo Ambassador, Courtney Abbiati, talks us through her entrepreneurial journey sharing her tips to a more balanced, connected, and aware life
Written by: Arianna Meschia for The Nopo
Meet The Nomad Collective, The Nopo's community of Ambassadors: endlessly creative and curious individuals who are making a positive impact in the world, working every day to shape the reality of their everyday life for the better. Our Ambassadors are supporting The Nopo in our mission to democratize e-commerce and allow artistic excellence to become truly borderless. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be introducing them and their Curated Collections, continuing this week with Courtney Abbiati.
Maya Angelou said that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Speaking to The Nopo’s newest Ambassador Courtney Abbiati, I can’t but fully agree with Angelou’s quote.
Courtney is one of those amazing people who might as well have lived a thousand lives: actor, writer, artist, reiki practitioner, crystals expert, and now entrepreneur, Courtney is a force of nature that inspires, energizes, and leaves you filled with a renewed positivity and hope in the very future of humankind.
Originally from New Jersey, Courtney retained the no-nonsense, go-getter attitude so typical in her family and community, but soon felt that the fairly traditional environment she had grown up in wasn’t all there was to see in life. Thanks to studying meditation as part of her school curriculum, she began to develop an interest in other holistic practices from yoga to reiki via crystals and healing.
“I was around crystals a lot while studying meditation or practicing yoga, and they truly started speaking to me. I became obsessed with each stone, finding out their properties, usages, and the science behind why they were making me feel so good.”
Parallel to this and after her BA in Fine Arts, she developed her career as a writer and actor, which led to her one-woman show touring off-Broadway for a while. While connecting to an audience through storytelling was what Courtney loved best, she didn’t quite manage to develop the natural confidence she saw in other creatives. “I could never walk into a room and tell someone I was the best writer for a script. I struggled with self-promotion because I myself was the product, I wasn’t creating something outside of me that would benefit others.”
Things changed when Courtney started playing with the idea of building her own business and realized there was a gap in the market for meaningful gifts that would help people grow more connected to their nature and true self. In our increasingly faster, more digital 21st-century world, and especially in an urban context, it is so easy to get swept off your feet by the whirlwind of people, work, events, and social media updates that tend to form most of our lives. Knowing well the value of the individual moment and of pausing to listen to yourself, Courtney started developing a line of unique, mindful gift boxes filled with crystals, scents, and candles for every occasion, beautifully packaged and Instagram-ready for the modern urbanite trying to slow down, live a more balanced life and create moments to unplug from the world and into oneself. The Urban + The Mystic was born.
“The Mystic in you is the artist, the part of your soul that yearns to create and reinvent itself. The Urban is how you translate this yearning into your 21st-century life with family, social media, and demanding jobs. With U+M we help people to understand these two aspects are not mutually exclusive, rather they are essential components to living a balanced, empowered, and awoke life. You don’t need to choose between them, the active negotiation of this duality inside us is what keeps us alive.”
After developing her range of products for a year, Courtney got together with fellow entrepreneur and friend Sydney Holland, who immediately took to the idea and became an integral part of The Urban + The Mystic. Fast forward another two years, and the two have built a truly amazing business that has resonated with a much wider audience than imagined, especially over the last year.
“My initial target was basically my family and community at large. I’m a proud Jersey girl, but we’re not exactly the most crystal-loving, meditative people, so I thought that building a line of products that spoke to the people I grew up with could really make a positive impact.”
A beautiful proof of this came when, while watching a live interview on TV, Courtney realized that both the interviewer and the interviewee, complete strangers to her, were customers of The Urban + The Mystic. “I understood then that everyone can be a crystals person actually, because you don’t actively choose the crystals, rather specific stones will speak to your soul and energy for specific reasons, effectively choosing you instead.”
For the last few years, Courtney seems to have been going a million miles an hour and I can’t help but wonder how she negotiates the very pull she is helping other people navigate, that between our rushed lives and spiritual selves.
“It’s all about the routine. I am a free spirit and live my life completely heart-led, always being present in the current moment but already thinking and imagining a million other things. It’s paramount that I keep my daily routine to stay focused and grounded.”
After a short meditation in bed, Courtney gets up and sets the mood for the day, by lighting some incense or palo santo to carry her thoughts and wishes with her. Once the cats are fed and coffee is brewed, it’s time to get to work for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, she uses a warm bath as the evening meditation, to release physically, energetically, and mentally and get ready for a good night’s sleep. “Meditating twice a day is super important, at the beginning to set your intention for the day, at the end to take a moment to metabolize everything that went on during the day and release whatever is left.”
Photos: Annie Shak & Molly Velte
While that sounds like a big commitment, Courtney’s advice for anyone who is becoming interested in the world of holistic healing is to just start with short meditations, sitting with yourself for five or ten minutes, and embrace the fact that you will have thoughts and that doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong.
She also encourages novices to go at it with an open mind and leave any preconceptions outside the door. “We trust a watch on our wrist telling the right time, even though we don’t fully understand how the mechanism inside works. Similarly, if holding a piece of amethyst makes you feel more connected to your intuition and helps you make better decisions, why not trust that? If you want to look into the science of it, you can do so later, but in the first instance, go with your gut and trust how you feel.“
An entrepreneur and artist at heart, Courtney is a fan of any endeavor that highlights entrepreneurship in general and female entrepreneurs especially and was an enthusiastic follower of The Nopo before becoming one of our amazing Ambassadors.
She has curated a beautiful collection that perfectly summarises The Urban + The Mystic in all of us, featuring anything from soft blankets and wall decor to turn your room into a sanctuary for your soul, to practical belt bags and copper boxes to stay organized during a workday. Shop her Curated Collection, available from today for a limited time only!