Crystal at Work

As Creative Director, Crystal is at once focused and energetic, intuitive and rational. Whether she’s designing a web interface, composing a print piece, or leading a photo shoot, she’s creative and highly organized. If you don’t work with Crystal, these traits will seem mutually exclusive (or at least highly unpairable). If you do work with her, you’ll be so motivated that you’ll forget about what’s not possible.

Balancing strategy and execution, instinct and research, medium and message, head and heart, Crystal is more than a valued team member—she’s a cornerstone at MarketPlace.


Crystal’s background is as rich as her creative direction, spanning the health food industry, sales, finance, product development, design, and emerging technologies. Her parents have always owned health foods stores, so she was immersed in the health and wellness culture before she could talk. With degrees in business and graphic design, Crystal brings together business sense, creativity, and deep experience in the industry. She’s also a professional dog photographer. MarketPlace is lucky to have found her. Our partners are grateful that we did.

Crystal at Home

Crystal has five dogs, and once upon a time traveled regularly with them for performance and conformation competitions. Her daughter and son have slowed down the travel, but she still finds time to pursue other passions: hiking, gardening, CrossFit, and adventuring around St. Louis with some combination of dogs and kids in tow.

cheese plate!


When I was a child, my mother would always create a “surprise food plate” upon request. As a vegetarian family, it was typically a smattering of items including nuts, seeds, dried fruit, rice cakes with apple butter, and soy cheese, among other items.

Though I’m no longer a vegetarian, I’ve been returning to that early love of food plates, lately obsessing over charcuterie and cheese plates, which I enjoy not only for the flavor combinations but also for bringing my friends together (there’s no better reason for a social event than a gorgeous food plate).

I’ve been thinking about my signature plate, and I decided on dried figs and dates, fresh strawberries, raw cashews, creamy brie, raw sharp cheddar, and prosciutto.

Memorable Meal

After thinking about eating meat for years for the various health benefits, she decided, after 25 years of strict vegetarianism, to venture to the other side. “Being a vegetarian was a very strong part of my identity, so I had to take a deep breath and just go for it. I remember a slight metallic taste. I cried after the first bite. Cried more after the second and third, but the tears have dried, and five years later, steak and Brussels sprouts is my favorite combination.”

People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.

- Paola Antonelli