Where do I begin with Nitu Patel? We’ve known each other for a mere matter of weeks, but it truly feels like so much longer than that. She is a special person, and has a special story that I’m excited and honored to have a platform to share.
As the founder of Phoenix and Rose Feng Shui, Nitu is a feng shui consultant based in Brooklyn, NY. She has lived many lives in many places, from selling real estate in Washington DC to working in fashion in NYC, but the touchstone that she always came back to was the home. After a serendipitous connection with a reiki healer in 2016, she made the leap to beginning her own feng shui business, and both her passion and intuitive understanding of the subject are immediately evident to anyone who encounters her (even over Zoom!).
We sat down (virtually) to talk about everything from what exactly feng shui means to how we can apply its basic practices in our own homes, but also about our own entrepreneurial and self-healing journeys. It’s often easy to forget that nothing exists in silo – all of the elements of our lives are simultaneously and ceaselessly connected. Getting to know Nitu has been a quietly beautiful reminder of that. I hope you get as much out of our conversation, and her energy and presence, I have and continue to.
- You started an incredible feng shui business, Phoenix and Rose, and I feel as though many of us don’t really understand what feng shui is (I know that my own knowledge was rudimentary at best until recently). What’s your take on what feng shui is, what it means, and why it’s important?
Feng shui is the ancient art of placement. That is probably the most simple definition for what I do in people’s homes. I move their existing items around for better flow and balance so the home functions in a beautiful and seamless way.
After spending the last 4 years in clients’ homes, my interpretation of feng shui goes a bit deeper. I view feng shui as a means of loving what you already have and making it work better for you.
At the end of the day, I am a problem solver for any and every frustration that exists in the home. When we tackle these issues in our immediate environment, it causes a ripple effect and begins to positively impact our careers, our love lives, and our overall well-being. The home is a delicate ecosystem and when it’s balanced, the other areas of our lives experience the same effects.
- How did you discover feng shui, and why and how did you decide to learn it, become an expert in it, and make it your life’s work?
Feng shui is a gift that I didn’t realize I possess. It started to come to fruition in my mid-twenties when I was selling real estate in Washington, DC. I was constantly helping clients, friends, and family members set up their homes and rearrange their furniture. At the time, I had no clue that I was practicing intuitive feng shui!
My life took a major turn in February 2016 when I decided to visit a reiki healer in Manhattan. She told me that I was a natural healer and that I could use feng shui to heal people through their homes. After our session, I was actually changed forever. I began to see clients professionally, build my business, and started to make my emotional and mental health my number one priority. The reiki session marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
- We’ve all been stuck in our homes more than ever as of late, which makes creating a safe and clear space there truly pivotal. Do you have any simple tips that we can bring into our own homes today that align with your practices?
The most valuable feng shui tip I can offer is to clean the four corners of every room. That’s where the energy concentrates and it’s the fastest way to clear negative energy from your home. Once the corners are clean, you can wipe them down with essential oils. Add plants or fresh flowers to attract money, love or new opportunities.
My other tip would be to examine all of your artwork and make sure that it aligns with your personal and professional goals. Avoid images of winter (which represents death) or lonely images of one if you are trying to meet more people or find love.
- I know that you recently moved apartments yourself. How did you approach this move, and find the best possible space for you? How do you apply your feng shui practices to your new space?
This move happened in the blink of an eye, truly. I looked at three apartments and picked the last one I saw because it had a unique layout and space in which to grow.
Even though I currently live alone, I ALWAYS make sure my home can accommodate friends and family with ease. When I’m arranging furniture I place items to make the home extremely conducive to entertaining and create activity zones so multiple people could comfortably hang out in a small area.
In my bedroom, I make sure to have two nightstands, extra hanging space in the closet, and romantic images on the wall so there is room for a potential partner to enter my life. In feng shui, “living as if” is the secret to success!
- How has your business evolved during the pandemic these past few months? What has been the biggest surprise for you?
This pandemic really taught me how to pivot my business and start working with clients virtually. I did not think my gift would work without me physically being in the home but I proved myself wrong. I had one of my best consultations using FaceTime and was shocked at how quickly the home transformed!
I also began creating a lot of content for my Instagram account and pitching HARO for press opportunities. During our three month quarantine period, I was featured in The Spruce and Apartment Therapy – two online publications I have been reading for the last few years!
And last but not least, I started doing virtual feng shui presentations to educate interested parties about how they could use simple tips and tricks to boost the energy of their homes. I love sharing the information that I’ve learned over the past four years and felt like it was my duty to keep spreading the feng shui love.
- How has starting a business and being an entrepreneur shaped your life, not only in the work dimension, but emotionally and spiritually?
Entrepreneurship has made me more resilient than I could have ever imagined. I’ve really learned to become a researcher and problem solver. Also, owning a business has taught me to never do things out of desperation or be persuaded to do things that don’t align with my core values.
Working with all different types of clients has helped me become more assertive while still remaining compassionate and kind. I’m so lucky and grateful to be doing what I love every single day. Feng shui feeds my soul like none other; it is my destiny and my calling.
- Something that you and I have spoken at length about is alcohol. You don’t drink, and I drink mindfully, and I’ve found these conversations around alcohol to be so incredibly valuable for a lot of women out there. I would love to hear you share a bit more about this personal journey for you.
About one year after my reiki healing that I spoke about earlier, I decided to stop drinking alcohol and put myself into recovery. I was a typical “functioning alcoholic” and drank socially on weekends and evenings with friends. I believe the reiki healing shifted something inside of me and I no longer wanted to harm myself with toxic things or toxic people. It hasn’t been easy. I spent months feeling isolated, depressed, having obsessive thoughts; I often felt like a dark cloud followed me around during the first 24 months of my sobriety. Focusing on building my feng shui business is honestly what got me through the first couple of years.
Healing from addiction and learning to care for my emotional health has been one of the most difficult and transformative aspects of my life thus far. My sobriety was the first step in building a successful business and creating the foundation for a healthy and happy life. I now have a deeper sense of who I am and how to live my life more authentically.