So this is a blog, huh?

I gotta say, I’m having fun already.

What is Jewels of the Trade?

JOTT is my way of reaching out into the industry. You have probably seen the @jewels_of_the_trade instagram, and the mission is simple: Meet fellow gem lovers. Advocate jewelry and the retailers that love it. Learn as much as I possibly can.

This platform is an outlet for my jewelry photography, photos of my adventures in the industry, and promotion of my jewelry friends and their businesses.

I’ll admit, I’m starting this blog in the throes of the 2020 COVID-19 Crisis, but plans for this website have been a long time coming. I previously worked for a jewelry retailer and in addition to managing their website content, I wrote for the blog and absolutely loved it. Since moving on in my career, I’ve missed being able to express my jewelry obsession with the written word. I hope to write about gemology, the industry, and beautifully unique jewelry here.

From my personal collection. A 10ct color-shift Rhodolite Garnet set in 14k yellow gold with diamonds.
From my personal collection. A 10ct color-shift Rhodolite Garnet set in 14k yellow gold with diamonds.

Origin Story

I started working the day I turned 17. Attending half-days at school so I could work in the afternoon, I interned with a very successful graphic design agency during my senior year of high school. Upon graduating, I followed my mentor and former teacher on to his next business venture within the school district where he was promoted to Media Coordinator. Stationed in a new office building for three of the district’s departments, my responsibilities were to establish branding and marketing platforms for the district’s Communications office and design artwork for it’s representation to the community. I took advantage of this ground floor opportunity working as a graphic designer while I freelanced as a video editor and director. As a freelancer, my team produced exceptional promotional videos for a variety of clients including a department of the largest corporation in the world: Wal-Mart.

As a graphic designer without a niche, I was looking for direction. At the time, I just so happened to be obsessed with Tiffany & Co. The designs, the designers, the history, the branding. I would have aced every test on Elsa Peretti if such a thing existed. I realized I wanted to be a jewelry designer and started applying for jobs with retailers.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but I actually ended up working at an independent retailer who just so happened to need a CAD designer. I took to it quickly, originally working in Firestorm CAD and moving on to other systems later. 

It turns out I love more than just jewelry design.

Somehow I fell in love with diamonds and gemstones too and ultimately the jewelry industry as a whole.

7 years later I moved on to wholesale, which had been a goal of mine for a long time. And now, working for a wholesale manufacturing company, I’m working toward about 147 goals at once and I can’t imagine loving this industry any more than I do right now.

Why Should You Read This Blog?

This industry is beautifully complex. You have retailers, e-tailers, wholesalers, trade shops, large corporations, stone cutters, miners, the list never ends. You can work within the four walls of a retail store and never experience the magnitude of what’s going on “out there.” The gemstones in your shop traveled thousands upon thousands of miles through the hands of countless human beings to finally end up with your customer. Isn’t there something wildly insanely amazing about that? Whoever you are, if you’re a consumer or a salesperson or a CEO, don’t you find it unreal how these little magic nature nuggets impact the economies and ultimately lifestyles of people all around the world? Call me crazy, but, I think that should connect us. I think we’re a part of something important, and I want to meet all of the people who believe that too.

Read the blog, don’t read the blog. Follow me on Instagram, or don’t. That’s not really the point.

Talk to me. Tell me your origin story. Tell me something I don’t know.

One of my first microphotographs of a Cantera opal.
One of my first microphotographs of a Cantera opal.