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Meet Gemma Rose

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gemma Rose.

Gemma, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my business by accident. I was traveling through a little town in Colorado called Pagosa Springs with a friend and met some people who asked if we would like to volunteer with helping the Hopi Native Americans who were in town to perform a very much needed rain dance ceremony in the drought stricken area. We camped out with them and drove them around town and to and from the Kiva, which is where they performed their rain dance in full authentic Hopi costume.

At the campsite, we bonded through learning their dances, and the elders showed me how their creativity through jewelry making, basket weaving, etc. was an integral part of their daily life.

After our time together, I wandered into the local bead shop and felt a spark to string beads onto silk cord. Without zero experience and great excitement, I went to the nearby park overlooking the famous Pagosa Springs and began beading. I remember thinking that it was going to teach me patience; something I’m not great at.

Within 30 minutes of stringing, a group of teenagers stopped by and asked if they could buy a necklace from me. I thought it was a joke. I tried everything to dissuade them; telling them that I had no idea what I was doing… yet they persisted. So I told them to come back in an hour and would have their necklaces done. They returned and I made $75. It turned out that unbeknownst to me, there was an art fair happening just down the creek and they thought I was there as an artisan selling my crafts! My friend found me and upon hearing what had happened, went back to the store and bought me a whole beading kit!

A while later, a little girl, aged 5, walked up to me and started sharing her life story; how she was unhappy in her family and sometimes didn’t feel safe. I didn’t know what to do, so I told her that I would make her a magic bracelet so that she would feel safe. After that trip, I returned to school and started selling necklaces off my neck and taking holiday orders. I never thought it would become a business until years later.

I was at a crossroads in my life when things manifested quickly. I was visiting Los Angeles to complete a yoga teacher’s certification when a close friend noticed an ad placed by Henri Bendel that they were holding an open call for all designers at the Hotel in Westwood. Despite my lack of confidence, at her insistence, I went.

I remember waiting for 8hours and when my name was called walking into the room of sophisticated women in all black; a stark contrast to my messy yoga bun and blue hippy dress. Once I opened my hand made jewelry box and shared my designs, they all stopped talking and started firing questions.

After a few minutes, they said that I had been chosen as one of their designers. And I still get choked up when I remember what they said in response to my disbelief, “Welcome to your new career!” Shortly after that experience, things escalated quickly. I had my designs in Henri Bendel in NYC, celebrity stylists in LA were pulling my pieces for celebrity red carpet events and editorial, and high-end boutiques were carrying my pieces. It was exciting and yet I couldn’t help but feel unfulfilled and uncomfortable in that high fashion world as it reminded me of the modeling industry that I narrowly escaped from.

It wasn’t until I met a Native American Shaman at a retreat who told me that the reason I was making gemstone jewelry was because it was my purpose to channel healing energy into the stones; that the stones are my medium for healing. Once I learned that I cried a bucket of tears for I felt it was the clarity I needed.

I then decided that I would learn more about healing; which led me to many spiritual teachers of both the Native American tradition and Advaita traditions which is an aspect of Hinduism all the while learning as much as I could about the healing aspects of gemstones.

Even though it felt like taking a few steps backward, I took up a friend’s offer to create a make shift pop-up shop on his property (which is now GTA, next to the infamous Gjelina) to sell my jewelry. This was way before it became trendy to do so so when I say I was putting myself out there, I’m not joking! I ended up selling like $1000 in a few hours which was great and yet what really struck me was how wonderful it was to meet my customers and hear their stories; guiding them to the stones that would help them on their healing path.

That same day, the manager of a new gallery down street invited me to have a pop-up shop at their entrance on the weekends and that’s what I did for three years. This helped me to build a loyal following with customers that are still with me today!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In the beginning, I would joke that I was “riding the big kahuna!” Starting your own business is not for the faint of heart. It requires walking that line of faith and trusting yourself.

The first three years, I tutored children in reading and math as I had majored in Primary/Elementary education and had two years of teaching experience. This really helped me with having some stability as I got my business off the ground.

After I got so busy with orders, I had to sadly quit the tutoring job. Even though I was bringing in consistent sales, there were times that I didn’t know how I was going to pay the rent or even have gas money! My spiritual practice definitely came in handy when I would lose faith. I also had to learn the hard way (and am still learning) how to manage my finances and run a business in addition to being a healing artisan. Once I started empowering myself in that way; my confidence grew.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m a healing artisan specializing in upscale healing gemstone jewelry for the spiritual seeker. I specialize in channeling healing energy into each piece that I make and for working with my spirit guides to help guide others to what stones may help them on their healing path.

My pieces are known for their rare and high-quality gemstones and unique, one of a kind designs…

I’m most proud of when I hear my customers tell me that they not only love the designs I create but most importantly cherish how my pieces make them feel and how they have helped them heal.

I think what sets me apart from other designers besides how making jewelry is a part of my spiritual practice, is that I genuinely LOVE my customers and have built relationships with them over the years that I cherish. It’s this highly personal relationship between me and my customers that brings me the most happiness.

What were you like growing up?
I was a TOTAL tomboy! All I cared about was riding my horse Lady, mostly bareback in the hills of Northern California, goofing off with my best friend Heather by creating comedy skits from Saturday Night Live, devouring books and writing countless journals, short stories and poetry.

Pricing:

  • My pieces range from $125- $750 for our 14k Gold Filled hand made line and $900 and up for our Solid 14k Fine Jewelry line

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Ocean, Gemma Rose

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