We’re going behind the scenes today with Kim of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems!
Kim Collins is a fantastic person to know, especially if you appreciate gorgeous colored gems. She’s also just a delightful human, as anyone who has met her can confirm.
Let’s let Kim introduce herself in her own words:
I am a picky buyer…I cherry pick. I am not a dealer that buys lots and parcels, I purchase each of my gems one by one. […] I buy my stones with passion, I ooooh and ahhhh as I am buying. If they move me, I know I will be able to move them.
The only problem with buying like this IS I do fall in love…I have my favorites, and as exciting as it is to see someone else appreciate and love the gem I selected, sometimes I am sad to let them go.”
I’ve spent hours playing in the Kimberly Collins Colored Gems cases over the years and you can believe me when I say that Kim’s passion for individual stones translates direction into a stellar inventory. Her combination of knowledge, experience, and unadulterated passion gives her an exceptional eye.
Kim says she’s seen a surge in certain shades in particular:
The fancy sapphire market has literally blown up in the past 5 years with so much demand for colored gemstones, sapphires in particular, for bridal. The colors I describe as icy pastels, light blushy pinks and peaches, baby blues, minty greens, light purples, light sparkly yellows, all seem to be popular. Classic blue sapphires are always in style, and always will be. Big colorful gems are also hot…the tourmalines, Tanzanite, lots of interest in aquamarine.”
Kim always has extraordinary sapphires on deck because they’re one of her personal favorites, as is spinel. As for my vote? I own a Kimberly Collins tourmaline.
Kim didn’t originally intend a career in gemstones, but they called to her. When she had the chance to go to Nairobi and learn about the gem business, she hopped on a plane and never looked back.
As a woman in her 20’s launching a business in the late 90’s, Kim faced skepticism and condescension at every turn. Kim pushed through, flying around the world – Sri Lanka, Brazil, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania – building her business as she built her family, marrying and having two children.
A 2007 divorce necessitated restructuring and relaunching of the business. It could have been a low point, but Kim pushed through and emerged stronger than before and bearing its current name.
I had been in the business for 12 years already, but creating a new name, and at the time a newly single mom of a 3 and 7 year old, it was SO tough…oh, and it was the beginning of the recession!
That first year of business back on my own, I did better (sold more) than I had the previous 3 years with a partner. It was because of the amazing support from clients, suppliers and so many of my friends in the American Gem Trade Association. […] I am forever grateful. It is one of the highlights of my career this far.”
Kimberly Collins Gems has been a member of the American Gemstone Trade Association (AGTA) for years, while Kim herself recently became an AGTA board member.
I am passionate about the world of color…and want to do whatever I can to push our message out about how beautiful, rare, unique, exotic it is to buy REAL natural gemstones, especially from an AGTA member, because that ensures piece of mind. [The AGTA’s] ethics and standards in the gem and jewelry industry are the most stringent of any organization worldwide. I am so proud to be a member.“
It’s easy to love AGTA just because they give me the chance to see some of the world’s best colored gemstones all in one place, but the code of ethics and standards they ask their members to adhere to is even more significant.
Modern gem lovers are more informed and socially conscious than ever, and it’s great to know that going to an AGTA member like Kimberly Collins Colored Gems means that the stones have been sourced according to the trade association’s guidelines.
Kimberly Collins Colored Gems specializes in loose colored gems, but Kim’s finished jewelry line is too good to overlook. Lots of simple, glorious stackable designs with brightly colored gems in minimalist settings, frequently bezels.
I already have a ring from Kimberly Collins Fine Gems jewelry in my personal collection, but Kim was kind enough to let me borrow some more pieces for a photo shoot.
I put on as many as possible and went frolicking around a garden. Colored gems + colorful flowers just seemed so appropriate. Expect to see much more of this garden shoot on Instagram!
I asked Kim to share her number one piece of advice for anyone considering their first major colored gem purchase. Here’s what she said:
For someone making their first major gem purchase I would always suggest going for quality over size. And remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You need to buy what moves you; what you are passionate about. Buy the gem that speaks to you.”
If you’re going to the AGTA GemFair Last Vegas next month (highly recommended), go visit Kimberly Collins Colored Gems and tell Kim I say hello!! She and her treasures will be at Booth #211.
You can also follow her on Instagram to keep up with her gorgeously colorful life.
This sponsored post is brought to you by Kimberly Collins Colored Gems. Garden photos by me, others c/o Kimberly Collins Colored Gems.