I’m Sarah, owner of theGemShop.ca, an online gem and jewellery boutique. I have been a Jeweller since 1963, when my soon-to-be husband opened our first shop in San Francisco, California and I joined him in his venture. Geary Jewelers was a small store in the Alexandria Theatre on Geary Street. We moved into and remodeled the theater’s ticket booth, after they moved it to their main doors. In 1970, we moved our family to London, Ontario in Canada. As the city expanded and evolved, I moved our store to various locations. My customers followed me from one location to the next. In 2001, I opened a store in Wiarton, Ontario, where we purchased the building. Our store in Wiarton was one of the loveliest stores I had built. While moving a store is a hassle and can be expensive, we benefited by meeting new customers in different parts of the city and the province.
One of my favourite memories during these years occurred while I was browsing at a shopping mall. I was approached by one of my clients, an older couple accompanied by their son and daughter-in-law. I had sold all four of them their engagement and wedding rings – I sold to the parents before their son was born, and then later, to their son and future daughter-in-law. That moment exemplified the reputation I had earned as a trusted family jeweller. Satisfied customers are my greatest reward. When a customer is happy, they come back for future purchases, and they bring their friends and family to be my clients.
Satisfied customers are my greatest reward. When a customer is happy, they come back for future purchases, and they bring their friends and family to be my clients.
In February 2013, I closed my store, sold the building, and took a break to travel. The freedom to travel enabled me to expand my network of suppliers and source unique jewellery. In the summer of 2020, I opened my online jewellery boutique, TheGemShop.ca. The online store gives me the flexibility to travel and discover unique gems and jewellery for my boutique. I enjoy attending jewellery shows and meeting creative and talented jewellers, designers, gemstone sellers, goldsmiths, and other colleagues and experts in the industry.
During my fifty years in the jewellery business, one of my greatest challenges was finding expert craftspeople who were masters of their trade, as well as knowledgeable and honest suppliers and manufacturers. To recognize quality of craftsmanship, and appreciate the gems and jewellery offered, I had to learn every aspect of fine jewellery. After the price of gold rose, silver gained popularity and synthetic stones flooded the market, which compromised the consumer’s desire for natural gems. At TheGemShop.ca, I hope to reignite the jewellery consumer’s desire for natural gemstones. Wearing an authentic gem reminds me that life is fleeting and we must remember to pause our busy lives and enjoy it. Our immortality is captured by the precious jewels of an heirloom, a work of art that preserves our stories for future generations. Natural gems also teach us that what brings us beauty and healing requires our gratitude, as loving caretakers of the generous earth that shares its bounty.