How long have you been in business?
We officially started trading in the UK in 2006 but Mike had previously been trading and collecting Ammolite in Canada for over 15 years before this. Tilly has been involved with crystals for over 50 years and specifically Crystal Healing for the last 10 years.
Do you have a company by-line?
Specialists in Canadian Ammolite and Organic Gemstones.
What brought you into the business?
Having a strong sense of the energetics, a passion for crystals and their healing properties. My Blackfoot Indian friends introducing me to Ammolite and spending time on the Reservation in Canada digging, sourcing, collecting Ammolite and building up a fairly large collection of Ammolite raw material
Have you noticed many changes over the years?
There appears to be a growth in interest in the energetics of crystals. People are becoming more selective on what they are interested in and how they spend their money.
What stands out as the best part of running your business?
Meeting new and interesting people who are enthusiastic about crystals and gemstones. Talking to new people who like and appreciate what we have but are unfamiliar with some of our stock. Searching out new organic product lines especially if travelling abroad is involved!
What’s the worst?
Spending many, many, hours and days working on and improving the website and not getting any orders! Undertaking stock control which takes soooooo long and, no matter how careful we are, there are always mistakes and we have to start again! Waiting for important deliveries of crystals that should have arrived yesterday, that we desperately need for a show tomorrow and the postman has already been!
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Not really. We have always enjoyed what we do and will only stop if that enjoyment and excitement disappears. Part of our growth is the experience we have gained from doing it, making mistakes, trying new things, continually
What do you hope to achieve in the next 10 years?
Be well established with a great selection of organic gems and regular customers.
Do you have a memorable funny (business) story?
Driving across British Columbia in a serious snow storm with Tilly (fearfully and reluctantly) having to drive a rented car behind whilst I drove a rented truck in front loaded with Ammolite.
What are your favourite crystals?
Ammolites and Amber
What do you look for in a customer?
Sincere interest and appreciation of what we have.
How do you source your stock?
Through our personal contacts and associations around the world which we have built up over many years. We always aim to deal direct with the ‘finder’ of the crystals, mine owner, digger, who have the most knowledge and understanding of their product.
What preparation do you do for a show?
Make doubly sure we have everything for the actual stand – even in the best routines things can so easily be forgotten and desperately needed later. Check everything is priced and coded correctly, items are polished & sparkling. Anything to make the setting up of the stand as easy and stress free as possible. We like our stand to be ‘different’ and spend a great deal of time experimenting with and creating new ideas to make it appealing, attractive, inviting and exciting for the customer.
As an experienced exhibitor what advice would you want to share with others?
Choose your product carefully, make sure your stand is attractive and inviting, engage your potential customers, be creative, be enthusiastic and stay positive especially if sales are down, evaluate and re-evaluate what you are doing and most importantly of all – don’t sit behind your stand reading a newspaper or book!
Further information about Ammon Uk's Organic Gems and to see their online shop with stunning ammolites, amber and other organic gems visit www.organicgems.co.uk