Homegrown Business: Adam Kelliher, Jeweler and Owner of Rubble Rock and Gem Ltd.

Located in Vancouver, Rubble Rock and Gem Ltd. offer an extensive selection of stone types; including minerals, fossils, and gemstones. In fact, it is one of the largest rock stores in all of Canada. Additionally, they also carry a wide selection of unique jewellery as well as rockhounding tools. We spoke with Adam Kelliher, Gem Cutter, Jeweller, Founder and Owner of Rubble Rock and Gem Ltd.

Rubble Rock and Gem

What is your business called and what does it do?

Locally, Rubble Rock and Gem is best known for its Retail Storefront in South Vancouver, where we sell crystals and fossils out of a 3500sq ft showroom (the largest in BC). Within the store and on our website, we also sell rockhounding tools, rough stones for lapidaries, jewelry, and loose stones for jewellers.

Globally, we offer cutting services to various miners and rockhounds, prepping their stones for the jewelry industry.

What made you want to do this work?

It was more of a calling than anything. I started cutting stones as a hobby and soon after became a jeweller. I got very good at this and ended up overseas mass producing and acquiring factories. Next, I ended up with a warehouse in Vancouver and I casually decided to make a rock shop in it. Ironically, I never even wanted a storefront, and yet here I am with the biggest in BC. I love rock… and went through all the stages of falling in love with them from a pastime,
passion, obsession, addiction, livelihood, my all, to the point where It now consumes me as my calling.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

I never had or saw an issue I wanted to solve with this endeavour. The establishment and growth of my company come from my love of stones and want to share that with people. Locally there are tens of thousands of people that enjoy the hobby of collecting minerals, crystals and fossils. My storefront brings niche crystals, rare mineral specimens, large home decor pieces and even meteorites and dinosaurs to Vancouver for everyone to enjoy. My storefront broke a precipice by having unique rock and allowed people to delve more deeply into the hobby of

Who are your clientele/demographics?

The cool thing about rocks is that they appeal to anyone. It doesn’t matter what age you are… what race, religion, gender or any of that. There’s no pop culture to it. It’s art made by mother nature and everyone can relate to Earth and nature.

However… our analytics tell us females between the age of 20 and 40 years old are most interested in our products.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We are open 7 days a week, 11 am to 6 pm. Customers, whether retail or wholesale can come in and pick items they’d like to purchase. We also host Live sales on Instagram about once a month on Thursday nights, where you can tune in from your own home and shop from the couch.

Where in Vancouver can we find your profession?

We are located at 250 SW Marine Dr., Vancouver, BC, V5X 2R5.

We have our own parking for customers and are only a block away from the Marine Dr. Canada Line station.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Do you have “such and such” stone?

The answer is pretty much always yes. We have the largest selection in BC by far and carry all the rare and unique stones, as well as common ones.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part about what I do is that I get to travel the world on “shopping trips” for my store. I meet people all over that are just as invested in the trade as I am, and my mentors and aspirations have become global and grown beyond local.

The worst part about what I do is not the admin work and employee management, it’s actually the toll running this business takes on me. As an entrepreneur, I work every day, often 80 hours a week. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and am a workaholic with a lot to show for it. Yet, for almost a decade now, it has required sacrifices that I feel many of my peers will never understand. Many people assume I am “lucky” because they can not relate to the broken bones, overseas hospitalizations, sacrificed relationships, and all-around discipline it took me to get here. I, therefore, feel despondency because I created inaccessibility from my peers. That may be the worst part about finding passion and success… is that not everyone else does.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

That “I don’t know anything”. I can identify any rock you put in front of me… not only telling you its name by sight, but also its country of origin, mineral family, and usually its chemical composition just by looking at it. I’ve mined at over 200 mines, cut and polished a thousand stones with my own hands, etc. And yet, whenever a customer asks me about healing properties, birthstones or chakras (of which I know nothing about) they always assume I am dimwitted when it comes to rocks because I have to direct them to my employees for those kinds of questions and answers.

What are your social media channels?

Website | Instagram

For educational videos and mining tours, you can visit our YouTube channel.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Vancouver business that you love?

Grub on Main street, Mila restaurant downtown.