Monday, August 26, 2013

Living by Giving: Lend a Helping Hand

I apologize for going a few days without a new post, I have been visiting Baltimore and spent most my time away from my computer. I am still in Baltimore, leaving in less than eight hours to return to Wilmington, but had a three hour long conversation with an old friend sparking my need to write this post before falling asleep.

Over the past year, I have done a great deal of self reflection and have come to find that I find myself most when I'm not paying attention to my needs, but rather helping others.  Whether that person is a stranger, a friend, or a family member, everyone needs help at one point or another.  

The smallest talk, smile, or gesture could be just what they needed.  I know for me, at times I get very caught up in the tiny bubble of a world I live in and forget the giant world that lies beyond it.  That giant world needs way more help than the 'problems' I face, but unless I get out there and put some work in, that's all just a nice thought. 

 "We make a living by what 
           we get, we make a life by 
           what we give."                                                          Winston Churchill

I have been beyond blessed and through helping others have realized not only just how fortunate I really am, but that I can use that to spread love and peace.  I would like go encourage everyone to go out and lend a hand, not just money, and help someone.  It can be anyone, we are all in need of a little support.


I believe small acts of kindness and selflessness should be shared, not to brag but to inspire, so I also encourage you to post below or to the outlet of your choice and see if we can't spread a little more love! I want to really live and I can't do it alone and neither can you!  Every chance to help is another chance to learn, to grow, and to find yourself. 

*If you are interested in volunteer opportunities in your area, feel free to reply below and I will help find organizations for you if possible! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Original: Quite a Woman!

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I think it's an appropriate time to introduce to you my mentor, the original Gem One, my mother, JoAnn Gill-Becker.  Back in the late 80's, JoAnn attended GIA in Santa Monica, California and completed the Graduate Gemologist program.  Upon her return to Baltimore, Maryland she began Gem One Jewelry Appraisal Service.  Over the past 25 years the company has grown, at times having eight Graduate Gemologist appraisers contracting out in over one hundred jewelry stores across the country.

JoAnn has always had a passion for the business, she states "I always loved jewelry, even as a child 7-8 years old, I wanted jewelry as gifts, I didn't want clothes or records."  This statement still holds true, (she even has jewelry on her wish list for her birthday coming up in September!)  "Appraising, I just knew [that was what direction I wanted to head into] once I received my degree', she adds.  Through her years, she has made quite the impression on her customers and colleagues, always known to be 'one of the best'.

I can say that the apple didn't even fall off the tree!  At five years old, I was already properly trained to use a loupe and would state "I want to be a baby gemologist when I grow up" when asked of my dreams.  In 2007, I was given the opportunity, thanks to my mother and grandfather, to travel to Southern California and study at GIA for my Graduate Gemologist degree.  Besides being the best eight months living in San Diego, it proved to solidify my love and passion for jewelry and gemstones!  Returning to Maryland, I was able to begin my appraisal training under JoAnn.  Four and a half years later, I am the trained G.G. that I am today.

My mother has always been my best friend, and I am very grateful that she would pass her other baby, Gem One, down to me, having faith in me and my reputation as an appraiser!  Yesterday, when I informed her i was now trading as Gem One, she replied "Well, I guess I am officially Gem Two..... OLD." Although I may have the name now, she will always be the original, I am just the copy! I am looking forward to trying to fill her big shoes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not Just in the Movies! Diamond Heist

There have been a few very notable diamond heists over the years, but most the time we only watch them on screen along side beaus like Brad Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio, and George Clooney to name a few. But here we have a real life jewel thief taking a shot at "the biggest jewel heist in history." 

Approximately ''$136 million in jewels [were] snatched from a Leviev exhibition in Cannes, France last week.'' According to National Jeweler's website the Lloyd's of London are offering up to 1.3 million dollars for information in regards to a heist.  

                Photos courtesy of National Jeweler. Millions offered for clues in Cannes heist.

Ironically, the hotel where the heist took place was the film location of Alfred Hitchcock's movie 'To Catch a Thief', a plot based around a jewelry heist. Sounds like someone is trying to live up to Cary Grant and let's face it, that's highly unlikely! 

Check out the full article here: Millions Offered for Clues in Cannes Heist

Dream Chasing: No better time than now

The thought of starting a new blog has crossed my mind quite a few times in the past few months, but I think its finally time to give it a-go.  I titled this post Dream Chasing to signify the beginning of a new endeavor that I began today.  I hope you enjoy!

I have lived in Wilmington, NC for about a year and have since officially made this home.  Life has treated me wonderfully and I currently hold a job that I enjoy and that pays my bills.  Still, I have noticed that something was missing, and that something is my passion.  My passion has always been jewelry ever since I was about five years old (my mother can attest to this). For almost five years I worked as a jewelry appraiser for my mother's company, Gem One, out of Baltimore, after I completed my Graduate Gemologist program through GIA.  When I moved to North Carolina last year, I realized there was not going to be very much opportunity to use my degree and find a job as a gemologist.  Still hopeful, I always kept the idea of returning to jewelry in my mind.  Over the past few weeks, a few phone conversations and online research sparked me to take charge on my dreams.

Last night, I had a great conversation with a woman I look up to who has started her own company and a new blog (you'll want to check her out:  Realizing that I am the only one that can go out a grab my dreams, I took the leap today and registered my business!  I am officially own a jewelry appraising business. I realize it is going to take a lot of hard work and time to grow the company, but nothing is worth more than fighting for your dreams.  

Every single one of us is faced with adversity in our lives, and I can say that over the past few years I have definitely faced my fair share, but truth is, it's apart of my story and I would not have it any other way.  As a great American Icon once said "Fear is stupid, so are regrets."  Ms. Monroe, I would have to say you were on point with this! If I would have let fear stand in my way, I would not be where I am today.  Go out, follow your dreams! Even if you don't succeed, you know you tried! You won't regret it, I promise.