We are passionate about crystals and unique products to our customers. We have a popular shop situated next to Colchester Castle which has been trading for over 20 years. It was transformed into Rocks & Rubies in 2016. In 2020 we decided to develop our online information resources and business to bring the same expertise and care we provide in our shop to the rest of the world.
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Interview with Rob Johnson, founder of Rocks and Rubies.
Q: How did you start Rocks and Rubies?
A: I was always passionate about crystals and wellness and had the good fortune to start working in, and help managing our shop from 2014, then by a stroke of luck, I was unexpectedly given the opportunity to take over the business and the shop 2 years later, and eventually took it over fully in 2016. Since then, I have worked tirelessly to build up and really get to know our customers and client base, build positive relationships with suppliers, ensure that the shop is always fully stocked, and create an informative website and fun Facebook live videos to be proud of.
Q: What are your favourite products?
A: My favourite products are the natural raw, interesting crystals which come directly from the Earth. I am constantly entranced by the vast array of crystals that I am lucky enough to be constantly in touch with, especially rare and hard-to-find specimens. But if you’re talking about man-made products, then I am very keen on the cool Steampunk figurines, and the PyroPet candles which are amazing candles in the shape of cats, owls or rabbits that hide a secret metal skeleton inside.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: Meeting our customers, who are always very interesting, fun and quirky. I also really enjoy advising our customers on the meaning and uses of crystals, and taking the time to source unusual products for them. For example, we recently located some huge amethyst geodes from Brazil for customers at great prices, and hope to expand this area of the business in the future.
Q: What makes you stand out from the crowd?
A: We pride ourselves on our high customer service standards, as our aim is to always provide a tailored, personal service for every customer who comes into the shop. We like to understand what our customers are looking for, as well as having an eye on the latest trends. Attention to detail is important to us, and it gives us great satisfaction to see happy clientele that keep coming back to the shop and website.
Q: What does the future hold?
A: We are very excited about the future of Rocks & Rubies. From building a great website for online sales to holding regular workshops, tarot readings and other activities. We are working hard to ensure that the shop makes the most of its beautiful location and fantastic energies which draw people in, and the shop provides not just a shopping experience but a holistic one too. We really wanted to make the website full of useful information and have a unique boutique feel with beautiful photographs and an attention to detail that shows our love for the subject over and above other online shops.
Q: Describe yourself in three words:
A: Knowledgeable, friendly and passionate!
Q: Tell us a little about the store?
A: Rocks & Rubies is named after my daughter Ruby who is 14 years old. I liked the R&R moniker (as my name is Rob), it relates to the products the shop sells, and it lends itself well to a memorable logo. It’s situated in a magical location on Museum Street, next to Colchester Castle, and attracts a wide variety of people, from locals who pop in on a regular basis to buy incense to tourists who are looking for a special souvenir to take home.
The shop has operated this type of business for over 20 years, so has been part of the Colchester retail trade and has occupied a special place in many people’s hearts for a long time. The shop is open 7 days a week, and we operate the business with dedicated help from the Rocks & Rubies team.
We are a licensed distributor of Nemesis Now products which include fantasy figurines designed by Ann Stokes, Lisa Parker and Jasmine Becket-Griffith, as well as other well-known artists. We also sell unusual New Age and alternative gifts, dream catchers, salt lamps, art canvases, essential oils, incense and incense holders and backflow burners, Pagan products, tarot cards, jewellery, and a broad selection of crystals, stones, minerals and fossils, as well as anything we think is quirky and worthy enough to be part of the store.
We pride ourselves in being able to obtain items at a customer’s request at a very competitive price, and customers can order online and on our fun Facebook live videos. We also provide a loyalty card scheme and gift vouchers to spend in store.