Starting out at a young age, I would collect minerals from the local rock quarry after they would blast for gravel. Mostly I would pull out quartz veins and think they were absolutely stunning specimens. My father traveled the world for work, and would bring back minerals as gifts. Seeing the Aragonites from Morocco, and the Calcites from Russia inspired me to start collecting more and more. I never dreamed that 18 years later I would be collecting and selling minerals of such great beauty.
When I was fifteen years old. I met a gentlemen that introduced me to the world of faceted gemstones. I was lucky enough to work closely with him and learn grades, cuts, values, etc. I would help him in his booth at shows, and he would pay me in cut stones. In addition to everything I was learning from him, I built up a collection and started trading faceted gemstones to collectors and dealers. I was always excited and eager to learn, and anyone that would give me chance to speak with them, I took it.
Three years later, I moved to Denver, Colorado the same week the Denver Gem and Mineral show was being held. As I browsed through the booths and spoke with dealers, I was welcomed into a booth owned by a Moroccan mineral dealer. We held a great conversation about our passion for the industry and for the minerals we shared interest in. I told him about my travels and journeys through collecting minerals and the love I had for my collection. I ended up trading my wrist watch for his entire booth and my selling began.
As the birth of my daughter approached towards the end of 2015, I determined a partner would be an imperative factor for my business to continue success. I needed someone to share the traveling schedule, and day to day demands of the industry. With the birth of my daughter, I brought on my good friend and fellow car enthusiast Nathan Przybysz.
Nathan remembers being very interested in receiving one of those “beginner’s rock collections” as a gift when he was in elementary school. Unfortunately, he did not have the same early opportunities and exposure to the rest of what rocks and minerals have to offer that I did. However, when car club members would come by my house after meets and continue discussing cars, Nathan would walk from display to display asking questions about what things were, and how or why they would form certain ways. Seeing this interest and knowing his background started the conversations that would lead to our partnership.
Nathan has been in sales and service since he started his first job at age 13. He ran a business with his father for about four years working hand and hand with interior designers and decorators. I recognized the benefits he had to offer and the benefits he could bring to the industry. The two of us formed Naked Matrix Minerals just in time to make the trip to Tucson. On Sunday, January 24th we had to dig out the foot of snow and ice that back to back winter storms had left in the days prior just to get the van loaded. After several hours of digging and loading, we left Williamsburg, VA around 3pm. 39 hours later, we arrived in Tucson having slept only a few hours at a rest stop. Nathan’s exposure to the mineral industry then continued with emptying a gutted 15 passenger van worth of flats into our second floor room at the Inn Suites. Despite these less pleasant realities of mineral shows being compounded with the slowest year I’ve ever seen in Tucson, Nathan never lost his desire to be a part of this industry. He often describes specimens as “natural art” and hopes to bring this art form into more homes, and making more people aware that these stunning, unique pieces exist and are available.
Though I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in this industry and lost my way a few times, I never gave up on my passion. I’ve met a lot of very unique people and I’ve gained many friendships that I still hold dear to my heart. We are both looking forward to continuing these friendships, meeting new people, and doing our best to benefit the mineral community. Thank you for stopping by, and please let us know what you think on the “Contact Us” page.