I first spoke to the manager of the business after finding their website in early 2017 and met her in person at the Denver Gem Show later that year. I was cautious about doing business with them since they are the exporter, rather than the miners or polishers. After I studied their company, I was pleased by their dedication to ethical values. They focus on importing Fair Trade, Consciously-Made, and No-Harm Peruvian handicrafts. They have also worked to reduce their carbon footprint in their wholesale warehouse.
In 2019, I had a long conversation with the manager about ethical topics in the stone industry. She was willing to speak candidly about both the positives and the negatives. She also shared how she personally struggled with the ethical issues and her part in the supply chain. Whenever a shipment of goods arrives from Peru, she insists on smudging every box before it is brought into the warehouse. The manager introduced me to the mother of the current owner. A tiny woman, less than 5 ft tall, she was happy to reminisce with me about how she started the company more than 30 years ago. She had been a young immigrant mother, searching for a new life. Her nephew, back in Peru, shipped her a few buckets of Pyrite and asked her to see if she could sell them. She laughed to remember those days and radiated happiness and gratitude. Today, the business is run by her son and his cousin in Peru.