Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeff Nechka, owner of Premier Gems LTD, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Premier Gems specializes in custom jewelry that is uniquely you. Jewelry is extremely personal and sentimental, and every piece we create is a self-expression of the wearer. Everything is 100% locally made and not made in a factory overseas. We do not mass produce or create multiples. Each piece is crafted with you in mind.

Tell us about yourself

My passion for this field started from a lifelong fascination with rocks, minerals, and fine art. My expertise then evolved to colored gems as I began using my design talents to create custom jewelry.

At the age of seventeen, I was apprenticing to learn to facet colored gemstones. And by age twenty-four, I was polishing diamonds. I completed my gemology studies at twenty. I have had the opportunity to travel the globe and work internationally to source gemstone and design jewelry.

My jewelry designs focus on the central gem and diamond. The setting should be cohesive and not deter or distract from the gem or diamond's beauty. Every day is a day to create beauty and realize our clients' dreams by creating a custom piece of jewelry. I focus a lot on education and love working with clients to help them select their perfect gem.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Definitely still being in business since 2005 and continuing to grow our client base. Thriving through two recessions and a global pandemic takes creativity and perseverance.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

In the beginning, the business consumes you, and for the first several years, it meant long 12-14 hour days. It's not for the faint of heart!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Enjoy failure! Our education system makes failure a bad thing. But failure is the fastest way to learn and grow. Just make sure you can quickly move on and that you limit your financial risk.
  2. Don't be afraid of saying "NO." Some projects are not worth your mental well-being. If the project isn't a win/win, move on.
  3. Understand your financials: income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements. Knowing how much is coming in, what your expenses are, etc.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Let passion be the motivation for starting a business. Without passion, you'll never get through trying times.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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