A place to heal and feel

Ruby Road Gems ethically sources crystals, jewelry and more

Laynie Clark, Managing Editor

After discovering her deep attraction for raw crystals at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Heidi Maguire began her journey toward owning her own artisan gem and stone shop. From jewelry and crystals to reiki healing, Ruby Road Gems is a place for spiritual awareness.

The only thing stronger than Maguire’s love for gems is her love for her daughter. Once her daughter began high school, she needed something new to occupy her time. 

“My daughter was in high school, and I was kind of a stay-at-home mom,” Maguire said. “I decided I was going to have to go back out into the world, and I thought ‘What am I going to do?’ So I went to GIA — in Carlsbad, [California] — and it took me four years, and then I graduated [when] the pandemic hit.”

The pandemic affected a lot of people, taking away the enjoyment of human contact. Maguire recognized this and set out to create a space where people could feel and heal at the same time. 

 “I wanted people to be able to touch things again, so I went to Lackland Air Force Base where I started a kiosk there,” Maguire said. “I had previously been a military contractor, so I contacted them, and I thought it would be very interesting to show people mine to market, like, how it comes from the earth and then it’s turned into jewelry and the science behind it.”

Maguire’s business boomed at Lackland, and she continued the pattern when she eventually opened up Ruby Road Gems. Originally, Maguire had planned to open the store on the bottom floor of the building and have an office space upstairs. However, that soon changed after opening the shop.

“I thought it would be fun to put a store here and an office upstairs, but then so many people came in looking for healing services like reiki and tarot,” Maguire said. “So, I pulled out my gemological laboratory and started doing services up here in the wannabe office.”

After operating both the shop and kiosks for some time, Maguire realized a downsize was needed.

“I realized I was just working too much,” Maguire reflected. “I downsized the kiosks at the bases and started only doing a pop-up shop during the summer. It was hard to keep up with the demand at both locations. It was an amazing thing, but it was just too much.”

Acquiring the crystals and gems needed for the shop is no easy feat, though Maguire explains the process seamlessly.

Mason Hickok

“It’s different for all different species because they all come from different places and countries,” Maguire said. “Our Herkimer diamonds come from a lady in Herkimer, New York. She goes out and handpicks all of the Herkimer. I have a few family businesses in Brazil that send me things. I also have a guy in Pakistan who goes to Afghanistan to get me Lapis. In Asia, I have a lot of my carvings done there because they are mineral-rich in fluorites. Every country has something.”

An important part of Maguire’s business is making sure her gems and crystals are ethically sourced.

“I want to make sure that where I buy from is conflict-free and that there is no child labor,” Maguire stated. “Most of these people are just mineral farmers, and they depend on our business. That is where the word ethical is involved.”

Outside of gems, jewelry and healing services, Ruby Road Gems offers other miscellaneous items. Luckily, Maguire has a community that is constantly inspiring her to explore new products. 

“Everything that we buy is practically because someone asked,” Maguire said. “A lot of these things I would never personally buy, but I buy them because I know it’s what the community wants. The soap that we have is handmade by somebody in Hawaii. We send her the crystals, and she makes the soap with beautiful intention[s]. We also have someone that provides us tea and incense. She is a herbalist and nutritionist.”

Having a social media presence is vital for some businesses. Maguire understands that she lacks in that area and embraces its imperfections. 

“Well, I’m super bad at it,” Maguire explained. “I think it is important, but I think we have a lot of room to grow, same with the website. We have no real social media aesthetic. It’s just very real people shooting real things. Everything is unique.”

Located at 503 Ave. A Suite #1115, Ruby Road Gems is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit their website at https://rubyroadusa.com/collections/all.