Sourcing

Get Into Mineral Collecting With This New Subscription Service

SourcingMar 08, 2021

Get Into Mineral Collecting With This New Subscription Service

Two industry veterans started LuxeRox and launched it this month, offering two tiers of membership or “buy now” options.

LuxeRox will ship a mineral, crystal, or fossil specimen to members every month and offers a “buy now” option.
Denver—Two jewelry industry veterans are looking to fill a void in the mineral and crystal market with a new subscription service. 
 
While they were in lockdown over the past year, Nan Lung Palmer and Kelly Selcer Phoundoulakis regularly “quaranteamed” over socially distanced meals and dog play dates to keep in touch. 
 
While they were hanging out, they would brainstorm ways to combine their skills to launch a new business that not only spoke to their passions, but also found a new space in an already saturated market.  
 
Palmer is an experienced buying and merchandising consultant who’s worked at David Yurman and Macy’s. She has also leant her expertise to clients like Anna Sheffield, the Jewelers Board of Trade and MJJ Brilliant. 
 
Phoundoulakis owns a line of “empowerment” fine jewelry using flattened bullets called Gold and Smoke.
 
Together, they have created a company for mineral or crystal lovers who want to have fun building a collection. 
 
Enter LuxeRox, a mineral, crystal, and fossil collecting subscription service for anyone who wants to acquire fine specimens without having to invest a lot of money or travel to find them. 
 
“We saw a white space in the near-gem sector of the jewelry trade,” Palmer said. “We noticed mineral specimen collecting had arrived on the trend scene from an interior design perspective. However, what we were finding was either too costly, too cerebral, or too witch-crafty.”
 
LuxeRox offers two membership tiers: a three-month subscription for $95 per month or a six-month subscription for $85 per month. 
 
On the LuxeRox website, members can preview a monthly calendar of what the brand has planned for future shipments. 
 
The first box ships this month with a celestite specimen, a beautiful mineral with a light blue color.

Nan Lung Palmer, left, and Kelly Selcer Phoundoulakis, center, are the co-founders of LuxeRox. Kelly’s husband, Manos Phoundoulakis (far right), also has a minor role at the company, lending his sales and business development experience as “head gopher.”
 
LuxeRox also offers a “buy now” option, starting at $125 per piece.
 
Options currently include a larimar sphere, pyrite in matrix, a septarian “dragon egg,” and more. 
 
The co-founders are targeting “the customer who is deeply immersed in a lifestyle centered on the convenience of Daily Harvest, Uber, GrubHub, Birchbox,” Palmer said. 
 
She added: “Since the world of minerals and fossils is so mysterious to outsiders, we’re here to inspire design and décor ideas while offering a gateway into the world of specimen collecting.”

Ultimately, they are about having fun with starting a new collection and not taking it too seriously, seen not only in their offer of (most of the time) palm-sized specimens to keep space and storage in mind, but also through the descriptions on the mineral pages.

That’s not to say, though, that the two women haven’t put a lot of thought into what they’re offering and how they’re offering it.  
Each delivery, for example, features one of LuxeRox’s exclusive signature hexagonal mineral display stands, lightweight but still impact- and heat-resistant and made of natural materials. 
 
The displays are made in the United States and come packaged in a velvet storage pouch. All shipments also use recycled packaging.
 
Palmer and Phoundoulakis also said they’ve established relationships with miners who can source consistently and meet the responsible sourcing standards they’ve set for the project. 
 
To help, they’ve added a face many in the industry will recognize—Manos Phoundoulakis, formerly of Omi Privé and Omi Gems and current head of business development for Gems of Note. 

He has joined the team as “head gopher,” lending his sales and business development experience and taking responsibility for designing and engineering LuxeRox’s proprietary display stands.

On the product side, the team wants to make sure customers, no matter what level of membership they opt into, receive “a unique combination of colors, textures, romance, and origins.” 
 
They’ve even incorporated holidays and birth months into the planning—blue celestite for March, mirroring the aquamarine birthstone, and green fluorite for May (emerald month). 
 
To help members and buyers style their specimens, the team will use the @luxeroxbox Instagram as a content hub for mineral, crystal and fossil display ideas and other lifestyle imagery. 
 
LuxeRox also will donate a portion of proceeds to Gem Legacy, the industry nonprofit that supports education, vocational training, and local economies in small, artisanal gem mining communities in Africa. 
 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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