Thank you to guest writer Shelby Mulligan for giving us an inside look at this gorgeous little Midland shop!
Tiny Gems is a gem of a rock store in downtown Midland and owners Carolyn and Alan Craig are true rock-hounds. “We met 16 years ago in the forest digging rocks. It’s our shared passion, it’s what we love!” says Carolyn.
Tiny Gems Canada started out as an online shop selling Carolyn’s crystal jewellery plus rocks, crystals and gemstones with raw materials sourced from Thunder Bay and Bancroft, as well as Africa and South America. Business was good and within 2 years the couple decided to further their passion and open a bricks and mortar store.
The Craigs split the responsibilities of the business with Alan taking care of the online and wholesale portion and Carolyn managing the retail location. Carolyn’s knowledge of the properties, energies and uses of crystals enables her to assist customers looking for specific stones or crystals to support their needs.
The shop recently moved to a bigger location at 257 King Street and their new space features many different crystals, minerals and fossils in a wide range of price points. Tiny Gems has the largest collection of tumbled stones in Simcoe County!
The store also features jewellery made by Carolyn and other local artists. Note to healers, artists and people who want to personalize their wellness, Tiny Gems has a vast array of gem-stone beads, charms and accessories in a rainbow of colours to make your own healing and mala bracelets and necklaces.
When the pandemic hit, the Craigs scrambled to figure out how to survive it. They took a leap of faith and purchased a mineral claim in Thunder Bay (you don’t hear that one every day). Carolyn tells me purchasing the claim was a backup plan that worked as “we’ve found 7 types of amethyst on our site so far.”
Much of the amethyst in the store comes from their site in Thunder Bay or from Bancroft where they’ve sourced many more minerals for the store including Moonstone, Black Tourmaline, Quartz, Smokey Quartz, Rose Quartz and Sodalite. “That’s what sets us apart from other crystal stores and keeps our prices low”, says Carolyn, “we find the crystals, we dig them, we clean them, we polish them and I make jewellery out of them.”
As well as crystals, Tiny Gems also carries smudging essentials like sage, sweet grass, palo santo and incense. They’re proud to display and sell Canadian made artwork, handicrafts and Dream Catchers by local women artists and entrepreneurs featuring rocks and crystals found in Canada.
When the pandemic is over Carolyn is eager to resume jewellery-making classes in their new space, crystal healing classes, Rock Talk, a talk describing how crystals form and where to find them and Kids Rock Talk, geared to Grade 4 students who start to learn about fossils and geology.
You’ll find over 200 different types of tumbled stones here with prices starting at $1. “We tumble most of our stones in-house to keep the costs down and we get a lot of repeat business because of it. There are times when there’s not a lot of quiet at home”, Carolyn laughs, “we could have up to 6 tumblers going for days.”
Visit Tiny Gems Canada at 257 King Street in Midland or check out their website