We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Well, I had always had the ambition to open my own business. After I graduated with my MBA, I really got serious about looking for ideas about something feasible that we could do to make that a reality. Well, my wife and I both have full time careers and we always found an excuse to put it off because we were so busy with our jobs and with our young children. Well, then Covid happened. We found ourselves with extra time and money with which to start down the road to our own business. I had been an avid mineral collector and noticed that most of the gems/minerals that were being sold were either very cheap and not very good or they were excellent quality and were very, very expensive. I saw a need in the mineral collecting world for dealers that could curate high qualify specimens and do it at a cost point that allows collectors of all economic backgrounds to participate. I wanted to see if I could find a way to make the hobby accessible to everyone.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are gem/mineral dealers that specialize in the gems and minerals of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I didn’t start out with that intention but because I had always been fascinated by the place and culture of this part of Asia, it became clear to me after a couple months that this is how I wanted to set my business apart from my competitors. I knew that any successful business needs a source of competitive advantage and for us, that would be our knowledge and access to a place and culture that many Americans do not know much about. I’m extremely proud of what we have built. We went from selling some dusty rocks at a flea market to being invited to participate in all the major gem/mineral shows in the State of Texas, all within the span of 6 months. Honestly, we could have never anticipated the reaction that we’ve had so far and are very excited about building the business even further in the coming year. Not only are we able to share our passion for natural history, we are also able to tell the story of behind the gems and behind the people that have brought these gems to the world for thousands of years.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My wife and I lived in Downtown Dallas for many years. I would definitely take them around the heart of the city so that they can get a feel for what that means.
I would take them exploring Downtown, Oak Cliff, Uptown, and old East Dallas.
I would take the to the State Fair of Texas.
I would take them to eat a steak at Dakota’s Steakhouse on the patio.
I would take them to the Perot Museum to see the mineral exhibit (of course.)
I would take them to buy a pair of cowboy boots so they would fit in.
I would take them to Koreatown to have Korean BBQ.
I would take them to look for fossils in Post Oak Creek and at Ladonia Fossil Park.
I would take them to Deep Ellum to eat BBQ at Pecan Lodge.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honestly, if I’m going to give credit to anyone, it is my business partners overseas that help me curate our specimens. I do business with people all over the world but because our company specializes in the gems/minerals of Pakistan and Afghanistan, I would have to recognize the many important partnerships that I have established with my counterparts in Peshawar, Pakistan. Many of these people belong to the Pashtun ethic group and are descended from or related to, the people that came to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in NW Pakistan from Afghanistan when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and who founded the Namak Mandi bazaar in Peshawar as one of the leading gems markets in the world. They have taught and guided me throughout this journey. Without them, this business would be just like any other gem/mineral dealer out there.
Facebook: Texas Crystal Creations