Casey Schied, Manager of Kitchener’s Bead Boutique, has spent the last few years establishing his beloved side project, Night Owl Gemstones, an online shop that specializes in unique jewellery and raw gemstones.
After graduating from Conestoga College, Schied was working a full-time job while hunting for a career in design and freelancing on the side.
“Eventually I didn’t enjoy the job I was in anymore and needed an out. I quit one day and ended up working for a couple of friends who owned a body jewellery business in Conestoga Mall. Their entrepreneurial spirit really began to fuel me to go into business for myself,” said Schied.
“That was my first experience with gemstones and I began learning more about them and the metaphysical properties associated with them.”
Later on, when Schied found himself working at the Bead Boutique in Belmont Village, his interest quickly grew.
“Gemstones have been used for healing and connecting to the universe for thousands of years and each gemstone has a variety of properties associated with it … I believe that gems have materials within them that can aid in healing,” said Schied.
As his experiences and interests aligned, Schied developed a vision for what is now Night Owl Gemstones.
“I wanted to do something that I had more artistic control over – that is when I began cutting and polishing my own gemstones. I ended up taking my passion for design and incorporating it into my jewellery by creating pieces of art that are wearable,” said Schied.
“The idea [behind Night Owl Gemstones] came from many sleepless design nights in college. The majority of my good ideas came to me in a dream or in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I called myself a night owl, which turned into the name for my freelance design business and evolved into what it is today.”
For nearly two years Schied has been selling his jewellery on Etsy, taking custom orders as well. Today, he also sells on consignment at The Purple Door in Galt and at The 9th Vibration in Guelph, as well as on Instagram and at surrounding markets such as the Sip and Shop markets in Stratford, Communitech’s Holiday Market and the Pinery Market in Grand Bend, to name a few.
Schied’s work is an intricate process, including the sourcing of the gemstones themselves which he collects from all over the world – primarily from Brazil, Madagascar and India. He has even begun to mine his own materials near Bancroft, Ontario, in pursuit of minerals like Smokey Quartz, Rose Quartz, Apatite and Beryl.
“I really enjoy being able to stare into a piece of raw mineral that is millions of years old and has come from the earth and redefine the shape of it myself,” said Schied. “I love the entire process … it really lets me create from the heart and living in the moment. For me, it has become a stress release that I couldn’t live without.”
While working a nine-to-five-job and maintaining a side business does require a great deal of energy, Schied enjoys being kept busy and makes an effort to stay balanced with physical activity and meditation.
“Too many people work until they burn out and in turn create a negative emotion around what they are doing. It is more than acceptable to re-evaluate your schedule and take “me” time to enjoy your life,” he said.
“Whatever it is that you want to do, you can do it … sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see what happens. Take a risk, challenge yourself and don’t be afraid of failing because you will constantly find chances to learn and grow.”