When Jim first met Faye, he wasted no time in introducing her to one of his favorite past times, asking her if she would like to see his rocks that glowed in the dark and, to her surprise, he wasn't kidding! His interest in his hobby intrigued Faye and she has supported him as he has pursued his quest over the past 30 years for all things mineral.
From about 1980 to 1990, Jim ran The Philosopher's Stone in Fort McMurray as a hobby while he worked for Syncrude Canada in the legendary Oil Sands in northern Alberta. In 1990, when they moved back to Nanaimo on scenic Vancouver Island, Jim launched TERRA Crystal Galleries. The store operated for many years in downtown Nanaimo, first in the China Steps area and then in Harbour Park Mall, offering an eclectic assortment of mineral and gift items to a varied clientele. In 1999, due to a number of factors, Jim decided to close his downtown location and to continue sales out of our home and continuing to make the rounds of the annual rock shows throughout the province.
In 2002 Jim joined forces with a former employee and they operated a charming shop together in the Old City Quarter of Nanaimo. Their professional association ended 2 years later when his partner bought him out and she continues on doing business as Millizzas' Cave. With time available to him, Jim finished off the basement level of our house, as detailed on the Recent Activities page, and created a spectacular new mineral showroom that does justice to the beautiful specimens on display and relaunched TERRA Crystal Galleries in January 2006.
Jim and Faye live with their three (extremely lucky) cats in a rural Nanaimo paradise replete with deer, beaver and raccoons.
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