How It All Began

We do things a bit differently, and that's the way we like it!

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I have worked for myself since I was 23 years old, but after a divorce and having to sell the business, I had to get a job in year 2000.

I worked for 1 year and one day before I started hurting in my jaw. Ignored it for quite some time. But the pain became so intense I wound up HAVING to go to a dentist only to find that I had an abscessed tooth and fun! fun!  I would need oral surgery.

It's one day after surgery, I am still swollen and felt bad. I called my work and they didn’t care I was on pain medicine and shouldn’t drive. Inf fact their response was  “Don’t worry about coming back”.

I put the phone down and cried for literally 2 weeks. Then, one day my husband came in, I am laying in the bed still depressed. He reaches in his pocket and pulls out $1,000. He hands it to me and said, “I don’t care what you do with this or where you go just get the out of this house because you are driving me and the kids crazy!”

Shocked and surprised, it made me start sobbing all over again. I got up, got dressed and left the house with tears still falling. I sat in my car and bowed my head and prayed. “Lord, what do you want me to do? The job I had was a good job and I did my best to be the best employee I could be each and every day. I was making good money and then, just like that, it was gone.

Sucking up my emotions and fighting tears, I drive off not knowing where I was going or what I would do.

I pulled over to get a Mountain Dew. (most addicting drink there is lol) As I was walking out I noticed a small corner of the building for rent.

As I looked in the windows I started reminiscing about the business I had before and thought to myself,  “I can do this". I really think I can!”  I went to the buildings office to inquire about the cost of rent. It was $336 a month!

I quickly handed over first and last month’s rent, ran to the utility board to turn on utilities and with finally HAPPY tears.  I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my husband.

We started grabbing furniture we didn’t really use, jewelry, house decorations and then, went yard selling like CRAZY and then placed everything on eBay for sale.

After about 3 months, a very thin gentleman came in the shop named Brad. My heart sank. He was so hungry. So thin I could see every bone in his face. He was making necklaces out of shark's teeth, bone beads on leather cords and some gemstone pendants.

He had come here to care for his mom and his wife hated it. So she left him, took their son and moved back to California. I bought what I could from him. A Christian rock band played on Fridays down the block and kids that came in and really liked my jewelry and his necklaces.

For several weeks I did not see him. During this time a building down the street became open. I was up to my eye balls with merchandise so I moved to the new location and was able to stretch out a bit.

One day after the move, Brad walks in! He looked good! Standing straight, nice clothing and spoke proudly saying “I found a job"!

My boss just fired 3 employees for stealing from him from eBay sales. I thought of you. Are you still doing eBay?” After talking to him for little bit I agreed to take on his new employers eBay items for a 30% commission and then started selling for his boss as well as myself.

One day, he brings me Selenite, Amethyst candle holders and other stone trinkets to see how well I would do with them on eBay. About a month into this, Brad comes in and brings his boss Don!

He asked if I liked doing his eBay sales for him and I answered, yes!  Don then turns around, walks out the door and comes back with a HUGE Amethyst geode in his arms. “Now see what you can do with this!”

This led to going to his warehouses and choosing anything I wanted to sell for him. Within 2 years I was buying the warehouse goodies instead of working on commission  and selling them for myself. Don also got me interested in cutting stone and gave great tips. Thank you Brad and Don for opening the door for me to my life’s path.

It was always too tight to move around comfortably with a building full of merchandise so I found myself  moving a few more times throughout the next 13 years. But then,  I finally found "the spot." When they showed me the building, I saw EVERYTHING in my dreams for my business. My first business was a day-care of 67 children. I love working with kids. and sought many activities for them and then one day, I saw the caves!

My goal is to build a small museum and as I start to claim all of the property here (there is a renter downstairs) I plan on building a mountain side upstairs with a cave entrance. The cave will have Stalactites and Stalagmites with development of quartz crystals clusters developing.

Then walking through a large geode with crystals all around you. The back room will be the sea floor. Weird to think of this was all sea life a few times. So the fossils we find now will be “rejuvenated “ and we will have a walk under the sea.

Once the building is mine for the taking, downstairs will be an interactive cave system for you to walk, or crawl through, and find minerals to extract from the cave walls. Outside in the courtyard will offer different age groups of fossil excavations, crystal digs, the water sleuth and whatever activities I can pull out of my brain!

I love my job. I love the volunteers, the people that work with me and especially the kids..... Their eyes brighten when they come in. They are amazed how big the store is. They bring me their collections and ask what is what. I try to have some kind of activities for the kids to do while parents are looking around the store.

As of now, we offer full service gold and silver repair and custom jewelry as we can cabochon most stones, set faceted stones, bead, wire wrap, inlay or create special display specimen creations for your home.

We offer as many different types of mineral specimens, Lapidary stone supply, crystals or beads and findings for DIY jewelry as we can. We are now also cutting and creating our own Himalayan salt lamps. So,GROWN in the Himalaya! But MADE IN THE USA!

We have many handmade jewelry items to choose from. Last but not least I have a couple of Veterans that create wooden candle holders, wind chimes or dream catchers. I HONOR our veterans, so if they are creative and can fit into my type of merchandise, I allow them to sell with NO charges, fees or commissions to pay.

Come by within business hours and see for yourself! If you are too far away, we also offer scheduled FaceTime for you be able to choose your items and we mail them to you.

So as I sit here and write out this introduction or book  I should say, I look back and I OWN the answer of “Lord, what do you want me to do?”My life purpose is not this business.  The business brings people here it’s just a tool I am here for my community, THAT is what I am suppose to do.

With all the love I can give and with all the Blessings that have happened I humbly say thank you God.

Darlene Stout

Owner - Earth's Core