We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucas Evans and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lucas, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I had sent away a tourmaline that I found in Pala, CA to be cut in Sri Lanka. I received back two poorly cut gemstones. I looked around at jewelry stores and realized that the market is very heavily saturated with poorly cut colored gemstones (ie: windowing, bad polish, no meet points…). Being rather good with spatial visualization, I knew that I could do a better job than that. So, I started researching. Turns out that the up front investment for gem cutting is rather substantial. So, I saved up and bought a used faceting machine and equipment (another story for another time). Turns out that this gem cutting business is not that easy. After a few years, my stones started to look decent and people actually wanted to give me money for them. Remember, an artist is their own worst critic.
Ohh man, I need a name. I was listening to Tenacious D one day and I realized that I had quite the tenacity for cutting to proper meet points (making the edges of the facets meet together). That’s how the name of Tenacious Faceting was born. A business born of a hobby; sometimes people make beautiful things that other people want to give them money for. Who would have thunk it?
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I read something on a napkin in a restaurant when I was a teenager and it stuck with me ever since: He who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers in a well, is not so apt to get the dollar as he who climbs a tree and hollers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to advertise what you have, but you have to make people see it. You have to have something that sets you apart from everybody else, stand out in the crowd. So, I try to cut designs that mimic popular things. For example, I cut designs that are based off of the James Webb space telescope and the Colorado state flag. I found that things that are different sell, as long as they look good.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Food (most important) Breakfast: Mountain Shadows Restaurant or King Chef’s Diner.
Lunch: Schnitzel Fritz, Bird Call, In & Out or Skirted Heifer.
Dinner: Atmosphere Gastropub, Four by Brother Luck, The Margarita at Pine Creek.
Best town walks: Manitou Springs (huge arcade and actual springs you can drink from).
Driving up to Denver for the day – Go to Meow Wolf and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (to look at the rock and gems, naturally).
Head to the mountains – Brink the kayaks and get on South Catamount Reservoir for some lake trout fishing.
Going fishing in winter – Ice fishing on Antero Reservoir or Eleven Mile Reservoir.
Going fishing in summer/fall/spring – Walleye fishing in Pueblo Reservoir or Crappie fishing in Adobe Creek Reservoir (I am an avid fisherman).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my wife, Elisa. She has been supportive of my gem cutting business since day one. You would think that she would want me to be cutting gemstones for her, but nay. She is an amazing mother to our two girls and the most genuine person I know.