012: Bringing Out the Sparkle and Shine in Others and in Diamonds with Brian Gavin
Brian Gavin is a mentor, renowned jeweler, innovative businessman, and father to The Digital Marketing Mentor. In this episode, you’ll hear about how he grew up in South Africa, took the leap to America with his family and started selling diamonds online, in a time when that was practically unheard of. Be sure to listen in to learn his tips for mentorship and marketing for truly drawing out the sparkle within.
Key Points + Topics
- [1:33] Brian Gavin was born in Johannesburg, South Africa where he attended university. He originally attended school on the legal route, but after 2 years, moved to London and finished his education focusing on marketing. Brian believes his high school education was particularly impactful on the leadership skills and traits he would use throughout his life. He remembers how rewarding it felt to teach a mentee something and then see their success result from that instruction.
- [6:05] A mentor is someone who sets an example, whether personal or teaching. He remembers watching Danny when he was a young boy learning to play on a soccer team. He could see which children were more inclined to be leaders than others. And, he notes it’s important to teach kids in a positive way. Brian has been a teacher and advice giver and mentor at innumerable points throughout his life, including when he was a competitive swimmer and would help teach paraplegics and quadriplegics how to swim when he was a young man.
- [9:13] Brian’s father was one of his first mentors. He was originally an electrician by trade, having immigrated to South Africa from Belarus. He found his way into the diamond business through his marriage to Brian’s mother. His mother’s family immigrated from Holland to help teach the burgeoning diamond trade in South Africa how to cut and polish diamonds. His father was always a very exacting man at every task he took on. He left an indelible mark of perfection on Brian, that perfection is how you finish a job.
- [13:00] His grandfather was also an important figure and mentor in Brian’s upbringing. He recalls him always being very well dressed and having very clean and tidy hands, despite being a man that worked with his hands daily. He always set good examples and had a witty response at hand.
- [16:44] Brian and his wife and young son (Danny) moved from Johannesburg, South Africa to the United States when he was in his mid-twenties. It was because of the teachings of his father that he had the belief and courage to make such a big move. He was taught it was always important to look at the sun rising, not the sunset; to focus on the new day and what it brings.
- [20:12] When it comes to Brian’s keys to mentorship, he knows encouragement and the passing of knowledge are vital. It doesn’t hurt that Brian has a sort of openness and empathetic aura about him that causes people to gravitate to him for advice. He’s always drawn to helping others, especially those in distress.
- [24:20] Why the internet? When it came to making the decision to start selling diamonds on the internet, many others in the industry told him he was crazy. He didn’t accept that. He wanted to figure out the best way to sell diamonds online. A lawyer from Chicago found a page of theirs online and, after getting a recommendation on a specific stone from Brian, decided to make the purchase. But this was in the early days of online shopping. So, after some initial trepidation, the lawyer wrote up a contract to ensure both parties would hold up their end of the deal: The customer would mail a check for the agreed upon purchase price. And Gavin would mail the customer the specific diamond they had discussed.
- [29:20] Brian has created many different product lines, patented diamond cuts, and more over the years. He says the ideas come to him in the quiet moments. Many of his successes have not been ideas based on current trends, but a sort of “ding” in his head, lightbulb moments. Brian Gavin Blue is the perfect example. These are super-ideal cut diamonds with blue fluorescence under UV light, something generally not valued in the world of diamonds. As the online diamond world grew, he knew he needed to differentiate, and he wanted to look at the positive elements of this stone. They had to carefully filter out any diamonds that would be murky, but the resulting Blue diamonds have a uniquely special way of capturing and moving the light.
Guest + Episode Links
Danny Gavin: Hello everyone. I’m Danny Gavin, founder of Outage Marketing Professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor. Today it is my pleasure to introduce my dad, Brian Gavin, who is an internationally recognized diamond expert, and the designer and creator of several patented diamond cuts that have been designed to maximize their sparkle and light performance.
He’s the [00:01:00] CEO of Brian gavin diamonds.com and one of the first to sell diamonds and custom jewelry. Today we’re going to discuss his mentorship journey and the process of what goes into creating new products. How are you?
Brian Gavin: Son, this is a little unusual, but glad to be here. I’m doing great. I hope you’re doing great too.
Danny Gavin: I am, and it’s really special to have you on today because obviously a lot of the success that I’ve. and all the opportunities that I’ve had in my life is due to you and my mom. So it’s really special to have this conversation today. And let’s jump right in.
Brian Gavin: I’m glad that I could be some kind of mentor.
Danny Gavin: The mentor of the mentor, .
Brian Gavin: Okay.
Danny Gavin: So Sure. Let’s start off, where did you go to school and what did you.
Brian Gavin: All right. I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. I went to the University of AVAs ranch, which is in Johannesburg, and I started out doing a bachelor’s at a legal bachelor’s, [00:02:00] and at least my whole program was geared towards becoming a lawyer.
which I really didn’t like. No creativity for me. And I, after two years I left South Africa. I went to live in London, England, and I did a, I went to Central London College and did marketing management in London, and that’s the sum of my education besides all the years in high school and et cetera.
Danny Gavin: So obviously, , we’re gonna talk about how you went into the diamond industry and how you paved that path, but looking at school and of your educational opportunities that you did. And we could even throw the army in there because I dunno if people know, but you actually were in the army as well as that was a requirement at the time in South Africa, what experiences would you say, both inside and outside the classroom or the army were most impactful in directing your.
Brian Gavin: Let’s just start with the Army. I don’t think that was it wasn’t something that I really enjoyed [00:03:00] or I really wanted to participate in. It was a strange time in South Africa and never ever felt comfortable, but I had no choice besides being a desert and leaving the country.
I, after I finished my studies in London, I came back to South Africa and actually went to the Army. I can’t say that was that there was any mentorship in the Army that really taught me something that was valid. I think the only thing that taught me was how to get out of everything
But even though we, I fulfilled a role and did what I had to do I. , I think that my high school education was really an impressive role in my life especially in leadership roles. I think that’s where I learned a lot of teaching others and having the reward. Of seeing their success in, in, in what they did.
And I think that was one of the greatest points that I can pull out of mentorship. Mentorship is to see people’s success of things that I’ve [00:04:00] taught them. And that’s very rewarding. It’s at least you feel you’ve contributed to something or to someone in order to enable them to be a better person or better at what they.
So I think that, from that perspective high school played a really important role for me. The South African system of education was based very much on the English system. So for, to explain that to our American listeners and viewers it was very much. . When you got to the highest grade in the high school you had what were called prefects very much like the English system, and those are the students who actually run the school to a certain extent under the.
Auspices of the heads and vice, heads of the departments. And the school body was divided up into many into I think seven different groups, which were called houses. And those were, there were participated in, in, in sports, in, in dramatics, in debating which I took part, took in all of those [00:05:00] and became leaders in all those fields and.
It was great. From that perspective, it was a great education and it helped tremendously in, in mentoring others. Yeah,
Danny Gavin: so I don’t know if you’ve ever read or watched any of the Harry Potter films, but the Harry Potter films are very much about houses and things, so maybe we can call you the diamond Harry Potter.
Brian Gavin: very similar to that. Yes. Which is of course based off the old English schooling system. I dunno what it’s like in England today. It still exists in schools in South Africa, and I think it nurtures leadership and it allows those who have something to offer to filter to the top and to be additive and participate in success of leadership.
I think, I enjoyed that as a system and when I look back, I think it was really very positive. for most people. Yeah. I
Danny Gavin: think providing leadership opportunities for children and young adults at early ages greatly help them prepare [00:06:00] for the world that they have to eventually enter into.
Definitely. So giving those opportunities are awesome.
Brian Gavin: I would agree with that.
Danny Gavin: So you’ve already jumped the gun a little bit on the definition of a mentor, but for you it feels like you. when you’re able to influence someone and teach them and then see like the success of them.
That’s awesome. How else would you define a mentor?
Brian Gavin: For me, a mentor is someone who sets an example, whether it’s a a personal example or whether it’s a teaching example even when you were a kid and we had our soccer clubs and we taught the kids how to play soccer and I’m sure you remember that.
. There again, there were all different types of kids. Kids who were leaders and kids who weren’t, kids who were followers and kids who just didn’t have the personality to come out out of their shell, if I can [00:07:00] put it you in, in, in that way. And just looking back at those years and thinking about it you could see those that would excel and.
You hoped? I think that part of that was teaching kids not only to play a game and to learn about losing and to learn about winning, but part of that was just for kids to, to to become leaders. Because I think in all groups that are always natural leaders that will surface to the top. And I, I think it’s important to teach.
Kids in the proper way, in, in a way that is positive so that their outlooks become positive. There’s so much negativity around us, there’s so much negative things that go on every day. So I think, that positive outlook that you can install in children, which ultimately filters through to teenagers and to adulthood.
I think those things are, great example. , definitely. That was, I think, one of, one of the greatest [00:08:00] leads. I think something that, that for me personally, when I look back at my life and I was a swimmer. I swam, swam competitively, and close to our home was. Sports complex called Mandeville, which was for people who had disabilities, physical disabilities, and I gave of my time to teach paraplegics, quadriplegics.
how to actually swim and manage to teach, how for them to participate in Paralympics, and I think that was awesome. One of the most rewarding times that I can really remember because those people are taught, became coaches themselves. And the area that those part participants participated in?
Definitely their whole teams or their future teams from where I was their future teams [00:09:00] definitely benefited from my teaching them and them teaching others and, Being able to coach others and to improve their swimming. Difficult of course, but very rewarding to know that my input generated.
Definitely a lot of positive things out there. And when I say my input, somebody mentored me. It’s just passing of the bat, I would say. And passing of the bat in a.
Danny Gavin: Yeah. And I have fond memories even growing up where even at our own house, I remember sometimes we had a, someone who was unfortunately paraplegic coming to our pool and you actually helping them swimming and kind of providing that therapy.
It’s amazing that’s something that you did as a, as, as a young adult, right? But then also brought that further in life, right?
Now let’s talk a little bit about the mentors in your life. We’ve discussed often that both your father and your grandfather were both significant mentors and influences in your life. Why don’t you share with us a little bit why that was the case?
Brian Gavin: [00:10:00] Okay. Let’s look at this. My father was an interesting
he was a, an amazing jazz musician. He was a electrician by trade, but was a diamond cutter for a living purpose. The electrician by trade was because he always wanted to be a dentist, but he left school. It was just off the. And he went to become an electrician in order to help his family.
His family had immigrated from Belarus and it was part of his way of helping them
The reason why the diamond cutting was because he married your grandmother. My, my mom and their family were in the diamond business, in the diamond cutting business as such, and before the war, they left Holland and they came to South Africa in order [00:11:00] to teach. People how to cut and polish diamonds because diamonds are being discovered in South Africa, but there wasn’t the infrastructure of cutting and polishing.
Very much it was on a much smaller scale. Most of the rough material went to Belgium and to Holland, of course, first to Holland. Then ultimately because the taxes, that whole industry transfer to Belgium, where a lot of it is built today. I think. What my father taught me, and when I look back, I remember times where he, we added a room to the house and he did all the electrical work.
And I think what was what I recall from that moment in time when I think about it, is how. This man was adapt to doing many things. And whatever he did very well. And it showed me that if you want to do something, you can really do it. You just have to put your mind to it, and you have to [00:12:00] open up yourself to doing things and, which I think that was a fundamental lesson from my father.
I remember also as a kid, I would go with my father on a Sunday to the factory where he would probably analyze a lot of the rough, which they would saw over that day so that the work would be prepared. The separated pieces would be prepared for cutting and polishing for that following week.
And I remember as a kid, I always used to play marbles with diamonds. I never had marbles, so I would roll these I would look for these round shaped. Diamonds where the, where they didn’t have their direct definition of octas and we used to play with those and play marbles. It was an interesting thing.
Many of the rough diamonds that they used for polishing, which were more industrial, had that kind of shape anyway. So I think that was what we played with more so than Jim Quality, [00:13:00] but, , those times are very vivid in my mind. And it was always, I was always amazed to see my grandfather and his brother-in-law, my uncle them transforming these These crystals into these magnificent gems that shn unbelievably.
And I think that was my entree into the diamond world. And I think when once I went to to did my marketing management. I came back to seven and went to the army. My natural step was to go into the diamond business as previous generations had been in, and to try and pr apply new knowledge to, or new learn knowledge to that which basically led me to coming to America.
I came to America and I suppose it’s like any immigration story, but I don’t wanna get into the immigration story, but let’s talk about mentorship. I think that’s that, I can’t think of anything very specific, but I looked up. to my grandfather in a, in, in, I think in a very, he always [00:14:00] set good examples.
He was always well, dressed. His haircut was perfect. His nails were very carefully manicured and he was always so presentable, even though he was a man who was working with his hands, of course, with his mind too. , it was, that hand labor of cutting and polishing. So those things really sink deep inside of me.
And of course always his comments, not that I can think of anything really specific at this moment, but he always had a witty crack for me, and So I just think the overall, when I look and think about him, his overall presence was very commanding in that sense, and very powerful for me, a very powerful image.
And of course my father taught me a lot. I spent a lot of time and I was to your grandfather. I was very close to him. And many interactions. Positive, negative like anybody else. But it’s, I think he left a sort of indelible mark of perfection on me. I’ll never forget when he [00:15:00] put the face plate of a light switch on, and I saw how carefully when he finished screwing the plate back on, he lined all the screw heads in the same direction.
And I said to him, dad, why? Why are you doing? , he says, because that’s the way you finish a job with perfection. And he said it takes just as long to screw these screws in and leave them or to straighten them so they look great to the eye. And that has always remained with me that, at the end of the day, it’s how you finish the job.
You can work your way through something, but at the end of the day, , it’s the end result that everybody sees. It’s the end part that people will look at and internalize. And I think that’s, it’s a very important lesson that it’s like jewelry. It’s the finish of the jewelry piece.
It’s not the peace at the end of the day. And if the finish is perfect and if the care is being taken in, [00:16:00] in, in the workmanship and the pride, then you have an amazing piece of jewelry that can always be remembered. So I think that’s probably one of the strongest things that I took from my father was that.
perfection at the end of the day is really important, and I think that you can apply that to anything in life. Whether it’s computers, whether it’s software, whatever is how do you finish off what you’re doing and what mark does it leave for The next one. And it’s true if you walked up to, to, to the light switch plate and you would notice that those screws were straight and was pleasing to the.
which I think ultimately pervaded my outlook into the diamond world. Whereas you take this gem, most people cut it for weight retention because they want to be in it as cheap as possible. And don’t always really consider what it will look like in the end. Yes, [00:17:00] it’ll shine all diamonds, shine, but.
some diamonds that chime a lot better than others.
Danny Gavin: So I think there’s a lot to unpack there. Some amazing insights that you’ve brought through. First of all, the fact, like the early story about your dad, like being able to do whatever he could. I feel like, I’ve always had the question coming to the United States when you left, right?
You’re in your mid twenties with your wife, a young child leaving South Africa and coming to United States. I always ask myself if I would’ve been in the same position, would I have. The strength and and the guts to do a big move like that. But it really seems that, you had a father to look up to who really like, could do whatever he wanted.
And I’m sure that instilled the confidence in yourself where it’s man, if I really put my mind to it, I can do whatever I want.
Brian Gavin: Yes. There was a lot of trepidation where we were going to a foreign country. Yes. We spoke a similar language we could understand. So that wasn’t a problem. But the quest of the unknown for everybody.
And I know my, my, my father had left and lived in [00:18:00] Canada for I think three years or something like that, and then went back to South Africa to marry your grandmother. But I think that was some of the strength that we can do it. There were certain things that were promised us where in getting here, which never panned out.
I think one always has to look at the sun rising and not the sun setting because there’s always a new day and every day brings something new. And I think, you have to have the there’s a good Hebrew word, the and that’s the faith in what will be. And we. We see the new day and we just have to make the most of that new day because I think the opportunities are always presented to us in, in, in every way.
So I think yes, there was their fear in leaving, but beneath it all, there was the belief or the drive to know that this is something we can do and let’s go for it. And of course we [00:19:00] do.
Danny Gavin: You also mentioned, we’re in London. Then you came back to South Africa, you had your like, marketing degree, new ideas.
How were you accepted coming to like your grandfather and father’s world? Obviously, different people have different ways of like accepting new ideas, especially from the youth of the generation. But like, when you entered were they open to hearing your ideas?
Brian Gavin: That was, I think I was one of those lucky fews.
. I never had pushback from my grandfather or my father. And I think it was joy for them to see that I was participating and offering something new. And I think it’s part of being part of the creativeness that I inherited from. from the family. When I said the family, of course your grandmother was an artist, so there was a lot of creativity there.
But that creativity just, I think it, it fed its way through the d n a and ultimately, what can I say? It’s, [00:20:00] they allowed that creativity to. , they never stumped it. And I think I’m, I’m very lucky. I, I think of the corporate world where everybody’s trampling on everybody else because it’s the only way you think you’re gonna climb the ladder.
And I never had that experience in my life in that sense. I’m glad I didn’t, but I always had the drive to, to be creative in how far could I push the. , could I push it all the way to the edge? And I think in many respects I’ve done that. You and I always say to myself, , how many people in the world have created two or three diamond brands?
And I don’t think that there are many. Yes, there are. There have been many brands jewelry brands there, but there haven’t been that many diamond brands as I’ve made. And I think it’s because of. Push and that encouragement that I realized that it is possible to do and it’s possible to push it to [00:21:00] the edge and they’ve all been successful.
And no matter how in, in what way you would like to measure them. But I think they’ve all been successful and ultimately that, that ultimately applied to the diamonds that that we optimized for light performance. But we can get into that. Later.
Danny Gavin: So you cite encouragement, passing of knowledge, creativity as all keys to successful mentorship. I know that in your community you’re very much a mentor to a lot of the young people around. People sort of gravitate towards you. both from a friendly perspective, but I remember plenty of times people coming over to the house asking for advice.
Looking to you towards, looking towards you as being someone who can really help them. What do you think the key is to like, becoming that person? And why do you think people gravitate towards you?
Brian Gavin: I think it’s openness. I think it’s I’m I’m an individual that is, is open to listening to others.
Once somebody said, [00:22:00] I missed my vacation, I should have been a psychologist. Maybe I should have been. I don’t know. I’m always giving the advice, positive or negative. I just think it’s part of that, that learned leader. I think it’s part of wanting to help others, especially when you see others in distress.
I think it’s it’s something that’s in there that I think in relationships, we, I give out the friendship and I give out the ability to know that my door is. . And I think that’s something that, I think of all the people that I’ve employed over the years, the first thing I ever said to them is, my door to my office is always open.
If you need to talk to me, don’t keep it in. Come talk to me. It’s I will listen to everything that you have to say. Sometimes a lot of people step back, not quite sure how to handle that, because I don’t know how many people are like that, but there were, there are people who have taken that up [00:23:00] and I think that’s been positive for them.
And there are people who didn’t, and I think they lost out if I could say that. So I, it’s something that, and I’m gonna refer so repeated again, it was my learnt. Journey of leadership all the way from high school, and I think that’s, as I am, I’m gonna say it again. I think high school had a tremendous impression or left a tremendous impression on me in order to mentor and lead.
and I think, I have to thank my high school education for that more so than outside, let’s say university or or other things. And I think it’s, that’s always forced me in that direction.
Danny Gavin: So when you’re giving advice to people or encouraging them in a certain direction, how do you do it in a way, in a successful.
Brian Gavin: I don’t think I view it as, am I gonna be successful with them? I think the way I view it is I will hear what they have to say. I will digest that. I will then reflect it on [00:24:00] my life’s experience and based off that, I would lead them or teach them or suggest to. Based on my experience and put it in such a way that, that they can reflect on it from their position.
And I’ve used that in sales and I’ve used that in most of the things that I do. Once experience is the leadership of your future. . If you can internalize all those positive, even the negative aspects and use them for the positive, then you know, I think that’s what’s a greater teacher than your life experience.
And of course when you’re younger, you don’t have it. So that’s why people talk to me because it’s, and that’s why I think I have the affinity with the younger people because they want to know, they want some advice, they want some good advice. We all want good advice. I think. . Even at [00:25:00] my age, I still look for good advice in things that I don’t know.
And I think it’s natural because it’s the need for wanting to learn. It’s the need to wanting to know, what is the holy grail? What is the secret sauce here? And I think that’s what most people look for that’s why if you are in mentor, if you are in a mentorship position, you can, even if you, even if your experiences are limited, they count for something.
I think they count for a whole lot. I really do.
Danny Gavin: That’s wonderful. So now what we’re gonna do is switch over to the world of marketing, the world of online diamonds and the world of product development . So you were one of the first to sell diamonds and custom jewelry online. Definitely one of the first, when talking about super ideal cut diamonds.
So when did you decide to open up your first e-commerce store?
Brian Gavin: Well, Let’s go back to 1998. I’m a great [00:26:00] lover of disruption in the marketplace and I like to portray things differently. I think I have a famous adage, if you can’t dance at this dance, then you know, create your own dance hall.
And because if you create your own dance hall, everyone’s gonna want to dance at your dance. And that’s always been a bottom line aspect for me when it comes to marketing. And when it comes to reaching out to the customer. Why the internet? I remember there was a thing called I c Q Chat.
A lot of people may not know what that is, , it’s a long time ago. But that’s what sort of was the segway to the world that worldwide web, that unknown. And I think the unknown always excited me because there were challenges and, hey, you could do things that other people can’t do. [00:27:00] Everybody in the industry, when they heard that I was building a website I’m just fast forwarding.
Said, you’re crazy. You’ll never be able to sell diamonds online. I, and that’s when I said, when I kept hearing that, I said, no, I don’t believe it, but what would be the best way to sell diamonds online? And then I realized that, and in those days it was very much a one-dimensional. Kind of aspect.
You didn’t have video, you didn’t have voice, you didn’t have, all you had was a page that came up. And once you saw that then of course you were able to read that and make a decision on what you wanted to do. My thing was if I make the. Brilliant sparkly diamond in the world.
Why wouldn’t people want to buy my diamond online? They wouldn’t have to have the touchy feel in order to. And that’s what started me on the journey of my product development in different cuts. And of course in maximizing [00:28:00] a round brilliance to their maximum light performance that’s returning the light to the human eye.
And so that’s what really got me on that on, on that journey. And I had a good friend, his name was Professor Keen. He was a professor. Who had tenure at the University of Houston in the mathematics, and I think computers. And he’s the one who really to introduced me to the online business or let’s say to the world of the worldwide web.
And it’s an interesting story because , what can I say? We had somebody who found a page of our. and he was a lawyer in Chicago and he wanted to buy a diamond. I suggested a certain diamond for him and he said how am I gonna pay you? So I said you gonna send me a check or you can wire me the funds.
He says, but how I know that you’ll send me the diamond? He said, hang on, wait a minute. And he wrote a contract, which he said I could use for other people. and that [00:29:00] was the first PayPal before any PayPal , and that’s how we conducted business. It’s crazy when you think about today how easy it is to buy and purchase something online.
Danny Gavin: Yeah. I always love the story about the lawyer and I have vivid memories of going to Professor Keen’s house like on a Sunday and like checking out like old things in his garage, . So just to like, to step back a. Like, I think we’ve got to stress this point, so remember we’re talking about the internet in the late nineties and to buy something online itself was pretty crazy.
But to buy something like a diamond online that’s even crazier, but it seems like you really put some, an amazing thought together. It was like, okay, if I’m going to sell on a platform, which people are not comfortable, , using to buy and I’m selling a product which could have so many problems with it, right?
It’s really expensive, as we know. Diamonds are usually the third biggest purchase that someone will make in their life. But you saw that and you’re like, okay, then I need to work [00:30:00] extra hard to create a product that’s gonna be so amazing, so real so powerful and that someone will feel so comfortable, purchasing.
and that’s how it’s going to work. And I just think that just having that foresight and like looking at the audience, looking at the product and creating that match I don’t know if enough people give you credit for that idea.
Brian Gavin: No, I probably don’t get enough credit, but it doesn’t matter.
It’s unimportant. I’ve made thousands of people happy and people have bought diamonds that we’ve never been able to buy in a store. At the end of the day, I think we proved a point. If I could step aside and just say that in any of my product developments, , I’ve always had a vision and that vision comes to me and I say, okay, that’s the vision.
Now let’s get there. And I will move mountains and hills and seas in order to get there. And I think, I think you know that I persevere. I think it’s [00:31:00] my O C D part where I will . Just keep going at it until I crack the code. And that’s, that. I think that’s being been the story in, in many respects.
Danny Gavin: So where do you get your ideas for new products? You mentioned vision, but is it something that develops after looking at trends, public interest, or is it really just like you receive inspiration naturally, like you’re listening to really good jazz music and it’s oh, like that’s the next thing
Brian Gavin: I think the letter, as you say is really more of what happens.
It’s those quiet moments or I’m thinking of things that how can I say that all of a sudden these ideas pop into my head. I can’t say that it’s, I’m one of those idea People that, I’m looking at trends, this is what’s gonna be the next thing. No, I don’t do that.
I think there, there are quiet times, there are times at moments where they’re not quiet, but all of a sudden something, I remembered something and something pops in my head and say, wow, that’s a new direction. And I [00:32:00] play on. My, my gut feeling, if I can put it that way, more and yes, I think about, how can I improve, how can I improve, what can I do?
But a lot of the key successes that I’ve had in certain product areas is being a bing. That idea, I love that drawing of the little globe above the, the light bulb above a person’s head. I think that’s what happens. And you. . I don’t think it’s something, I think this happens to anybody who’s in a creative field who has to rely on saying, what can we do better?
What can we do that people will like, what? What can we do that’s new? And I think that’s what really happens. Yeah. More so than anything else. .
Danny Gavin: Yeah. I think, I think people are born with it. I think there’s, you can learn how to be creative, but sometimes, some people just have that gift and that knack, which, thankfully God blessed you with and gave you those tools to really ideate and think outside of the box.
I want to talk about one of. Most interesting product [00:33:00] developments, although I wouldn’t say this is what you’re known for the most, but I think it’s pretty cool to talk about Brian Gavin Blue, or diamonds with blue fluorescence. Typically diamonds with blue fluorescence had a stigma for long time and usually.
The, a lot cheaper and so on and so forth, but came along one day and you’re like, Ooh, we’re actually gonna take something. Which for years or maybe even, decades, was known as something bad and he flipped it on its head and made it into something good. And I think when everyone heard about that and oh my gosh, this guy’s genius.
Why don’t we think about let’s talk about a little bit about, Brian, Gavin Blue and marketing. Diamonds with blue fluorescence.
Brian Gavin: Well, there again, it’s about differentiation and it’s at which dance are you dancing at?
Are we gonna dance at their dance hall? Are we gonna dance at my dance hall? And that was very much the case. As time went on, internet became more competitive people started reverse engineering and trying to copy us very difficult go, put a stop to it.[00:34:00] We weren’t going to enter into that realm.
Leave that for another time. But we. , I looked at different product. I, yes, blue is one. The Cape Series is a second, which is was also very good. And what I mean by Cape Series, there’s all the lower colors in the diamonds, like M N O P Q which are yellow tints. It always also gets a bad rep, especially in America, in the far East, yellow diamonds.
or especially large ones are or are purchased. But as far as blue’s concerned, he has an interesting aspect of a diamond, which I said, let’s look at the positive sides of these stones. Why do people give him a negative rap? We know that it’s unique. You walk into a nightclub and bling, all of a sudden your blings really blinging, and it’s got a, it’s got a blue shine to it.
I always find it amazing in diamonds that they fluoresce different colors. And I just said, look, we can evaluate the stones as long as there’s no negative effect, because many [00:35:00] diamonds that do have blue fluorescence suffer from a milkiness, especially in the natural daylight. But we filtered out our stones very carefully to make sure that wasn.
The effect. We trademarked blue, we own the world word blue, believe it or not. And we have blue for our blue diamonds. And and as , it was be, it was very successful. And people used to line up to buy blues. We, we couldn’t find enough material in the market to actually, to deliver those blues half the time.
It’s like I said, right at the beginning of this talk, you’ve gotta look for the positive things. Can you take these positives and build them into something that people can enjoy and that people can gain something from? And I think that’s very much the story of blue without getting too technical about it and is still the successful and has been very successful in, in, in that sense.
It’s a very neat term. So if any of your listeners want a blue diamond, And we’re not talking about the color we’re talking about. It’s fluorescence, it’s natural [00:36:00] fluorescence. It’s a wonderful thing to have. And I, it’s always had a bad rap in the screen. It’s because it’s an easy way to put somebody off of buying a certain stone.
And and it’s not necessary because blue diamonds, they should trade for more than they do. They’re unique.
Danny Gavin: Alright. Before we wrap up, we’d love to know your top three cars. I know you’re a huge car enthusiast and you’re still working on getting your orange or yellow Porsche. But what would be your top three cars?
Brian Gavin: cars Porsche is always a nine 11 or a GT three Rs is, has always been a goal of mine. I’m not quite sure whether I’ll own one. It’s much easier to own it as a screensaver. I don’t have the the maintenance problems. But yes, I happen to own a a 2016 Mitsubishi evolution. And that’s an amazing little car and it falls in upright with them all.
So, I, I would say my Porsche, I love my Evo and maybe a Ferrari. But I don’t think that I have to really own one. I enjoy the magnificent engineering of these things. [00:37:00] I enjoy the promotions of them. I enjoy what goes into them cause I think once you’ve driven one, , that’s it.
You don’t have to own it to drive it anymore. I think it’s more about, it’s a design, it’s thought process where they want these things to be, and yeah, I just think it’s sad that, I’m a traditionalist as and eventually all these gas engines are gonna come to an end and these wonderful sounding vehicles will disappear from us.
And we’ll just have battery packs. And when your battery pack goes out, you have to stop.
Danny Gavin: So what are you currently working on? What is your next big project this year?
Brian Gavin: I got involved in any area that that most people said I would never, and of course, in many respects, I said I would never. And that is in lab-grown diamonds. , my aspect of lab grown is okay, so you have material, doesn’t matter how much you polish away of it because it’s not expensive. So it’s more about the perfection and the light performance of those stones.
We’ve applied that to , we’ve taken [00:38:00] our patterns and applied it to rounds, to our cushions. And we’ll work our way down in, in, in experimenting and trying to apply it to other cuts as well, and develop new cuts. And I think that’s where we are at the moment. I think technology is changing tremendously.
I don’t know if I, my age is keeping up with that technology change special artificial intelligence and , probably be nice to either hand this off to somebody else ultimately or or have some more young blood in the business itself to push it forward because it’s a great company.
It has great products it has very unique products and I think. It doesn’t get the kudos as it should. It does get amongst a small minority, but I don’t think that amongst the big market as such. As I say, Our products like, like the Porsche, the Ferrari of the world.
So it’s not for everybody. And so I don’t look at it to be the the McDonald’s of the world. No. That’s the sort of direction that I’m pushing myself because of the [00:39:00] age that I’ve reached and I still have a lot to give and it’s still a lot to do, but ultimately I think we will direct it in, in, in that sort of pathway and give all those customers who’ve who, who own a brine Gavin special piece a future.
And I think that’s really where my head is at the moment. .
Danny Gavin: You’re definitely no stranger to TikTok as you are a little bit of a TikTok star these days, and hopefully we’ll see more of that. But where else can the listeners learn more about you and your business?
Brian Gavin: What I always say is just, you can go to brian gavin diamonds.com or you can go to brian gavin.com, or you can just Google Brian Gavin the diamond cutter.
I think that there’s many years, more than 22 years of data and information about what we do and what, how we do it out there. , what you have to do is search for that name. And I think that people were able to see as you say, Facebook Instagram TikTok finally. But it’s all there.
LinkedIn if you want. But it’s it’s all there. And I think people can learn and I think it they can learn to appreciate what it [00:40:00] is to have an amazing diamond that performs second to none. .
Danny Gavin: Wonderful. Dad, thank you so much for being a guest on the Digital Marketing Mentor and thank you listeners for tuning into the Digital Marketing Mentor.
Can’t wait to see you
Brian Gavin: next time. Thank you for having me, and I hope that your mentoring will be mentors for others to mentor. Thanks and have a lot of success. Thank you for having me. Pleasure.
Danny Gavin: Bye.
- Optidge’s “The Digital Marketing Mentor” Podcast Strikes Gold and Silver at the 2023 Davey Awards
- Mandy Politi, Optidge Senior SEO Strategist, Presenting “Using Linguistics To Create Content That Ranks” at State of Search 2023 in Dallas/Fort Worth
- Podcast: How to Level Up in Client Management | Inbound Back Office Podcast
- Podcast: What you need to know about GA4 | Product Market Fit
- Podcast: How to Create a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy | Inspired by Purpose