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Pearls of Wisdom. Steve Bennett

Steve Bennett is the Founder and Chairman of Gemporia UK Ltd , The United Kingdoms premier jewellery TV shopping network. Steve is a gem hunter, a gemstone expert, a generous benefactor to numerous charities he has started including the Colourful Life Foundation which has built over 15 schools in India, Tanzania and South Africa whose Patron is Sir Richard Branson. Steve chats with David Norman about his life in the Jewellery TV business, his charity work and his newest ventures and efforts for the improvement of our general wellbeing and good health. Steve Bennett founded Gems TV in 2004 which was sold and he rebought and launched as Gemporia UK. David Norman’s nephew, 25 year old Charlie Barron, sixth generation pearl dealer appears regularly on the channel selling pearls and crews from Gemporia UK have visited and filmed a lot of pearl farm forage at the Paspaley Pearl farms in Northern Australia to support the TV sales. David and Steve first met and visited the Paspaley Pearling Company Auctions back in 2015 in Hong Kong and have been good friends and collaborators ever since. Steve , as well as having founded and run Gemporia is branching out these past few years into health and fitness. He has authored a book called Primal Cure and is passionate about helping people achieve their optimal health through good nutrition and exercise. In our interview Steve touches on the health business and tells us how he first got into the jewellery business as he was a passionate rockhound and this developed into an interest in gems and gemology and that in turn led into a whole business A good friend of Sir Richard Branson, he was encouraged to just do it and hence got into the TV shopping business, learning each step of the way. Anyone who has seen and watched Gemporia UK shows will attest to the high level of professionalism and the ease with which one can buy and clearly see what one is buying. TV shopping is a huge segment of worldwide retail. The beauty of it is that for the viewer at home it is most often light and airy , yet extremely informative , staffed by experts ,with expert hosts , hostesses and guest presenters and suppliers . Customers have the right to return all their purchases with a defined time limit if they are not satisfied with them, and most TV stations sell with a version of stretchpay or timed payments over several months depending on the value of the purchase. Steve has travelled the world travelling to buy direct from miners and pearl cultivators. Gemporia sells every type of gemstone and pearl and Steve is surrounded by passionate talented individuals within the business who all contribute to the whole. Steve has transferred 75 % of the ownership of Gemporia company into the hands of the employees of the company in the form of an employee – owned trust, as a huge incentive for the whole team to come together and continue to grow the business. Steve remains the Chairman , his brother is the Managing Director and his son in law Jake Thompson is the main gems buyer and CEO. Steve’s wife Sarah has also played a huge role in the company so it is very much a family business. Steve is also very committed to charity work and set up The Colourful Life foundation which helps thousands of children in Tanzania in education and health matters, runs mentoring programs for young boys in the UK, educates thousands of children in India in Kathputli Nagar across four schools aiming to grow to ten schools in time. In South Africa a new school has been built and fitted out back in 2015 in Newington Village, there are also projects underway in Madagascar and Kenya. A truly impressive body of work that is fundamentally changing and improving thousands of lives. We are honored to know and work with Steve and the Bennett family and employee owners at Gemporia and we hope you enjoy this interview taped around Christmas of 2020