Our origins: Discovering the hidden gem

When I was little, my grandfather had a rock shop, which was a small business where he sold jewelry, desk sets and other items made from stones. Sometimes he and my grandmother would go on rock hunting trips, and he would bring home stones that he would cut and polish. My favorite stones were the agates. I remember watching him cut into a stone that from the outside looked brown, bumpy and, frankly, unremarkable. It was the outside of an agate. When he sliced it open – my goodness! – there were gorgeous blue and gray hues, with a smattering of white crystals inside. After he polished this stone, it gleamed brilliantly. I marveled at the artistic way in which he brought the depths of this hidden gem to light.
Years later, I decided to launch a company focused on marketing and commercialization work.  I wanted to find a name that connected with my heritage and reflected what I wanted the company to become. The name iolite was chosen because it’s a gemstone, and it evoked the memories of watching my grandfather cut stones for his small business. Moreover, this particular stone is credited with navigating Norwegian explorers across the seas to new lands. Iolite changes colors depending upon the way light hits it. By shifting the angle of the light on the stone, the sailors could find their direction. This parallels the work we do at IOLITE Global. We provide guidance to help you navigate your ventures. We bring in different perspectives that light the way to a new direction. And, like my grandfather, we share the view that something that may look like a rough cut can be polished and made to gleam. — Erika Hovland

Our origins: Discovering the hidden gem