Social Life: Benjamin Guttery, @thirdcoastgems



We have hit the social media jackpot, folks. If you don’t know Benjamin Guttery—and you probably do—then you at least know his wildly popular @thirdcoastgems, a self-described Instablog, a name that is perfectly apt for what it is. You could say that Guttery is the industry’s best friend, and that would be true: His inclination for boasting about jewelry brands on their behalf has stolen the heart of your truly (and we haven’t even met in person, which is, in a word, ridiculous), and his nearly 70,000 Instagram followers likely agree.

From my perspective, @thirdcoastgems came out of thin air. I don’t even remember how I found the account; all I know is that I was hooked for life from the moment I saw it. From Benjamin’s perspective—well, I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than that. I’m certain that even the tiniest glimpse into the mind of one of the industry’s current greatest brand advocates will impart a lesson or two unto anyone using social media—in the industry or not.

Your passion for independent jewelers is infectious—what drives you?

Benjamin Guttery: I’ve been working in the jewelry industry for almost 11 years now, many of those for independents. So, focusing on them and all of the artists they carry was natural for me. My tagline has been “When you have a true passion for something, it’s contagious.” I truly want to bring excitement back to the consumer.

How do you find new and up-and-coming jewelers to share with all of us?

Guttery: Scrolling on social media feeds all day long! But honestly, at this point, I’m contacted often by brands, PR agencies, or even fellow jewelry lovers. I often discover some of the best new talent on my “city tours” while traveling the country.

Your favorite jewelry trend right now?

Guttery: I have an obsession: an #OmbreObsession. Anything with gradient colors I’m all over.

Do you keep separate social media accounts for personal versus business use?

Guttery: I do, though I don’t post often on my personal. I want to share certain aspects of my life with everyone. I’m definitely not a “jewelry robot.”

What is your favorite social media platform for business? For personal use?

Guttery: 1,000% Instagram for business. The same goes for Facebook being for personal.

First social media site you check in the morning?

Guttery: Instagram. Gotta check the ‘gram.

Your feelings on Pinterest: Do you use it? If yes, in what capacity?

Guttery: I never use Pinterest. I claimed my account, but it’s pretty barren.

Tell us a social media success story.

Guttery: I’d like to think of “social media success” being measured in actually making a difference. So I go back to discovering artists like @freestonepeach, @marlaaaron, and @danabronfman, then watching their successes and development over the years. It’s been more rewarding than any amount of likes.

What do you think is the new thing in social media—or, do you have any predictions on where we’re headed next?

Guttery: I love Stories on Instagram. As soon as they tied that in, my Snapchat turned into a personal page. It’s been very active for me, and I show a different side of me.

Guttery with @diamondoodles’ Hannah Becker

Five favorite jewelry-related accounts to follow on Instagram. GO.

Guttery: @diamondoodles: She makes me laugh, learn, and her creativity inspires me. @liz_kantner: She shares some very cool fine, fashion, and handmade artisans. @erikakwinters: I mean, have you seen her jewels? Have you seen her photography? @topnotchfaceting: Unique gems from lesser known sources. Plus, his cutting is next to none. And @ericacourtneyjewels: She’s “Indiana Jones in six-inch heels.” Enough said.

OK, 5 favorite nonjewelry-related accounts to follow.

Guttery: @mytherapistsays for hilarious memes. @anotherseattleartist: amazing pottery artist with limited edition series. @textsfromyourex—nothing more to say there. @neighborsfromhell because we’ve all had one, and @stormsjack, a groundbreaking glass artist and sculptor.

A recent shot from Guttery’s time in Key West

Social media pet peeve?

Guttery: Having my original photos used by designers, stores, and industry organizations, without being credited. It happens more often than you think, especially since now 90% of my page is my original photography.

If you could offer one piece of advice to anyone just getting into the social media arena, what would it be?

Guttery: Be consistent and tell YOUR story.

We’ve been talking a lot about memes and how brands can capitalize on them as of late. Give us your favorite example of a brand that cashed in on a current meme’s popularity.

Guttery: As of late, the airlines are all over it. Southwest Airlines killed it with their response to the United Airlines scandal.

And finally, what’s your favorite meme?  

Guttery: My husband told me not to be “too blingy” at the airport or on our vacation recently. This was my response:

Follow Benjamin @thirdcoastgems on Instagram and Twitter.

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  • Barbara Palumbo

    I’ll go ahead and say what so many are thinking: Jen Heebner wrote about Marla Aaron twice on JCKonline in 2012, long before anyone knew who the above influencer was. To say that anyone “discovered” Marla Aaron is an insult to her talents (which stand on their own and did not need “discovering”) as well as to those who knew of those talents years before anyone else. It takes big you-know-whats to take credit for someone else’s success like this, especially someone so beloved by designers and media, alike.

    • Laura Jorn

      Please try and take a positive perspective on this article. I’ve read it multiple times and don’t walk away thinking Benjamin was saying “he discovered” these artists as if they weren’t already doing their own thing in the industry. After meeting him in person I will say Benjamin really is that nice of a guy and gets very excited to see what new and beautiful things he’s “discovered” from different designers. Just like someone I’m sure discovered how beautiful and loveable you are even though you’ve been around for a while. Its all positive, all good. I look forward to discovering Marla Aaron’s work now as this is the first time I’ve heard her name.

  • Ruben Bermejo

    Barbara Polumbo,
    I’ll go ahead and say what so many are thinking: you are reading into that comment just so you can have something to say about my husband and the deserved accolades that he is given. Only a person with little time in the business would believe that those wonderful designers were in fact “discovered” by Benjamin. So it saddens me that someone of your “stature” in the jewelry industry would have something to say to clarify something that he is being falsely accused of. But then again, you are who you are.
    Benjamin truly loves the jewelry industry and is very passionate about what he does to help designers go that extra mile to flourish in the business.
    He may have “discovered” the designers he mentioned in the article long after others, but I bet if you talk to them personally I’m pretty sure they will tell you that Benjamin had a big part in motivating them to continue to grow in the business.

    • Benjamin Guttery

      Thank You. Thank You. THANK YOU. If anyone “gets me” it’s you.

  • My agency represents several designers, and all of them love working with Ben Guttery. In his personal discovery of each of our artists, he not only learns about what they bring to the world, but he helps all of us unveil something unseen in the collections. His perspective is appreciated, and we find that retailers, editors and industry influencers respond positively to his posts, which is ultimately what my clients are looking to achieve. Thank you for posting this interview! See you in Vegas!

    • Benjamin Guttery

      Thank You Beth Anne! I enjoy working with you and the brands you represent as well. See you in Vegas!

  • Angie Crabtree

    Great work Ben! Congratulations on all your success! I love learning about new designers from your account. Thank you for sharing the work of so many great artists. Look forward to seeing you at JCK!

    • Benjamin Guttery

      Thank You Angie, coming from such a talented Artist such as yourself means alot. See you in Vegas love!!!

  • Ann Korman

    Benjamin Guttery has been one of the most supportive and kindest people that I have ever met. He discovered my line on instagram and reached out to me to encourage me to keep making my original pieces. I don’t think he really understood how timely and important his encouragement was. This is a very challenging industry and for emerging designers like myself: it is especially challenging. Benjamin kept encouraging me to make my designs and supported me as a person and as an artist. Because of Benjamin and Liz Kantner- I was noticed and also asked to be part of the emerging designer section at JA which helped my line tremendously. He also was the person that told me about THE NEXT NOW which I went on to win. if not for Benjamin I would never had entered this contest nor would I have thought I could have a chance to win. He helped me believe in my work. My line is where it is today because of Benjamin’s support. He is unique in the industry and one of the kindest people I will ever meet. He keeps reminding me to speak in my own voice and to just keep going. This industry would not be the same without this man. Thank you Benjamin! Keep up what you are doing!! I will see you in Vegas next year! 😉

    • Benjamin Guttery

      I have no words Ann. Just Thank You. Oh and your an AMAZING and talented designer, soon the whole world will know ARK Fine Jewelry!!!

  • Brittany Cole Stadtmiller

    I’m so happy to see Benjamin featured here! My husband and I started our jewelry business in late 2012 and @thirdcoastgems has been an IG supporter since the early days. Ben is always vocal about supporting artists and their craft and has been extremely generous to me with his time and knowledge that comes with years of experience in the jewelry industry. He goes above and beyond to help independent artist grow their social followings as well as find events and trade shows that will help us continue to develop our brands, and for this we love him! Hope to see more of him on your site!

    • Benjamin Guttery

      Your an amazing artist Brittany and I want the best for you and everyone in our community. We do go WAYYYY back on Instagram to the old days!

  • Melissa Lim

    Lovely feature on an amazing person! Thank you, Ben for your fun and always inspiring and informative jewelry posts. Your infectious passion and true knowledge for gems and your support of independent jewelers are appreciated throughout the jewelry community!

    • Benjamin Guttery

      I love y’all, the entire Trabert Goldsmiths team!!!! I want to personally thank you all for supporting so many independent designers!

  • Love, love love Benjamin and all he stands for. He was one of my very first followers way back when and I have found so many cool artists and designers through him. @disqus_16uSOQZmFy:disqus, I think you have missed the point entirely. Benjamin is a nurturer and connector of talented people and I for one am eternally grateful for his approach. Out there in other industries the games played on Instagram are so awful. He on the other hand is a breath of pure fresh air. We are truly lucky to have him.

  • Megan Thorne

    Biggest best smile in the industry! Love your passion for jewels and even more so for people, Benjamin.

    • Benjamin Guttery

      Thank You Megan, you’ve been supportive of me since the beginning! See you in Vegas love!