Q+A: Siva Muthiah, Emerald Gem Exchange

Emerald Gem Exchange carries an assortment of jade, gemstones, Feng Shui products, organic jewelry, scarfs, skirts, and sarongs from Southeast Asia. We sat down with co-founder Siva Muthiah to learn more.

Can you give a brief history of your business?

After several years working in the business sector, I was burnt out and needed a change. I felt like the work I was doing had no greater purpose, so I decided to quit my job and go in a completely different direction. I haven't looked back since and I couldn't be happier. I started out selling Feng Shui products to various businesses for their storefronts and then realized that a store was the next logical step.

What first inspired you to open the store?

I wanted to provide a service that would have a positive impact on people. The best way to achieve this goal was to open a physical location for people. Whether it's a person suffering from an illness or someone who just wants to release some negative energy, I love making those connections and seeing firsthand the effects my products have.

How long have you been in DUMBO? Why did you choose this location?

I've been in DUMBO for about a year and a quarter. My decision to open a store in the area happened by accident. I was going around to different businesses when I stumbled into 145 Front St. I loved the other shops close by and I also felt a wonderful positive vibe from the residents.

All the pieces are personally handpicked by spiritual advisors who take special care in finding the right stones with the most energy.

Siva Muthiah, Co-founder of Emerald Gem Exchange

Can you explain the significance of your Feng Shui products?

The stones offer positive spiritual/emotional energy and good health and fortune for those who wear them. All the pieces are personally handpicked by spiritual advisors who take special care in finding the right stones with the most energy.

Your locally-produced products are beautifully handmade. Can you tell us more about the distribution process?

The precious stones come from all over the world, but I'm extremely proud of the fact that the jewelry is all handmade in NYC at the store or in our larger manufacturing center in Manhattan.

Your store mentions that your products are blessed by monks. Can you elaborate?

Monks periodically stop by to personally bless the stones. There is also a spiritual connection that exists.

What's your favorite spot in DUMBO?

Brooklyn Roasting Company for best coffee and hangout. And CUPER for quick lunch and dinner at 20 Pearl Street.