When I was young, my brother had a passion for antiques and collectibles which I saw blossom from a weekend hobby to a full blown estate auctions and appraisal business. I worked with him in that business as a runner, photographer, researcher and his personal IT staff, and I loved every minute of it. The first software application that I wrote was an app that would allow him to manage the checkout process at his auctions.
In the 90’s, I watched as my brother, one of the most technology averse people I knew, enthusiastically embrace the arrival of the web. He seemed to intuitively understand the power that it held in terms of reaching collectors with both his inventory and his knowledge.
Through those early experiences with my brother, I found my first connection to collectors and collecting culture.
In 2010, my passion for story writing led to an opportunity to write for a comic book anthology about zombies. This experience took me around the country to various comic cons and pop culture gatherings where I was again exposed to a world of collectors and collectibles that I scarcely knew existed, but bonded instantly with.
Through my experience with the comic anthology, I saw the potential in social media and the web to share information around collecting and how it was capable of bringing communities of enthusiasts together around a common interest.
When I was tapped to run Gemr in late 2016, I saw something that resonated very strongly with me. My connection to those early experiences with my brother and my understanding of the power of networking to bring people together around a common interest made it a natural fit.
As the new CEO of Gemr, I want to welcome you to the next generation of online collecting. For those who are returning – and to those who have just found us – let me introduce all the changes we’ve made around here.
A Renewed Focus Here @ Gemr
Gemr is a platform by collectors, for collectors. From our investors, board members, and advisors to our employees, Gemr boasts an impressive array of astute and nationally known collectors and collecting enthusiasts. We not only want to solve the problem of online collecting for you, we want to solve this problem for ourselves as collectors as well! From here on out, everything we build will be with serious collectors in mind. Whether you collect Marvel comics, Barbies, Hamilton vintage watches, or early American colonial antiques, it is our goal to build the premiere online experience for the savvy collector. Between new features, new blog posts, a cleaner and more intuitive interface, and many more ambitious plans in our product roadmap, our aim is to cater to those for whom collecting is not just a hobby, but a passion.
With this in mind, we have been listening to our collector community in order to not only fix shortcomings in the platform, but build upon the Gemr foundation. Your feedback is incredibly important to us; this is your platform. We want you to tell us what works, what doesn’t work, and what you’d like to see next.
An Enhanced Management Team
To help meet your demands, I’ve had the pleasure of recruiting bold and innovative new members to the leadership team, and I think you’ll like what they will add to the community.
Our new Chief Marketing Officer, Dave Rosenlund, is not only a business veteran with extensive startup experience, he is also a fledgling collector of movie memorabilia and die cast cars (who can be seen in these respective clubs). We also welcome the one and only Chris Gore to our team. Chris is an acclaimed film expert, writer, and comedian who has authored three books (including Chris Gore’s Ultimate Film Festival’s Survival Guide) and regularly appeared on G4TV’s Attack of the Show. But he’s also a long-time passionate collector and pop-culture nerd. If you can’t find him during his frequent visits to various cons, you can catch up with him on his Twitter account, @thatchrisgore — and here on Gemr: @thatchrisgore.
With the help of our expanded management team, we were able to come together and refine our mission: To build and deliver a site that supports the entire collector’s journey (as described here in our blog post) better than any other. By condensing the way collectors have always built their collections and collecting knowledge into four simple steps, we can pinpoint how to best serve the members of our community with collections of any size and scope. By looking to satisfying hardcore collectors at every step of their journey, we’re building a site that satisfies the needs of beginner and seasoned collectors alike.
Ambitious Product Updates
With our new team and our new focus, we’ve never been more ready to improve upon all elements of Gemr. Thanks to our newly implemented software development process, we’re able to deliver bigger and better improvements at a consistently rapid pace.
Since September of 2016, we’ve released 7 substantial product updates packing new features, faster speeds, bug fixes, and more. Some of our best new features include:
- Massive performance improvements across the site, driven by feedback from our users. These improvements underscore a commitment to cutting edge technology which ensures a fast, reliable, and secure experience with each visit to Gemr.
- The “Make an Offer” tool, which allows users to bid on applicable items that are not listed as “for sale.”
- “Update” posts that allow you to share your collecting experience with the Gemr community, complete with images and links that support rich content such as video, audio players, and expanded content previews.
- The “Curator’s Corner” section of clubs, which gives club curators more freedom to share interesting content with club members (including the aforementioned update posts).
- The new “Admired Items” list, which allows you to track and share every item that catches your eye, even if it’s not on Gemr.
- A number of improvements to provide our users with a highly curated experience so that you see only the things that interest you on Gemr.
We’ve also made a number of quality-of-life improvements to our user interface, which includes the following:
- Newly optimized item tiles, featuring more visually pleasing layouts and larger images.
- Filters that allow you to search for items that are strictly for sale, for show, and more.
- An ongoing history of your viewed items, allowing you to quickly return to collectibles that caught your interest.
- A redesigned “Add Item” process, making it easier to expand your collection and share it with the appropriate clubs.
Even with everything listed here, we’ve only scratched the surface of how Gemr has grown. Check out our release notes to see a full list of changes, or check out our product update blogs for specific improvements.
A Bright New Future
With a new team, a new direction, and a vastly improved experience, we’re eager to realize our dream for a unified platform that meets all of your collecting needs. But more than anything else, we’re putting you first from here on out. It’s only thanks to our loyal users that we’ve been able to grow, whether you’ve stayed from the beginning or only stuck around for a little bit. Now it’s our turn to give back to you.
Welcome to the new Gemr.