Miriam Kamau, owner of Mimo Gems Traders Ltd. in Nairobi, transformed from an office assistant to a dealer and miner to a representative of her country on the international stage of the colored gemstone trade. Her career has not only changed her life but also inspired many women in Kenya to pursue their dreams in the gem and jewelry industry.
Born and raised in Nairobi, she entered the trade working for an American gem dealer in her hometown. In the beginning, she greeted the clients and took care of errands for her boss. She gradually realized the big fortune these small stones can carry as she passed the stones and money between the dealer and his clients. Kamau started to pay more attention to trading activities in the office and ask more questions. Luckily enough, her boss generously shared his knowledge of the gems he dealt and did not mind her interacting with his clientele and even doing business with them. When he was away and the rest of the office staff was gone for the day, Kamau visited the mining area to talk to the clients, generally women, who brought stones to the office. She learned a lot from these female miners. She also realized she needed to go back to school for a formal education on gemstones. This led her to enroll in courses in Nairobi and Johannesburg to systematically study diamond and colored gemstone identification.