“Who is this person? She’s everywhere!”
Before I knew who Robyn Hawk was, whenever I would do a Google search for just about any subject relating to gems, minerals, and jewelry I would see blogs, Facebook feeds, and articles all over the internet by “A Fly On The Wall” (or @AFlyontheWall) accompanied by a little green “fly” photo. I was intrigued and thought of her as the mysterious and prolific gem show lady! Somehow later, I found out that A Fly On The Wall was a woman named Robyn Hawk. Her sudden passing on July 16, 2019, has left a sobering sinkhole in our hearts, and at the same time Robyn has left a dazzling display of sapphire colors in our memories of her.
Robyn worked as a social content curator to gem and jewelry brands, businesses, and artists. With a dozen blogs constantly in need of updating, Robyn was a self-proclaimed "serial blogger." Writing with the goals of sharing her love of colored gems and minerals with the public and promoting emerging designers to jewelry stores, Robyn always reported from her unique viewpoint as a metalsmith and gem cutter. Her blogs included Tucson Gem Show Live!, The Daily Jewel, and Historic Gems & Jewelry.
Above all, in the seven years that I knew Robyn she was simply a kind human being with a giving heart of gold, an eye for beauty, and a penchant for friendship. And she talked a lot; I often felt kind of bad when I’d have to interrupt her to get a word in edgewise in our conversations. That was also Robyn.
Since 2013, my company, Xpo Press, has been one of the fortunate beneficiaries of Robyn’s unique skill set. She created all of our social media platforms, she was our “voice” replying back to all inquiries on our Facebook (@GemShowEZGuides), and she posted all the photos on our Instagram. Additionally, she was a staff writer for Xpo Press’s printed gem show guides, and we published at least three of her articles a year in our publications.
I first met Robyn (digitally) in 2012 after I learned who this mysterious Fly on the Wall was. I believe I introduced myself in an email and asked if she might be interested in doing some writing for Xpo Press. She happened to be well aware of Xpo Press’s work in the gem, mineral and jewelry show world and, flatteringly, she informed me that she religiously used our EZ-Guides at various shows around the country.
After our first email exchange she went to work on coming up with brilliant article ideas for our 2013 Tucson EZ-Guide, and we published her first … three! … articles in that 2013 edition: “Rockhounding Arizona,” “Mineral Show 101: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy a Mineral Show in Tucson,” and “AGTA GemFair Tucson: An Insider’s Look Behind the Velvet Ropes.”
We decided to meet face-to-face at the 2013 Tucson Showcase, where, I recall, we had to meet in my rental car because our schedules kept conflicting during the two days that our time in Tucson intersected. But in that car meeting on a hot February afternoon, I must have taken three pages of notes from the ideas Robyn had for how we could improve our EZ-Guides, our website, and new ideas for mobile apps and an email newsletter. That too was Robyn — endless ideas and vision!
Every year after in Tucson we would meet in the lobby of the Riverpark Inn at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show, save for one year when we met at the Starbucks on Broadway Blvd. between Country Club Rd. and Alvernon Way. More ideas, more vision, more abrupt interjections by me to get a word into our focused discussions. The last time Robyn and I met was this past April at the 2019 Colorado Mineral & Fossil Spring Show at Crowne Plaza in Denver. Xpo Press paid for her flight and lodging to get her here (Denver is where our offices are located, well, actually, Arvada) so that she and I could talk in detail about Xpo Press’s new GEM-AD membership program, and what her role would be in implementing it.
I certainly couldn’t have guessed when I said goodbye to Robyn in that hotel lobby that it would be the last time that I would ever see her again. And that’s the sobering thought. Death can be so very sudden. It should make us pause for a moment to ponder … and to value and appreciate the time we have with our friends and loved ones. Indeed, we just don’t know when it might be the last time that we’ll be with them.
Robyn’s final entry on our Facebook page was July 16, the same day that she passed away. Color was in her thought to the very end, as she wrote: “Montana sapphires are as glamorous and dazzling as sapphires from Asia, but they are exceptional and exclusive in their properties. These stunning stones feature high quality radiance with a great range of color and saturation. These exclusive properties create a dynamic beauty to your jewelry designs. Colors include blues to greens, as well as combinations of green and blue. The rare colors are orange/yellow and violet/pink.”
Robyn, I choose to believe that in these words you were communicating to us on your last day on Earth what your own spirit is like. You, dear, were glamorous, dazzling, exceptional and exclusive in your properties. You were stunning, featuring high quality radiance with a great range of color and saturation. Your exclusive properties created dynamic beauty. Your color combinations were wide-ranging and rare.
Be with God now, sister, daughter and friend — with Him in whom all rare beauties originated and to whom all true radiance dwells forever. You, friend, will be remembered as an iridescent sapphire fabulously called away from the shadowlands down here. We will see you again, in true Light and Color!