The stone is the heritage of Recep Keleş, one of the most special people in the natural stone industry. It’s extracted in Erzurum and its blue, white, and brown patterns form a unique beauty. We are talking about Bluejean, one of the magnificent products gifted to the international natural stone industry by Turkey. Let’s take a look at the story behind this exquisite stone. Recep Keleş is a actually journalist. After retirement, he took interest in natural stone and in time, fell in love with it. He even published the first magazine of the natural stone sector, presenting it to the industry. After they got the license for the Bluejean Quarry in 1999, their operations started. All those who beheld the stone fell in love with it and desired to be the sole buyer of the stone through long-term contracts. However, because of Recep Keleş’s heart disease that caused three heart attacks, the 21-year-old quarry’s active operations were limited to only 10 years.
After a heart attack on July 15, 2017, Recep Keleş made his last will to his children before he passed away after three days. His son Fatih Keleş remembers his father’s last work as if it was yesterday: “My dad told us, ‘I dedicated my life to this place. If you are going to do this job, first warm your hearts up. Don’t look at things from a commercial point of view. Make the best of it. And if you want to sell it, sell it to someone who will do so.’ And we’ve taken care of it as our family business. After my dad’s passing away in 2017, we passed the year off. And in 2018 we decided to meet the needs of the quarry first and stop production if it was necessary. The quarry went through a maintenance period that it has probably never seen before, and we remained inactive for 1.5 years.”
Fatih Keleş states that they are following their father’s footsteps in production. “The more the better” logic in Turkey is not valid for the Bluejean Quarry. He emphasizes that they are producing an exclusive stone, “It’s important that this stone be unique. It’s a unique stone and therefore, we thought that growth without control wouldn’t be useful. That was my father’s plan also. That’s why our production is limited. We stop producing before reaching 1000 tons a year.”
Don’t see Bluejean only as a covering material, since we are talking about a stone that can be used as a necklace, ring, earring and even sunglasses. Fatih Keleş keeps on, “We sell more rubble than blocks. Blue is a highly preferred color. Thanks to a special technological device in Italy, Bluejean is used in sunglasses with acrylic material. Since each pattern and color is different, the glasses produced can never be owned by somebody else. They are produced by demand and sold for incredible amounts of money. Rings and necklaces are among the products receiving the highest demand for special events.”
Because of the 1.5-year maintenance after 2017, Blujean Marble has a long list of deliveries. But the firm is definitely not planning to increase production. They are quite determined about running the marketing process with reliable people who value the stone. The stone’s authorized seller in Turkey is Yesmar. And Selman Güler, board chairman of Yesmar Marble, says, “Appreciating such a valuable stone is our privilege.”