Bob graduated from Brown University in 1979, where he majored in economics and played football as an offensive lineman, which earned him a spot in the Brown Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. After deciding that a career with the Detroit Lions was not for him, he moved to New York in 1980 and followed his parents’ footsteps by working in the jewelry industry.
Bob got his passion for the jewelry industry from his parents, Paul and Faye Forster. They started working for a private jewelry company in the early 1960’s. Paul later worked for Zale's Corporation, where he managed and opened new stores for the company. He later became the diamond buyer for Service Merchandise before he and Faye opened their own business “Diamond Outlet” in 1982. Since then, Paul retired while Faye still continues to work at the jewelry store every week at the age of 84.
Bob worked for three of the largest diamond companies in the world, M. Fabrikant & Sons, Star Diamond Group, and Rosey Blue, and since 1983 he has enjoyed traveling to all the major jewelry and diamond centers around the world. While working in New York, he met his wife, Helen Forster, in the diamond district. Together, they presently own the second generation, free standing jewelry store that Bob's parents opened in 1982. The focus of the jewelry store has always been and continues to be diamonds. It was as early as the late 1990’s that Bob began to realize that the diamond industry needed a change which motivated him to get involved with the Star 129 project. Bob has personally been involved with Star 129 since 2000, and continues to steer the company as it evolves each year.
Helen Forster’s love for jewelry started at a young age, when she would get dressed up in all her mother’s unique pieces. She ended up attending Mary Baldwin College and then going on to receive her graduate gemologist degree from GIA degree in New York City in 1984. After that she went to work for Leer Gem from 1984-1990 originally as the assistant to the VP of the pearl department then director of the sorting department. This is where she met Bob Forster, and soon after they got married. In 1995, after 3 children, the Forster family decided to move down to Nashville, TN where Helen took over running Diamond Outlet which she continues to do today.
The eldest of the three children, Matthew, graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with two degrees, Supply Chain Management and Marketing, and a minor in Economics. He currently works full time for a sports and entertainment marketing firm in Nashville that specializes in brand partnerships within the music industry.
He met his wife Brennan after the opening night of a Star129 sponsored event. That evening they would cross paths through mutual friends. As Matthew puts it, when Brennan walked in he could not take his eyes off of her and the rest was history.
Matthew helps with the administrative side of Star 129 and is instrumental in planning the company’s e-commerce business model to adjust to the ever-changing online retail landscape.
Robert Forster received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree in Sustainability from Lipscomb University. He is driven by the opportunity to make a positive difference in global sustainability efforts.
He currently lives in Florida with his fiancé, Viviana, working as a project engineer designing solar power installations. He met Viviana while studying abroad in Spain in 2014 and ever since they have been traveling the world together. Viviana's background is in public relations and advertising which plays a key role in running Star129's social media and seasonal ad accounts. Taking after his parents, Robert is a salesman who assists with selling the Star129.
Grace Forster, the youngest of the three children, just finished up her graduate degree at the University of South Alabama in Marine Conservation and Resource Management. She now spends her days working at an environmental consulting firm down in Mobile, AL. The company is called Osprey Initiative, and they work on mitigating the issue of litter and marine debris in our waterways by stopping litter at its source.
When she is not in the field picking up litter, she runs and oversees their product line. On the side she runs Star129’s day to day marketing and social media. She loves the challenge of finding new ways to connect with our buyers and show them how amazing our products are.