I started selling jewelry at 19 in Chicago Il and quickly rose to managing 4 stores called the Dream Station. I just loved doing this. This is where I cut my teeth in sales. I moved on to having my own business selling discounted dry cleaning ticket books in LA then in the Seattle area.
Dean and I were married in 1986 and had our first child in Feb 1988. I had a jewelry store at the time, but decided to be a stay-at-home mom after Paige was born. It was during this time that Dean, my hubby, started to get sick. I got pregnant again in 1991 and was working very part time for Dean in his mortgage company.
I got back into the jewelry business in Oct 1992. It’s a story. Dean had been misdiagnosed for 4 years with Paget’s disease. While I was pregnant with Anjelica, my second child, he really started to deteriorate health-wise. We were told that he was going into remission with the Pagets disease (which generally affects older men than he was, but we went with that diagnosis at the time).
I went into labor the morning of Aug 9. At about 4 a.m. my mom took one look at Dean and said, “What are you doing here, Dean?” I thought to myself, “He’s taking me to the hospital only he really can’t walk.” So off he went to one hospital and me and my sister to another.
11 hours later Anjelica was born and we were home a day later all by ourselves. Dean came home the next day and couldn’t even hold the baby he was so weak. He came home because through these last few years we couldn’t get Dean insured. His last job covered us with wonderful insurance until, while we kept paying the company our portion of $450.00 a month, they stopped paying the premiums. So when we found out Dean was sick we also found out that we no longer had insurance.
So we wound up at the county hospital. It was about this time that a relative said to me, “Does this mean I now have to support you too?” I gotta say, that was a shock. But I also knew at that very moment no one would ever have to support me. I used to be a darn good waitress and I would be one again, I thought.
Dean came home from one of his appointments and we discussed the idea. He felt I could do more than just waitress. Besides, it really wouldn’t support us. I thought the only other thing that I really could do was jewelry, and it’s exactly what I did. I went back to doing fund raising events for the Telephone Pioneers of America. I then expanded and brought on my now business partner, Vera Seidler. Together we sold 14kt gold and sterling silver at fund raising events for most of the hospitals in the state of CA, along with women’s conventions.
In 2003 we landed a nationwide contract with Sam’s Club selling designer sterling silver. We have since then started manufacturing a Swarovski Crystal line as well as a stainless steel line of jewelry.
In 2009 we traveled abroad, and I am now designing our wonderful “chunkie line” made with semi-precious, natural stones and crystal jewelry. These are statement pieces and really for the true jewelry lady or accessory snob. I am a tailored eclectic casual designer. I love bold jewelry, fewer rather than more pieces, but each piece making its own statement. I believe jewelry and accessories bring out the inner artist in us. That’s what I want it to do for you.