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ABOUT: HAZEL COELHO

 

HAZEL:

Sometimes I feel like Grandma Moses! How many people are lucky enough to start a new career in the last quarter of their life and feel the excitement of someone in the prime of life?

 

I met Doni Kendig about fifteen years ago. She lived in Los Angeles, coming to the desert to deliver paintings to the galleries and to play golf. By happenstance, we played a competitive match as partners. We found we shared a similar background in accounting and a love of golf, but we never dreamed we would create a new idea for gift giving and launch new careers years later.

I grew up in Texas, moved to San Diego, married a career Navy man, divorced, moved to San Francisco and landed a job with a big advertising company. I enjoyed settng my own hours and meeting people, but I was not selling a product I loved--it was "just a job". Life takes strange turns and one of my clients turned out to be the love of my life. 25 years later, it's still true. In 1988, we retired and as avid RVers, we set out to see America.

People often ask why I got into the jewelry business. Good question.It certainly isn't one of those things I was born knowing I wanted to do.

On one of the trips, I met a person who imported designer jewelry of manmade stones set in gold vermeil and rhodium. I loved it! As a woman who cannot pass a jewelry display without stopping, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I bought a start up inventory and had sold half of it by the end of the trip. Although the stones were manmade, it was next to impossible to tell the difference between them and much more costly ones. I bought a bracelet and earrings and found, even when worn daily, they held up beautifully. There were so many advantages: Affordability, quality and a great look, plus, if broken, stolen or lost, it would not be the end of the world.

In 2005, I was excited by an idea for a handcrafted card with artwork to add s special touch to the jewelry sales. Doni came to a jewelry party at my house and I discussed the possibilities with her. Two weeks later, she arrived at a party carrying a small bag with a prototype, a matted peacock print with jewelry attached. The rest is history.

 

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