By SHELLY WILKISON
At the heart of her jewelry company is the belief that a woman’s accessories do not have to be expensive to tastefully compliment her wardrobe.
That’s why Sandi Koele hand-selects pieces for her Lucy Doo jewelry line that are sure to dazzle admirers, enhance any outfit, and appeal to the pocketbook.
“I like watching people find something they like, look at the price tag and watch their eyes light up when they see the price,” said Mrs. Koele.
Formerly of Liberty Hill, Mrs. Koele has built a business around helping women of all ages feel more beautiful with jewelry they can afford. The product line features necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and watches made from silver, stones and beads. All of the products are nickel free and hypoallergenic, and everything is priced at $20 or less.
“I love jewelry. This is my thing,” said Mrs. Koele as she restocked her displays this week at Liberty Hill’s Simply Home Decor & More.
She said she started her business — first named A Touch of Silver — about 14 years ago while her family lived in Liberty Hill. At the time, her product line was all silver.
“I wanted people to be able to enjoy wearing jewelry without paying high prices,” she said.
For as long as she can remember, Mrs. Koele said her taste in jewelry has been the subject of raves and compliments. A Baylor University graduate with a degree in marketing and management, she became focused on selling jewelry that appealed to all tastes and women of all ages, which was affordable for any budget. She carefully selected designs from some of her favorite sources and made her debut at a Christmas market sponsored by the Junior League of Austin. The show was a great success and marked the start of her growing business.
From August to December each year, she participates in about 30 jewelry shows and markets across the state. Her booth was awarded Best in Show the first year she participated in a holiday market in The Woodlands.
“These shows are successful for me because of my prices,” she said. “You can pay for anything with a $20 bill and get change,” she said.
When she added stones and beaded jewelry to her product line several years ago, Mrs. Koele said it was time to find a new name for the business.
“My mother called me Lucy Doo when I was a little girl, and I just loved that name,” she said.
Mrs. Koele said leaving Liberty Hill in 2005 was difficult. She and her husband, an environmental engineer with a specialty in air quality, were drawn to Liberty Hill by the schools and brought their son to kindergarten every day from their home in Pflugerville as they were waiting to build on property in Liberty Hill.
For nine years, Mrs. Koele helped the local PTO and the school band program by doing jewelry fundraisers at the various campuses.
“People here loved our family during those pivotal years of child raising, and I wanted to continue to give back, even after we moved,” she said. The fundraising opportunities with the schools continued even after the Koele family moved to The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, where her husband’s career took them.
In December 2012, Lucy Doo Jewelry found a more permanent home in Liberty Hill at Simply Home Decor — one of only two retail stores carrying the line.
Mrs. Koele said her friendship with Simply Home Decor owner Tami Spearman began years ago when they met at Liberty Hill Elementary School’s Kindergarten Tissue Party. Their children are the same age.
“This has been a great relationship,” she said. “Tami and I felt comfortable with each other, and having my jewelry here was a perfect fit.
“I like to be in a store like this (Simply Home) where you can find something for anyone on your list. I like for my jewelry to be part of something special,” she said.
Mrs. Koele said when she began selling jewelry years ago she never dreamed the business would be more than a hobby.
“After we had kids, I was looking for something to add to the family budget,” she said. “I’m not the kind to push myself on people. God has sent people to me and He has grown it (the business).”
Lucy Doo Jewelry is also available at SugarMommas Boutique in Magnolia. The jewelry can also be purchased online at www.lucydoo.com.