By Julie Thunder
There are many words to describe Lori Roark, owner of Lilygirl Jewelry: eclectic, stylish, bohemian, creative, innovative, original, and, very hip. She’s lived here over 25 years in a small “old-school” style Cardiff house with her husband and their hairless dog, Daisey (Lori laughingly reminded me, “with an ‘e’”). She is a successful businesswoman who has found happiness at home with creating and making jewelry in her backyard studio. She loves what she does: “I’m 50. I’ve earned being able to get up when I want. And if I want to have a treat in the middle of the day while I’m making jewelry, I can do that!”
She founded her first company, LoriJane, with her best friend in 1994. For seven years, they made candle holders and flower vases out of recycled glass hanging in twisted wire with beads and jewels. Their designs became so popular that knockoffs were soon made in China and India and shipped en masse to stores in the U.S. They were saddened and discouraged with this development, so they walked away from their business.
Next, Lori applied the skills she had mastered with wire and beads to making jewelry. She joined with her sister, Denise, and together they created Lilygirl (Lily was the name of her dog at the time). They designed and produced necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings, and earrings. Most of their jewelry was sold at home parties but as their designs became more popular, local boutiques started selling them.
Lori is now the sole owner since her sister’s recent retirement. She still does home parties, occasionally hosting them at her house, and she still makes some of her classic designs (hoop earrings). But her main business is selling her jewelry and “house blessings” at the Little Italy Mercato Farmer’s Market held in downtown San Diego every Saturday. She’s been selling there for 10 years and loves the repeat customers who seek her out still wearing her designs.
Recently, she’s branched out into home styling by helping clients re-do their closets, backyards, and even old sheds, staying loyal to her own style. Lori told us, “If you want a Cape Cod
I asked her what her next 10 years will be like and she said, “I want to share my creativity more with kids and adults. This summer I’m hosting a one-time summer camp for 7 girls at my house, guiding them through some fun projects. I hope to do more of this in the future. I want to stay authentic and make women feel beautiful.”
To shop her designs or discuss a consult
Visit her on the web at www.shoplilygirl.com
Text her to setup a private appointment in her home studio: 760.492.2880
Visit her at her Little Italy Mercato shop