TULSA - Two years ago, Tulsa woman Jill Donovan created a jewelry sensation.
Now midway through 2013, the "Rustic Cuff" creator is on track for her most successful career. But Donovan says it wasn't easy getting here.
Donovan's first brush with notoriety wasn't so pleasant. As a classic re-gifter, she appeared on The Oprah Show with 20 million people watching.
"My mother-in-law had given me a gift one year for my birthday, and then the next year on her birthday, I went back to my gift closet and forgot that that was the one she had given me and I wrapped it up and gave it to her," Donovan recalled. "Oprah looked at the etiquette experts and said, 'What do you think about what Jill does?' And they said, 'We think she's rude and tacky and she needs to give that closet away to Goodwill.'"
Donovan says that's exactly what she did.
For a few years, she says, the space where once filled with one-time gifts was empty, until a determined Donovan borrowed $250 from her husband and began banging out her idea of the perfect leather cuff.
"There were some weeks where I wouldn't sleep for two nights," she said of her venture's first days.
Quickly, Donovan began filling up the empty shelves with cuffs -- so much so she put her law degree on hold and sent the cuffs to her 15 favorite celebrities just in case. Not long after she remembers her hard work paying off.
"Miranda Lambert was wearing one of my cuffs in concert the night before," Donovan said. "I knew i was seeing things because there's no way she'd be wearing a custom Rustic Cuff I made for her."
And the floodgates opened from there. Now six months later, Donovan has a staff of five and had to upgrade from the closet to a showroom, and are expanding next door next week.
"Last week I walked in here when no one was in here and I lost my breath for just a second," she said. "I thought, 'Who's office is this? Where am I?'"
Want to check out what the fuss is all about? Visit Donovan's site, www.rusticcuff.com .
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