Math teachers close the books and let loose their creative side

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Cathy Doto and her friend and colleague Gretchen Picketts opened Izzadorables as a side business to take them into retirement. Cathy Doto and her friend and colleague Gretchen Picketts opened Izzadorables as a side business to take them into retirement.

Cathy Doto and Gretchen Picketts, seventh-grade math teachers at Upper Township Middle School, decided that they wanted to spend their retirement doing something creative.

They taught themselves how to create jewelry about six years ago, in preparation for opening a boutique to operate after they retired. It was Pickett’s idea, Doto said.

“We were always into jewelry,” Picketts said. “One day I was looking at a piece of jewelry and I said, ‘We could make that.’”

That Christmas they had their families buy them the tools, and they taught themselves how. They made a few pieces of jewelry and began wearing them to school.

“People would ask where we bought them or if we could make one for them,” Doto said, so they decided to get serious about opening a boutique.

They opened a jewelry boutique called Izzadorables six years ago at Woodland Village in the Clermont section of Dennis Township, and in January of 2011, they moved to Wayside Village in Marmora. The move, Doto said, was made to generate more year-round business.

Then, after teaching since 1980, they retired in June and set out to expand their boutique.

Since opening, Doto and Picketts, who both live in Upper Township, have begun to sell clothing, shoes and accessories as well as carry other handmade jewelry artists and a few popular brands, such as Chamilia beads and Kameleon interchangeable jewelry.

“We’re fortunate to have a lot of local customers,” said Doto.

The merchandise seems to appeal to customers seeking holiday gifts, Picketts said, so the fall and winter outlook is promising.

The walls of the shop are painted fire red, and the store is packed with fashion jewelry, handbags, vintage inspired clothing and accessories.

Doto said creating a piece of jewelry isn’t something she spends a lot of time planning.

“I sit there with beads all over the board and play around until I make something I like,” she said.

Picketts, however, looks at what celebrities like Oprah are wearing for inspiration. She said she pays attention to what customers are wearing as well.

“I look at people’s jewelry all the time,” she said, noting that one customer was recently wearing a necklace with a pendant made from an antique watch face.

“I thought, well, I’d better get some watches,” she said.

Izzadorables is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. It is at 50 Tuckahoe Road in Wayside Village in Marmora. For information call (609) 390-4360.

 

The move to a bigger storefront in Wayside Village in Marmora has allowed Cathy Doto and Gretchen Picketts to sell clothing, shoes and accessories in addition to their jewelry. The move to a bigger storefront in Wayside Village in Marmora has allowed Cathy Doto and Gretchen Picketts to sell clothing, shoes and accessories in addition to their jewelry.


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