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Patti Pagliei Simpson started what would later become Waxing Poetic in 2005, working out of a warehouse in Buellton selling her jewelry wholesale. Pagliei Simpson, who moved to Buellton from Venice beach, made the decision with her husband, an entrepreneur himself as the founder and owner of the TRIKE company, because they had family that lived in the Valley and always loved visiting. The business itself took off by accident, when one of Pagliei’s friends wore some of her jewelry to the Golden Globes.

In October 2009, Pagliei Simpson gained the location where Waxing Poetic sits now, in downtown Los Olivos. It took six months of renovation to create the fantastic and stylized interior of the building, and Waxing Poetic opened in April of this year. The brand identity of Waxing Poetic is one of its quintessential elements – it seeks to assist in telling its owner’s life stories, telling the tale of chapters and moments with its timeless heirloom look.

The location seeks to achieve this feel as well, and succeeds, with Italian Fresco reproduction prints lining the walls of a great stylized decor, with certain woodwork pieces that display the jewelry of Waxing Poetic by a local artist named Erich Irdel; some of his creations are taken from actual architectural remnants that he’s transformed into holding displays.

As a line that looks to help create memories and the timeless feeling of aged beauty with its pieces, the modern heirloom appeal of Waxing Poetic has a few branches under its wing. Made mostly with sterling silver and antique brass, the core collection consists of insignias, birthstones, iconic symbols and adornments, which are functional fashion jewelry.

Another collection includes an iconic collection themed “Your heart is your map” with uses a compass as a base design, and a “restorative bottle” pendant collection, with titles like “Love Elixir” and “Wish Tonic.”

In addition to these classic jewelry looks, Waxing Poetic offers leather bracelets and cuffs, belts and logo-branded rings and trinket boxes with the Waxing Poetic signature Flaming Heart, also seen on most of their other pieces as well. On top of this, Waxing Poetic also carries a line of jewelry with spiritual or sentimental significance, with religious or personal messages. “I look at our jewelry as gifts,” says owner Pagliei Simpson, “And it doesn’t matter if you’re getting it as a gift for someone else, or yourself. Even if you get it for yourself, it’s like treating yourself to a gift.”

The expansive “gift” collection at Waxing Poetic is designed by a team of Pagliei Simpson and two or three designers who conceive every new collection, and while she wouldn’t reveal any new jewelry lines, she would reveal plans to expand their men’s collection of leathers and person objects, as well as a new line of candles to be sold in the store as well.

Also available are charms (which come with a charm clip, so you can clip charms on to existing jewelry or a charm bracelet) bangle necklaces and key chains.

“The brand is really prone to be self-interpreted,” says Pagliei Simpson. “It’s like a new-age tradition, in that it becomes so meaningful to people that it transcends with timeless appeal, so you can put it away for two years then bring it out again – and it will still be just as relevant.”


Here’s what else the Valley Journal learned about Patti Pagliei Simpson:


Why did you start this business?

By accident, really. I was just indulging my creative side, after leaving a high-stress job. I made some artisan jewelry at my dining room table, and started selling it to friends. It eventually became a viable business after a celebrity (met though a friend) wore one of my necklaces to the Golden Globes.


What is your business background?

I worked in various creative venues, all of which fueled my entrepreneurial spirit and honed my eye for detail and originality. I worked in New York doing window displays and styling music videos, and in the film business in L.A. as a set decorator. I have also had stints as a decorative painter, a one-of-a-kind art furniture maker, and for many years, making custom jewelry on the side. But my fine art training (I have BFA in painting) and my love of art history and antique techniques/fabrications also gave me the foundation for being able to work with other creative people and dialogue well with them on different levels.


What is the best piece of business advice you have been given, and who gave it to you?

My father, a former NFL player, told me this when I started my business: “Keep your head down, and keep running until you hear glass shatter.” Basically, he was saying to stay focused through whatever might arise, until you reach the end zone.


What is the biggest challenge your business faces today?

Copycats, and resting on our laurels. Luckily, we have no shortage of ideas and talent in our company, so we are able to keep evolving and reinventing ourselves. We never take for granted the success we have achieved, and keep working hard to deserve our customers’ loyalty.


What is the simplest thing you’ve never learned to do?

Cut an onion properly.


What sets your business apart from your competition?

Original ideas and our branding. We believe in what we are up to, and we make things we love.


What books are on your bedside table?

“Don’t Worry, Pray” (the story of Padre Pio) “Interior Castle, by St. Theresa of Avila” (masterpiece of this Catholic mystic) “Your Baby & Child, by Penelope Leach” (I have a 7-month-old!) Why did you choose to set up your business in the Valley? Luck would have it so! We were fortunate enough to have John’s (my husband) mother live here, and after visiting her numerous times, we decided to move here about five years ago, and we brought our businesses with us.


How could local elected officials make it easier for you to be successful?

They could shop locally – we would love to have everyone come by.


Where do you see your business in five years?

I hope to keep making things people love; that is all I can ask for.


Finally, what is on your to-do list?

Spending more time with my baby girl, Lulu, and enjoying the Valley more!


Business name: Waxing Poetic

Owner: Patti Pagliei Simpson

Business address: 2363 Alamo Pintado Road, Los Olivos

Business telephone: (805) 686-4545

Business hours: Tues-Sun, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

E-mail address: patti@waxingpoetic.com

Website: www.waxingpoetic.com