Sometimes moving to a completely new place is not enough of an adventure. Just ask Dr. Sarah Stanley, founder of Ornaments to Remember. A move to Hawaii was certainly an exciting change, but she wanted more excitement and glass ornaments with an aloha touch have filled the bill.
Stanley received her doctorate from UCLA in the late eighties with the original aspirations of being a school superintendent somewhere in the south. But plans change and she wound up working in the education field in the Los Angeles area. Stanley's passion for kids comes through when she talks about parents and teachers working together for the betterment of children. Her dream is to see the day parents can go into the school and ask for help with their children. At one point Stanley worked on developing 90 second news segments with tips for parents on working with and helping their children in school. She hopes one day to see a similar program implemented and used as public service announcements on television programs, preferably the morning news shows. This is still her strongest passion and is why the long term mission for Ornaments to Remember is to be a revenue stream for The Learning Community, a nonprofit foundation to help schools and families work together on behalf of children.
Stanley has traveled worldwide in her education work and it was during a business trip in Germany that she decided to find out more about the glass ornaments she loved. She knew that German ornaments were the among the best in the world and started to explore the glass ornament companies.
Her idea was to come up with a quality piece of glass, an ornament that visitors to Hawaii could take home with them. One that would help them remember their vacation and adventures -- a fun time in their lives. And she certainly came up with some beauties that typify the aloha spirit. Jams, t-shirts with fantastic designs painted on them, colorful luggage tags, aloha shirts, shaved ice and even a Santa wearing a hula skirt Santa.
But it all started with an ornament that Stanley felt would be most meaningful to people -- an Island Hula girl. This quickly sold out and her customers suggested that perhaps a Hula girl should represent each of the islands, and soon six more Hula girls represented each of the Islands.