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Founder, Cathleen Whitelow Jewels, since 2001
Loyola University, Marketing/Management
Has appeared on Oprah
Jewelry is sold in several Saks Fifth Avenue stores
Cathleen grew up as an "Army brat" and lived in West Germany for many years before her family moved back to the United States. As a little girl, she started a rock collection (she still has some of those today). Cathleen says that God showed her a “commercial” of things to come with her stone collection.
In the early 1980s, Cathleen modeled for Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans, thinking that modeling would help her pay for her college tuition. Little did Cathleen know that God was placing people in her life during that time that He would use to help her launch her business in the future.
In April 2001, Cathleen was living in Dallas and working in the cable TV industry. As a hobby, she made jewelry for her family and friends and had no inclination of pursuing a jewelry design career. But for years, Cathleen felt a restlessness within her life and career. “I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t satisfied either,” she says. “I knew that I was destined for greatness, for something larger, but didn’t know what it was.”
Later, Cathleen visited family in New Orleans, and while there, she stopped by Saks for a visit. The same store manager was still there and asked Cathleen where she had purchased her necklace. Cathleen told her that she had designed and created the piece herself. The store manager was interested in launching Cathleen's line of jewelry. In July 2001, Cathleen Whitelow Jewels was launched in the New Orleans store.
Since then, Cathleen has had several store launches, including Dallas and Cincinnati, and has left the corporate world. “I now realize that my life was an anointed ‘set-up’ by God,” says Cathleen. “Every good gift comes from God. Where He places you, He has provided for you. His provision is abundant!”
One day, Cathleen was watching Oprah and sent an e-mail to voice her disagreement with a guest. The conversation with the producer led her to share about her hobby of jewelry making. This chance conversation led to a callback on the show and an appearance on national TV!
A Solid Foundation
Cathleen was raised in a Catholic home and continued attending Mass until she was an adult. Feeling unfulfilled, Cathleen visited a non-denominational service with a friend. She says her faith has been a process.
Today Cathleen uses her jewelry design business as a platform to share the life-changing news about Jesus. “I often meet people who are unsure about their godly purpose,” says Cathleen. “I share with them that they must spend time in His Word, seeking His voice and His guidance." Cathleen credits God for the courage He gave her to follow her heart. “Since He created us, only He can tell us what He created us especially for,” Cathleen says.
She also speaks at women’s conferences and business luncheons.
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