By Jennifer Leonard
Lia Valencia Key, 40, is one of 70 winners of The Big Find, a nationwide competition from QVC and HSN to find the next innovative products for American shoppers.
Chosen from 654 entrants, the West Chester resident impressed the judges and found herself on QVC’s airwaves this February, selling her Valencia Key brand jewelry designs to millions.
“I have always been obsessed with QVC, because it’s a platform like no other,” Key says. “You get a chance to show your perspective and pour your heart out to the people you want to reach. It’s the relationship with the audience.”
And heart is what her company is all about. From humble beginnings in Philadelphia, Key took inspiration from her family to climb from poverty and find success—in business and life.
“I was homeless during periods throughout my childhood,” she says. “But even then my mother would say, ‘Lia, wear your sparkly earrings, because [they represent] your inner sparkle.’ Jewelry became a symbol to me. It means joy and light in a time of darkness.”
Another favorite memory is of her grandmother: “I always remember walking into her house,” says Key. “It was falling apart, but she would be there fully kitted in jewelry—necklace, earrings, everything.”
She says her grandmother taught her, “You can sit around and feel grouchy or you can choose to make yourself feel great. And the external can touch you internally.”
This family insight is a big reason why every piece in her jewelry collection has a special meaning. “My bracelet is titled Gratitude,” she says. “There are three continuous circles representing the journey of life. The ups and downs, and the idea that you can reach any purpose if you keep moving.”
Key’s message of perseverance and positivity resonates even more during the coronavirus pandemic. “Not to discredit the challenges we’re facing, but everything passes,” she says. “You can choose to be great and to have peace, and that’s what I’m choosing.”
Learn more about Valencia Key jewelry at valenciakey.com.
Jennifer Leonard is a writer at VISTA Today, specializing in retail and consumer marketing.
A resident of West Goshen, Jennifer has nearly 20 years of experience as a full-time editor and writer for magazines including Woman’s World, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen.
Jennifer is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.