Reporter Joe Carroll: So this is kind of cozy isn't?
Dolly Mazza: It's very cozy, yeah.
In fact it's the living room of her house.
Some days she works six to seven hours -- her take home pay? Nothing. But as you will find out, she has been paid back. "I like the fact that I can help other people -- that's the best part of it," she said.
She got the idea of making jewelry from her young granddaughter. Dolly saw her making inexpensive bracelets for the Relay for Life, then selling them to raise money for the cause. Dolly took it to another level and Dolly Mazza Jewelry was born. All profits go to organizations mostly dealing with cancer.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Are you surprised how much money you've raised?
Dolly Mazza: I'm shocked, I'm totally shocked.
She's given away over $54,000 in nine years -- an impressive amount of money considering that her most expensive product is around $20. Not bad for a couch career.
But she and her granddaughter had a very personal reason to make jewelry. "You would think after all this time it would be easier, but it's not," Mazza said.
Her daughter-in-law, Lynn, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Only 37 at the time with no family history, she had done everything right -- didn't smoke, ate right and exercised. Her sickness though, has made the family stronger.
"She really found her place doing this -- it's been wonderful," Lynn Mazza said.
Dolly is married to Dick. They got married in 1965. "There was 300 hundred people at the wedding and I was painfully shy back then," Mazza said.
"The first few years of being married, she never wanted to ah...first few? for thirty! Yeah she never wanted to come in the store," Dick Mazza said.
Dick Mazza is a longtime Vermont State Senator. They they also own a store in Colchester. Dolly did the books, but in the comfort of her home. "We were married for 30 years and people didn't know I was his wife... cause I was never in the store," she said.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Is the husband at the register a lot?
Dolly Mazza: Not too much. He usually opens up in the morning and he's there then.
For Dolly making the jewelry has done two things -- raising money for a good cause and getting her out of her shell.
Reporter Joe Carroll: At 70 you are still working on that?
Dolly Mazza: Yeah, I think I pretty much conquered it.
She's now a regular in the store along with her jewelry.
"She has prime location as you can see in the store," Dick Mazza said.
"Yeah, and I don't have to pay rent," Dolly added.
"I think the fact it started with me is touching, but she has to take all the credit for it though," Lynn Mazza said. Lynn shows a visual collage of her struggles she keeps. "It reminds us that... you can go from there to here and it's going to be OK," she said
A family learning to take on fear, thanks to a health scare.
Lynn has been clear of cancer for almost ten years. If you want more information on Dolly's Jewelry, click here.
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