To my sweet Ava…..

Zizzy and Ava 1IMG_E8592

To my sweet Ava:

This brown make-up case belonged to your Zizzy. It was her first case that she purchased at Sephora.  I remember how excited she was when she got it.  I have been saving it for you for the moment when you would start to wear make-up.  And now that your Mom is letting you wear mascara, it seems now is the right time to pass this on. She would want you to have it, especially now, to have something that represented a significant part of her life.  I wanted you to know some things about your Zizzy, my Elizabeth and her passion for make-up and why this make up case is so very special.   You see, she was very gifted in her make-up artist business.


Zizzy was the youngest employee (worldwide) that worked for Louis Vuitton who owns  Sephora at the young age of 16.  She applied at Sephora at the Arboretum (it was the only Sephora at the time) around this time of year, hoping to get hired over the Christmas holiday season.  The hiring manager was reluctant.  They told her that hiring high school employees had not worked out in the past, but the manager was impressed with her passion and her portfolio.  Yes, Elizabeth walked in with a portfolio of photographs of her “clients”.  Her “clients” at the time were her high school friends, but she convinced Sephora to hire her none the less.  The work in retail is grueling during the holidays and she would come home exhausted with tired legs and feet and tell me stories about rude customers but also how she loved interacting and helping her clients.  Her stories have had a lasting impact on me to always remember to be kind to those that are serving you in retail.  I also remember she had one sale that was $500!  She hung a copy of the receipt on the fridge.  She was proud of that accomplishment.

She fell in love with the Stila cosmetic line while working at Sephora.  She did “make overs” for customers in the store and I remember her telling me how much she enjoyed having clients that felt unattractive when they sat in her chair and how much better they felt about their appearance after she was done with them!

She made many friends there.  Friends who have blessed me since she has been gone.  She later left Sephora after Fischer and Ben were born to become a trainer for the Stila cosmetic line.  She even got to travel to New York City for an event! With her committment to her family, she decided it was time to leave retail and the hours away from her family and start her own business.  She would do what God had given her talent and passion to do and would do make up for weddings, bridal portraits and prom. She named her company “Twentycoats”. She told me that she named it that because she always got asked how many coats of mascara you should put on! Not that you should put on TWENTY, but her point was one coat was not enough.   Her business was very successful.  She won an award from “The Knot” wedding website for best newcomer her first year.  I remember that day she called to tell me.  She was so excited.  She was also interviewed for the Killeen Daily Herald regarding her line of work in the wedding industry.  She also decided to be a vendor at the Austin Convention Center for the Bridal Extravaganza!    Some of her Sephora peeps came to help.  They were giving free air brushing.  The line was OUT THE DOOR!  She was surrounded by brides all day who wanted to talk to her.  She ended up booking 6 months of weddings from that event.  It was great to watch her that day and I was blessed to be a part of it all.

She loved serving brides and their families for their big day.  She was best at calming their nerves with her easy going personality, her laugh, her smile and her talent.  She preferred to do the brides make-up in very natural shadows and lip color.   She wanted their inner beauty to shine through on their big day.  I think if Zizzy were here with us today (besides showing you how to properly apply make-up, what brands, etc) she would tell you as you begin to explore this world of make-up…..that less is more and how beautiful you are and therefore you just want to highlight that.

Your Zizzy had beautiful skin and was often asked what was her secret.  Zizzy never went anywhere without sunscreen.  I have no doubt, she would tell you to never leave the house without it!  She would also tell you a good skin care regimen is essential.  Zizzy always let her natural beauty shine in how she wore her makeup even though Zizzy looked great without any or when she wore her red lipstick!

Her dream was to open a spa in downtown Salado.  She obtained her massage license in high school, established her make-up business and wanted to go to the Aveda Institute in Austin to obtain a cosmetology and skin care license once the boys were in school.  I have no doubt that Jesus completes our deepest desires in heaven, and so I am sure that she has her spa on streets of gold and we will get to see it one day.

Also in her make up case is her curling iron that she used when she would do her own hair and when she would do her clients hair.   My hope is that every time you open her case or purchase make-up to place inside it, you are reminded of your Zizzy. She loves you very much and is cheering you on with God and the angels above. She,  like me and your family are very proud of you and the amazing young girl that you are and we look forward to the woman you will become.

Here are some pictures of your Zizzy sharing herself and her talent with brides and wedding parties……..

You were five when she went to heaven, and so I want to write down stories about her.  Stories that you probably didn’t know, but stories we will store in our hearts until we are all together one day.

I love you,


2 thoughts on “To my sweet Ava…..

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