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Corona del Mar Today: Store honors owner's wife

December 17, 2011|By Amy Senk
  • Christmas decorations at Concept Studio pay tribute to the woman described as the genius behind the beauty, Karen Goddard, who died on Sept. 22.
Christmas decorations at Concept Studio pay tribute… (Courtesy CDM TODAY )

Store honors owner's wife

For 20 years, Corona del Mar's Concept Studio has reflected seasons and holidays with ever-changing lush displays incorporating greenery and apples, lemons and sunflowers.

This year, the Christmas decorations at the shop at 2720 E. Coast Hwy. pay tribute to the woman described as the genius behind the beauty, Karen Goddard, who died Sept. 22.

"My wife was very positive, very creative, very energetic," said Concept Studio owner Richard Goddard. "She just loved beauty. She was a genius at creating it."

Goddard and his team knew they needed an amazing Christmas display this year to honor Karen, who died at age 57. They flipped through her thick, jam-packed binders with photos and notes from prior year's displays, but in the end they drew inspiration from Karen's standard signature, which always included a heart with rays emanating from it.

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They created 2-inch square white ceramic ornaments featuring the heart logo, then used the ornaments as their decor's focal point.

Heavy equipment was brought in so they could install evergreen arches on the front of the two-story brick building. Then they filled the greenery with ornaments and white fairy lights, with co-worker Gloria Ranzolin helping direct the installation.

"It looks like something she would have done," said Lindsay McVey, who was Karen's longtime assistant. "We were inspired by her."

Inside the shop, which sells custom tiles and stones, there are trees filled with more of the ornaments, along with simple decorations each with one word: Goodwill, Kindness, Understanding, Appreciation.

On the store's shelves, near clove-studded oranges and jars of miniature apples, are photos of Karen in silver frames, tucked here and there among books and vases filled with white flowers.

Richard Goddard said the ornament's heart would be the logo of a foundation he is creating in his wife's honor. The Mush Foundation, named for Karen's nickname, will focus on bipolar disorder and the importance of medication compliance. The foundation has not been formally created, but eventually it will feature a website that allows bipolar people to sign up for medication reminders and inspirational messages.

"Nobody talks about mental illness," he said. "It's a staggering issue in this country."

This Christmas, the ornaments will be used as client gifts, and a limited number are for sale for $5, with the proceeds going as seed money for the foundation.

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