Squash Blossom jewelry boutique continues under new ownership
The family-owned store was sold to a local couple
Sometimes the stars just align and things work out as they should. That’s the story behind the new owners of the Squash Blossom, Hilary and Kevin Magner.
The Squash Blossom was founded by John and Patty Cogswell and has been a landmark jewelry gallery for the past 46 years. Once the Cogswells decided to retire, they hoped what they had built would continue to live on in someone else’s caring hands.
The Magners are keeping that family-owned tradition going. In fact, the jewelry business runs in the family for Kevin Magner. His father was in that line of work for years and Kevin never really thought of following his dad’s profession until after college.
“I was introduced to some of my dad’s lifelong friends in the business and they were the most interesting people and I just kind of wanted to be part of that,” Kevin said.
Kevin cut his teeth while working for the Roberto Coin brand, traveling 50 out of the 52 weeks a year selling jewelry. About the time Kevin’s dad was going to retire from Neiman Marcus, he and Kevin thought about doing a venture together, so Kevin went to gemology school to learn more.
In 2013, Kevin’s father passed away. “That kind of made the jewelry industry rotten for me. I was sad, I was running into a lot of his old friends and I missed him,” Kevin said. “That was kind of the reason we came out to Vail, to escape, get a change of pace in life. But, the jewelry business was in my blood and it drew me back.”
Kevin got a call from John Cogswell saying they needed help because they were short-staffed. “In the first conversation, it went from ‘we need salespeople’ to ‘we need a manager’ to ‘we’re thinking about retiring, you ought to think about buying this store’ and that was October of 2018,” Kevin said.
The stars for Hilary were shifting as well. “I’d been in corporate jobs for a while and traveling all the time, which was hard to be away, especially with two young kids,” Hilary said. “I started retail when I was 16 and there’s always been a seed growing in the back of my mind to own my own store, but then life took me on a different path and it’s kind of jolted me back to be here and to be with my family and create something in Vail.”
Although the Magners will continue to carry artists like Todd Reed, Gurhan and Penny Preville at Squash Blossom, they also have many relationships in the jewelry business that will add something new to the store. “We’ve called in favors from designers that we know and everyone is just so excited for us. We’re doing this all on our own and we want to succeed at keeping this a family-owned business,” Kevin said.
“I just feel so honored, honestly, we were selected to continue the legacy of the Squash Blossom,” Hilary said. “It’s like the universe selected us out of all the people who could have gotten this store, it’s a dream come true.”
Heroes look like these guys: Bill “Sarge” Brown, Bob Parker, Pete Seibert, Sandy Treat, Dick Over, Hugh Evans and so many others from the 10th Mountain Division who helped win World War II and, while building the peace, also built the ski industry in the United States.