Jennifer Sue Scarbrough
Jennifer Sue Scarbrough came into this world on September 11,1959 in Albuquerque, NM, born to Mary Helen Pesterfield Scarbrough and Wendel Aurel Scarbrough. Jenni, along with her siblings, Judy and Joe, grew up outside of Albuquerque near the Rio Grande.
To know Jennifer was to love her – her sparkling blue eyes, brilliant smile and infectious laugh. She was kind, compassionate, gracious, strong, smart, funny, courageous, elegant, creative, passionate, spicy and soulful. Most importantly, she exuded gratitude for everything in her life.
Months before Jennifer’s graduation from high school, devastatingly, she lost her mother to illness, instilling in her at a young age, a deep appreciation of life. Two years later, her father remarried; Carol brought two darling little girls, Julie and Tricia, into the family. A year later, little brother, John, was born. Following a gap year and a year at Eastern New Mexico University, Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of New Mexico in 1982. After college she worked as an accountant for two years and became a buyer for a department store. Relocating to Lake Tahoe, CA, in 1986 was an adventure Jennifer supported by working as a bookkeeper and a waitress.
Jennifer became an assistant manager at The Limited in Albuquerque in 1987. When she was asked if she would accept a manager position in another city, she said, “Yes, if that city is Santa Barbara.” Six months later, Santa Barbara became her home; she was manager, first at La Cumbre, then later at The Limited at the beautiful new Paseo Nuevo Mall. This store had over 30 employees and came with a lot of responsibility and a huge learning curve. She was great at her job but longed for something more, which ignited ideas of self-employment. Jennifer appreciated every single day she lived in Santa Barbara. It was her heart and soul; New Mexico was her blood. She loved everything Southwest – blooming desert cacti, hot sunny skies, turquoise, silver, green chile, enchiladas; her love of tacos was legendary. Her passion for sterling and turquoise jewelry from New Mexico was the spark that she built her entrepreneurial career on. She visited Native American artists in New Mexico and she conceived her jewelry business, Zia Design, out of a bedroom in her Santa Barbara home. In 1994, Jennifer left The Limited and became self-employed, creating unique jewelry designs that she had produced by jewelers in Bali and Thailand. She presented at trade shows, including the international gem show in Tucson; her jewelry was sold in retail stores in several states and a variety of retail catalogues, including a long, successful partnership with Sundance Magazine. In 1997, while continuing to run her wholesale jewelry business, Jennifer’s love of fashion and her years in the clothing industry led her to open a jewelry and retail clothing store. She called it Helena – named for her mother, Helen.
Jennifer gave birth to her greatest joy, Lucas Connor Battelle, in 1999. She was a wonderful mother to her son Lucas and her mothering was an inspiration to many. When Lucas was born they lived in Santa Cruz, CA, with his father Steven Battelle. Jennifer and Lucas returned to Santa Barbara when Lucas was five years old. In the years following their return, Jennifer germinated her passion project: Lovebird Boutique and Jewelry Bar. She bravely opened her first Lovebird retail store in 2009, at the worst of the economic downturn. Her employees became like family members. For 11 years Lovebird flourished. Jennifer’s extraordinary qualities are reflected in her store. Her eye for design was exquisite, and she brought her style and uniqueness to the business. As a result, Lovebird remains a beloved place to shop.
Jennifer is survived by her family: her son Lucas Battelle, sister, Judy Scarbrough, brother-in-law Steve Casalnuovo, nephews Joe and Dom, brothers Joe Scarbrough and John Scarbrough, sister-in-law Alyssa Scarbrough, nephews Jared, Erik and baby niece Emmalyn. She also has an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins, her goddaughter Madeleine Clair Goldin, and a wide circle of devoted friends.
To those of us lucky enough to call Jennifer a mother, sister, aunt, friend or mentor, her loss is devastating…yet, through the darkness of our grief, her radiance steers our hearts forward and continues to light our way.
In lieu of flowers you may donate to one of her favorite charities: Transition House (425 E Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, ph 805-966-9668) and Hospice of Santa Barbara (2050 Alameda Padre Serra #100, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, 805-563-8820).