“An Unlikely Friendship”
She was from New York, she was from Kansas.
She’s a conservative, she’s a liberal.
She’s a rule follower, Well… she’s not.
She wouldn’t dream of cursing, she’s a sailor.
She was a Catholic school girl, she was a sorority chick.
She wore wool plaid pants, she wouldn’t be caught dead.
She loves Dolly Parton, she loves Gaga.
She loves Jesus, so does she.
She’s really funny, so is she.
She married her high school sweetheart, so did she.
She adores her children and Grandchildren, so does she.
She likes red wine, she likes white and they both like Gin and Tonics.
She prayed for them both when her faith dimmed.
When her eyesight dimmed, she was her eyes.
She was her rock, when her husband died.
She’s always there for her; she’s always there for her.
An unlikely friendship? We don’t think so.
The Full Story
Gloria Offner and Jane Shepler have been best friends for 28 years. They both moved to Folsom with their families in the summer of 1990, Gloria from New York state, Jane from Kansas.
The Offners moved to California to have access to the brilliant medical minds of UC Davis, as Gloria suffers from an incredibly rare disease which was rapidly taking her vision. After much research and soul searching, Gloria, her husband John and children Jason, Kimberlea and Beau moved across the country.
Meanwhile, in Kansas, the Shepler Family was packing up their home for a wonderful job opportunity in Sacramento. Rob, Jane’s husband, was eager to transplant their children Tim, Megan, and Katelin to sunny California, The Giants and the 49ers! Through the Grace of God, the Offners and the Sheplers had the good fortune of landing in a wonderful Folsom neighborhood. 1990 was a magical and delightful summer. We all became acquainted with lovely neighbors and felt at home immediately. Holidays and birthdays were celebrated together. Good times and trying times made us close. Trials and tribulations, happiness and heartache is the foundation of this friendship. This is the story of friends becoming family. Gloria and Jane raised their children, braved the teenage years, sent their children to college and were successful at parenthood, celebrating weddings and Grandchildren. John had a thriving window and siding business and Rob was making a name for himself in the insurance industry. Oh, and by the way John and Rob were “brothers from another mother”. They had huge hearts, were impossibly funny, were gentle spirited and loved their wives more than life itself.
During these 28 years Glor and Jane along with being full-time moms and wives, worked part-time at various jobs. Gloria was the manager of The Vicars Cottage, later known as Ambiance in Folsom, a lovely store owned by precious friends and neighbors Donna and Phil Jones. By this time, Gloria was declared legally blind and unable to drive. However, this did not stop her and she did not give up. Even as her sight continued to fade, Gloria’s vision for beauty and the art of display never did. She continued to work side by side with Donna until 2017. Jane also popped in and out as an Ambiance team member whenever needed. However, her love for beautiful clothes lead her to working for Chico’s for 5 years, where she had the opportunity of learning the retail business. Many wonderful friends were made and lifelong relationships formed, but that job came to an end. Jane’s husband Rob, had been suffering from heart failure for several years and while waiting for a transplant, passed away December 27th, 2014, at the age of 60. After suffering this loss Jane decided to take a break and spend some time with her family and friends.
Fast forward to summer 2017. Donna and Phil decided to retire their beautiful store, sell their beloved Folsom home and begin the next chapter of their lives in Sutter Creek. Although this store was closed, Gloria and Jane knew that this could not be the end. They were sure of one thing, they were not ready to retire, play bingo and pickleball. What to do? Well, it all started with Gloria’s dream. She called Jane the next day and told her of a dream she had the night before of opening a boutique. After hearing all of the vivid details of this nocturnal adventure she said, “What do you think?” Jane replied, “not without me sister!” With Donna and Phil’s blessing and insistence of carrying the Ambiance name forward, “Bloom at Ambiance” was born. With lots of humor, hard work, our children’s encouragement and assistance in the technical world and John’s amazing talent and craftsmanship we opened our doors October 10th, 2017. We also knew that we had a cheerleader in Heaven rooting us on.
When beginning this adventure our goal was to have something for ladies of every age, size, shape and income. We want grandmothers and granddaughters to be able to shop together, best friends to meet and find that special something, fun clothes for that bucket list vacation and clothes for everyday life and living.
Come bloom with us at Ambiance! We’re looking forward to seeing your beautiful faces!