Perhaps it’s not surprising to find an assortment of well supported, unique small businesses in a city that could be likened to a modern day Mayberry, USA. Maybe this phenomenon speaks to the core ideals of our community, a demonstrative voice that values goods with individual character and quality. In a day and age when downtown districts are being swallowed up by clone-like chain stores, Auburn’s Downtown is thriving and attracting new small business entrepreneurs.


One of the latest to choose Downtown Auburn is long time international business woman and (more recent) small business entrepreneur, Jae Kennedy, owner of One Happi Place, a retail venue that features her already established collection of jewelry by artists from across the USA called Happi Hoops, and now her new trademarked design STRANZ. In addition, she offers an assortment of locally sourced, hand crafted fashion items, all with one thing in common: they are top quality products exclusively MADE IN THE USA.

Argentium, Silver, Sterling Silver, Tundra, Sapphire – Heart Hoop Earrings

The shop itself is inviting and relaxing, with merchandise that merits a careful perusing. Her jewelry featured in Happi Hoops and STRANZ, is made from precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones, and combines a modern day fashion perspective with a classic timelessness, creating pieces that are sure to be any gal’s favorites for years to come. In addition to her collection of gorgeous jewelry, Jae shares her passion for handmade designs and wearable art, “I have a number of local artist’s work – such as Numo and felted scarves by Laura Armstrong, Double Diamond Alpaca Cashmere Creations, knitted babywear by Laura Daetz, Christening and Blessing wear by several Midwest designers, and specialty infant wear such as handmade colorful tutus, knit caps and hand dyed cotton and silk scarves by DBK Design (New York), – all MADE IN THE USA.”

With a background in the high tech industry and a long career in Silicon Valley as Director of Business Logistics responsible for managing operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China for Fabless Semiconductor Company, Jae underwent a soul searching process of re-inventing herself in business, and perhaps lifestyle: “My husband (retired CHP) and I have lived in Auburn since 1997 (we moved from Sunnyvale, CA) but I continued to work in the bay area commuting back and forth every weekend for 15 years. I loved my job and all my friends around the world, but missed my family and my home so I decided to become a full time resident of Auburn.”

In 2010, Jae wrestled with the challenge of how to bring her career to her home, “I struggled with what I could do professionally in Auburn, since there are no high tech firms here, so I decided to try something new by combining my prior business expertise with something I love. My experience in high tech was developing relationships and making things happen, and I’ve always had a passion for fun earrings and especially designers and artists whose work supports ‘made in the USA.’ I decided to create a business around the things I believe in.”

Blue Chalcedony (a type of quartz) and 14K Gold Filled Earrings

There is a domino effect in anything creative, where one idea leads to another, and in the case of Jae Kennedy, creating the jewelry line “Happi Hoops” was one of the first dominos. “I reached out to over 20 experienced designers of beautiful jewelry from California to NY and Miami and have put together a collection of gorgeous designs made from precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones. The jewelry had to be “made in the USA”, of the highest quality, and not the typical department store designs.”

STRANZ – 14K Gold Fill with Labradorite Gemstones

In addition to Happi Hoops, Jae went on to develop STRANZ, a line of “convertible” hoop earrings – a concept that gives one pair of hoops infinite possibilities, “I collaborated with two designers to create components that fit onto our classic hoop earrings so you can have a casual look for daytime, and then convert over to something stunning for date night. STRANZ is a separate component that simply slides on or off the hoops so you can change the look without changing the earrings.” STRANZ are made with .999 fine silver and gemstones such as Citrine, Amethyst, Moss Quartz, Rubies and Topaz – to name a few. Jae is currently collaborating with an artist on a line of STRANZ for weddings and one for birthstones.

Although Jae has been successfully marketing Happi Hoops and STRANZ on her online store, she felt compelled to showcase her jewelry in a more personal setting, and this past December she opened ‘ONE HAPPI PLACE’ at 846 Lincoln Way, Downtown Auburn. “I have my Rock-Ola Jukebox playing oldies and get to meet wonderful people when they come into my Boutique. My goal was to set up an environment where people could come in, relax and enjoy while being surrounded by beautiful things made in the USA.”


‘One Happi Place’ is a worthy addition to Downtown Auburn, and one that shines bright along ‘the boulevard of hidden gems’ – aka Lincoln Way. As we welcome our fellow merchant to the neighborhood, she extends an invitation to the community, “Drop by and say hi. Love to meet you!” Her future plans include wedding, spa and perfume parties creating a place of fun, indulgence, and overall relaxation – because, as she says – we deserve it! (We like that kind of thinking!)

To see more of what One Happi Place has to offer visit their facebook page.

One Happi Place, 846 Lincoln Way, Auburn CA 95603

(530) 885-4667


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