IT WAS THE KIND OF PUBLICITY MOST couturiers would kill for: During World Series telecasts last month, Jane Fonda, wife of Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner, wore a black-and-white lamb's-wool coat emblazoned with buffalo. Given to her by Cindy Horn, a pal from L.A., during a visit to Bigfork, Mont, (where Fonda and Turner raise buffalo at their Flying D Ranch), the $600 coat was an instant hit with the actress. "When I saw it, I thought, 'This will be a good-luck coat,' " says Fonda. "And I was right!"
Not only did Turner's team take the Series, the coat's designer, retired home-ec teacher Joyce Onarheim Boe, a 69-year-old rookie in the fashion field, was a big winner too. After USA Today ran her phone number in an item about the coat, orders flooded into her ranch-style home in Denver, where she directs her year-old firm, Legacy Collection, from her kitchen. "I got so many calls, every time I answered the phone, another call was waiting," says Boe, who reports that Fonda's assistant called to order several more coats.
Inspired by her Norwegian grandfather, a tailor, Boe, a Wisconsin native, has been making blanket coats since she was 14. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in clothing and textile merchandising, she went into teaching before marrying Norris Boe, a dentist who set up practice in Denver. Joyce left the classroom in 1954 to stay home and help raise her three daughters, now grown, but returned in 1967 when she was widowed. Retiring in 1985, Boe introduced the Legacy Collection in July '94. Available in 67 shops nationwide (up from 55, pre-Fonda), it features $60 to $650 coats, vests and scarves in jacquards based on paintings by western artists and stitched by Boe's two seamstresses.
Now the grandmother of six looks forward to moving her burgeoning business to a warehouse. "You know the saying 'If you love what you're doing, you never know when the day begins or ends'?" she says. "To me, this is more fun than it is work."
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