Boulder Mag: Ice of Life

Jeweler Nicole Hurdle returns to her roots
By Kate Jonuska
This article was originally published in the Winter 2022/2023 edition of Boulder Magazine.

Growing up in Boulder, Nicole Hurdle was only interested in dance. She spent far more time at dance classes and pom squad practice at Fairview High School than at the family business, Hurdle’s Jewelry on Pearl Street.

“My world revolved around dance and that was my sole purpose for very long time,” says Hurdle, whose childhood dream was to be one of the Denver Nugget’s Dancers. “They’d have me clean the glass at the shop or file things by alphabetical order in the safe. I felt very important to do those things, but I didn’t have much interest in the jewelry store business.”

While attending CU for a degree in business, Hurdle launched herself toward her big dreams and became a Nuggets Dancer at only age 18, a thrilling position she held for five years. Hurdle says, “There were so incredible moments with that experience. I got to travel to seven countries the with NBA, and be a back up dancer for MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.”

Following that stint in the NBA spotlight, Hurdle shifted sports toward hockey for another dream job: in-arena emcee for the Colorado Avalanche. For the last decade, she’s entertained arenas full of hockey fans from the ice at home games, retiring at the end of this year’s championship season.

“Walking on the ice in heels is what I was known for,” she jokes, saying she loved hamming it up with the Avs’ mascot, Bernie. “I’ve always been a performer. I love the spotlight. I have no problem jumping up in front of 20,000 people and making a fool of myself.”

Though she’s an only child and her father is the third generation to run Hurdle’s Jewelry, Nicole says her family always supported her performance career and never pressured her into the business. In fact, she fell in love with jewelry and found her way back to Pearl Street on her own after performing taught Hurdle her inner passion for people.

“That’s something I value: getting to talk to people, getting to know a different human,” she explains. “Today I feel incredibly lucky to be in a position at a retail store where I talk to people all day every day. I’ve formed lifelong relationships with couples formed in our shop.”

The continuance of the family legacy, of course, is also rewarding. Nicole’s great-grandfather, Chester L. Hurdle, founded Hurdle’s Jewelry in 1947, and was followed at the helm by her grandfather, Chester B. (Bud) Hurdle, and her father and current owner, Keith Hurdle.

“The shop is a really special place, and buying jewelry is a special moment to be part of with so many people,” she says, noting that 2022 is the shop’s 75th anniversary. “The relationships we get to build with our customers are hard to match. I don’t know what other industry else offers that opportunity.”

While she plans to continue as the fourth generation behind the counter at Hurdle’s Jewelry, trust that Nicole will always have some creativity up her sleeve. Keep an eye on what vibrant local Nicole Hurdle gets up to next on her blog: Rosé, Rocks & Retail Therapy, www.roserocksandretailtherapy.com.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022/2023 edition of Boulder Magazine.

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