I’ve loved design for as long as l remember – fashion, interior, and jewelry. Now I’m the designer of Stephanos jewelry collections, carefully hand-crafted with quality pearl and semi-precious stones. I come from a family of creative people, my mother is an award winning quilt designer and has designed quilts that have been displayed around the world. My sister is a renowned architect who finds inspiration in her Japanese heritage. In fact, she designed our beautiful Stephano’s website. We really are a family who simply loves design.
I was born in the United States, grew up in Tokyo and have lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and now I’m back in the United States working hard on Stephanos and raising my two wonderful sons. My eldest, Kyan was born in Tokyo, he had a very difficult birth and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Kyan has balance and posture difficulties he is working hard everyday and is a cheerful young man who is not afraid to get involved and enjoy his life.
After Kyan’s diagnosis, my husband and l wanted to do everything we could help him. We researched and studied, thank goodness for the internet even back in 2003 there were websites for CP. There wasn't really any medical treatments, but there were several non-traditional therapies that other families had found useful. We traveled the world searching for treatment options. We stayed in the UK twice for Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment and Scotston Technique. We travelled to the USA for Cranial Acupuncture and Conductive Education, we spent 9 months in China for more Conductive Education, the list goes on.
As well as all the different therapies that we tried around the world we had a great opportunity to meet wonderful people and experience different cultures.
“Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Kyan’s journey both inspired and empowered me to start Stephanos in 2006. Putting my creative passion and raw emotions into the design of Stephanos Jewelry. I create my unique designs with a purpose and story, drawn from our journey and adventures we shared together.
My husband and I, with our two teenage sons now live in beautiful Laguna Beach, California. Our lives have been intertwined into this wonderful beach community and we love every single day here. An organization that is near and dear to my heart is Surf and Turf Therapy, a non-profit organization that offers traditional and non-traditional therapeutic activities for children with special needs. Kyan is doing amazing, horseback riding and learning to play polo as well as surfing at the beach, just a short ride from here. Kyan's strength, balance and range of motion keeps getting better and better and we love going to the stables and the beach with him.
Stephanos has been involved in fundraising for non-profitable organizations. This year we are contributing 10% of sale to Surf and Turf Therapy and we are hoping more children with special needs will be benefited. We can't thank Dr. Jillian enough for her support to the local community and we are happy to be giving back to such a wonderful organization.