Stephany Hitchcock is native New Yorker, and a jewelry designer who graduated at 19 from The Gemological Institute in New York City, where she studied the properties of colored stones, pearls and diamonds. She emerged as an expert identifier and quality appraiser of gemstones for Harry Winston, Cartier, and the auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's, all under the leadership and tutelage of the legendary director of the New York GIA, G. Robert Crowningshield.
She started collecting gemstones, and studied jewelry design and fabrication at Kulicke-Stark, (now The Jewelry Arts Institute), and Parsons School of Design.
With her heart set on the precise task of selecting the very best gems in the world, for the purpose of creating magnificent jewelry, Hitchcock was recommended by the Institute for a position with Harry Winston. After her interview, she was told that, while she certainly had the outstanding credentials for the job, she looked far too young to be taken seriously. The position was awarded to a male candidate with less experience.
Hitchcock confesses that, at 21, she was so demoralized by the experience that she abandoned the idea of working with gems and decided it would be less painful to pursue her first love: the performing arts. "Hard to believe that I thought acting was going to be a respite," says the designer, laughing. But it was.
Hitchcock spent the following two decades on the boards – acting, singing, and dancing in several successful productions and eventually running her own theater company in upstate New York, where she was also raising two sons.
Occasionally, she would apply her designing skills towards making jewelry for friends at Christmas, and on each occasion, a business developed as soon as the jewelry appeared in public.
One year, Hitchcock created a set of funky, psychedelic earrings for her annual gifts and within weeks, was receiving orders to create them for Henry Bendel, (Fragments asked to represent her), and several stores around the country including, MOMA.
Her actress friends were helping her to meet the deadlines for each order. It was madness! They couldn't meet the demands without setting up a factory, so after a year, she went back to performing.
But fate had already determined that Hitchcock's jewelry passion would become a career she never planned on, and, in 2002, history repeated itself. Once again, unique pieces that Hitchcock had created exclusively for her friends, began to reap a following and the phone began to ring -- friends of friends had seen a piece and begged her to make them something in her signature style.
This time Hitchcock heeded the call, and back in New York City from upstate New York, she resumed designing jewelry full-time.
Stores pleaded with her to create exclusive collections for them, beginning with Zoom, an upscale store in tony Southampton, where the designer's pieces were quickly snapped up.
One friend then bought several pieces, some of which she then passed on to Robin Williams and wife, and Susan Sarandon, who gave bracelets to their daughters. Sarandon was so taken with her daughter's gift that she requested one for herself -- a beautiful carnelian and mandarin orange garnet necklace.
Stephany's line of "Unique Gemstone Jewelry" in 18K then became featured in many other Jewelry Galleries around the country. She worked around the clock to meet the demand for her romantic, handmade necklaces, earrings and rings created with specially chosen rare and one-of-a-kind gemstones!