As a Northern California native, Lisa Stein developed a deep appreciation for the patterns, textures and rhythms of the outdoors. She attended Fashion Institute of Technology where she found an outlet for her creativity and entrepreneurial disposition. She began as a knitwear designer, enjoying a ten year career as design director for a sportswear company in New York City.
After taking a hiatus to raise a family in Atlanta, Lisa’s creative passions ignited once again in the studio when taking local silversmithing classes. She formed a love affair with gold—an infinitely recyclable metal— hand-forming and forging her own designs. Drawing on her former life in NY, Fashion is forever forged in Lisa’s blood, “my past greatly informs my jewelry”.
L.A. Stein has since grown into a multifaceted collection, including precious and semi-precious stones, and only uses of conflict-free diamonds. The L.A.Stein jewelry collection can be found in exclusive high-end retail stores including Jeffrey New York and Ikram in Chicago. L.A.Stein pieces command a celebrity following, including Jessica Alba, Jill Scott, Issa Rae, and Usher.
THE PHILANTHROPIC MISSION
In the past, LA Stein contributed pieces for causes supporting women’s rights. But because she feels strongly about walking the talk, she wanted to change the rules of the game, to have broader reach using her success and her voice — as a woman who has had her fair share of challenges — to create a platform of empowerment. As Lisa says, you never need to ask permission. And she wants every woman to feel that.
THE STORY BEHIND THE MISSION
At the beginning of her career, Lisa was poised for success as a sportswear designer in NYC’s Garment district. One day she found herself doing the work of the division head. She walked into her boss’s office and said, "you need to double my salary." His response was “F— you, Stein.” Then the next day he gave her a raise. Soon she was making far more than most of her colleagues. That was forty years ago! “It bothers me that we are still having the conversation about equal pay.” She pushed hard to make it happen for her and she believes she can encourage others to do the same for themselves. "It's our right."
Eventually, Lisa left NY after she married, settling in Atlanta. She put her career aside to focus her creative energies on her growing family. Home life for the next thirty years was both rewarding and intense for Lisa. She made choices and sacrifices. With that came constant challenges.
Through a series of traumatic events leading to the untimely death of her husband, Lisa found herself having to earn a living, review relationships and manage her finances. Her world changed overnight. Suddenly, she had to re-engage and throw herself full force into the workplace. Lisa grabbed the reigns and took charge of her future. “Where the bottom falls out there is a way out.” It hasn’t been pleasant, but she’s finally at a place where she can make a difference in the lives of other women.
Lisa is putting her money (and time) where her mouth is. Her compassion has grown for the women who have really struggled as she did. She doesn’t want women to feel victimized by their situations but rather empowered by them. Lisa feels strongly about supporting others in developing the flexibility and creativity to support themselves. She knows, firsthand, that it is possible to land on your feet, reinvent yourself and thrive in the world. She wants to share that wisdom.
“I make my jewelry because of the experiences I have had. People connect with the symbolism of my pieces because of the experiences they have had.”
Never ask permission. Own your future.