Archive for the ‘Profiles’ Category

The Family Stone

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On July - 1 - 2008

stones1It was during a two-hour layover in a Dallas airport five years ago that Citrine by the Stones was born. Peruvian born designers Mary, Michelle and Joanne Stone were returning to Miami after a wedding when the fateful discussion occurred. “I was living in Paris, traveling throughout Europe and had come to the States for a wedding,” recounts Michelle. “My mom, Mary, and sister, Joanne, had been designing and creating jewelry at home for themselves and for friends. During the layover in Dallas, my mother suggested we start our own jewelry line. I said, ‘As soon as you have a few designs in place, give me a call and I’ll move back and join the team and head up the branding and marketing.’” Surely enough, the call came two months later, when Michelle was in Italy. Within a couple of weeks, she moved down and the trio got to work creating original, handmade pieces in the kitchen of their Miami home. “We started from our home, so you can really say we are organically grown,” says Michelle. “It helped that we all came from art and design backgrounds,” Joanne explains, “I studied design at UCLA and at L’Accademia Di Belle Arti di Bologna, in Italy; Michelle majored in design at Parsons/New School NY and Paris and also possessed branding and strategy experience; and our mother is a trained sculptor, painter and photographer.” The Stones share an intense passion for jewelry and its power to transform a woman, making her beautiful, sexy, delicate, elegant, or rebellious. “For this reason our collections change radically yet organically every season in step with life’s ever-changing energy and flow. They are echoes of our culture: classic, yet fashion-forward. The By the Stones woman is not afraid to be herself. She stands out in a crowd for her confidence, daringness, playfulness, generosity and femininity, she is authentic and generous.”

When asked about the origin of the brand name, Read the rest of this entry »

Moms Who Rock

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 1 - 2008

moms-rock1These moms rock – literally and figuratively! They squeeze in Pilates and play-dates, catch and couture, facials and fundraisers. They choo-choo in their Jimmy Choos, belt out Zeppelin lullabies and temper tantrums at Neiman’s-all the while staying true to themselves and putting their little ones first. They are sexy, savvy, supermoms who are running to stand still and loving every minute of it! So move over Mrs. Cleaver, these moms put the M in M.I.L.F.!

Katy Stoka

Attitude is Everything

This raven-haired beauty is one of the most dynamic, positive people you’ll ever meet. Upon returning from a whirlwind trip to Spain and Italy just the night before, she actually apologized for having been unavailable for an interview! Hellooo!!!! She’d never even met me! Born and raised in Nebraska and attending college in Milwaukee, (where she met now-husband, Dario), and living in Chicago afterwards, Katy never takes a warm, sunny Miami day for granted. Her love for our fair city and winning personality are key factors toward her success as a major player in the real-estate industry- behind such projects as the Waverly and IKON. Currently, Katy is the assistant sales director and a project manager for the W South Beach, scheduled to open next year. “I call the W the ‘perfect storm’ because of its unobstructed views of the ocean and the fact that it’s in the center of it all-anything and everything is within walking distance. The architecture is also crazy beautiful, as it’s the last opportunity to build from the ground up. It’s going to be all glass-outrageously pretty!” Katy and Dario were looking for a warm and urban place to live five years ago. They randomly came to Miami for a visit and within 30 days, bought a condo, got married and moved to the beach, never looking back. “Where else can you live in a world class city, yet walk on the beach in flip flops in mid-January?”

She admits, since the arrival of one-year-old Massimo, she has become accustomed to doing twenty things at once! Some changes include cutting down on going out- from 4-5 times a week to once or twice. At the top of her top ten are Prime 112, Nobu and Blue Door. Nocturnal favorites include Casa Tua and Mokai. These days, Katy’s work-out routine is limited to “just walking everywhere,” and shopping, which she takes “very seriously” has endured a few minor tweaks. “I stick Mossimo in his Bugaboo, pick up an espresso at Van Dyke, get a buzz and go shopping for some vintage Gucci!” Her favorite haunt is Consign of the Times, just off of Lincoln Road. When asked how she juggles shopping with the baby she says, “Massimo, like his father, is simple. You just keep them fed and they’re good to go for about 45 minutes.” She believes in taking the time to look her best, saying, “It’s important to take care of your self and make an effort to look good. It takes just as long to put on a cute pair of jeans and a nice top as it does to put on a schlumpy sweat-suit.” Katy explains that staying young “is about realizing that life is changing but that all changes are for the better and not fearing getting older but being excited about it. It’s all in your attitude, keeping who you are, loving what you do and adapting (to change) in a positive way.” Katy says it best, “You can be from all different worlds, but once you become a mom, you share a common thread, you are a parent (or does she mean apparent?).”

Alma Rodriguez

Chica Caliente!

This Mexican bombshell grew up in a tiny town in Mexico and lived in Colorado before moving to Miami to pursue modeling. She even wound up becoming Univision’s Chica Caliente, (that’s Hot Chic for all you gringos out there!) But don’t let her appearance fool you, at only 22, Alma projects the wisdom and demeanor of someone twice her age. I guess I’d describe her as an old soul. It is befitting that the word alma means soul in Spanish. “I’ve always been responsible, but now I’m even more-so. Being a mother is scary and sad, you love your child so much yet you know they’re going to suffer and you want to shield them.” She has been taking it slow these days, enjoying 2 ½ year-old Romi, going to school and cooking. While already fluent in English, Spanish and French she is eager to learn more languages and is pursuing a business degree, in between trips to the park and to the Children’s Museum with the baby. And let’s not forget shopping sprees at Bal Harbour and Merrick Park, which are de rigueur.

She says Romi inspires her to stay young, joking that her workout routine includes lots of cardio (chasing Romi around) and heavy lifting several times a day (he weighs over 30 lbs.)! One of the ways Alma’s stayed true to herself after becoming a mom is that she refuses to carry a diaper bag, choosing to pack Romi’s stuff in an oversized designer bag. Some faves include Dolce, Dior and Louis Vuitton. She is also sure to carve out time to spend with Romi’s father, Kris. “I’ve tried to change as little as possible and to preserve my relationship with Kris. Children grow up and you are left with whatever you’ve made out of your life and your relationship.”

Alma hasn’t let motherhood keep her from traveling. She frequently visits relatives in Colorado and Mexico with Romi in-tow, going it alone since Kris doesn’t fly. Last year, the couple took their young son, (and two dogs) on a seven-month trip throughout Europe. Now if that doesn’t make for reality T.V…. “We were only supposed to be going for two weeks, but it turned into seven months,” explains Alma. She laughs, “There we were, with an 8 month old baby and two little dogs, up and down on the trains everywhere, with only 2 carry on bags between us. It was hilarious!”

Marie Blum

Perfect Balance

Marie Blum, a self-proclaimed do-it-yourselfer, can simultaneously change a light bulb, tie a sneaker and plan a fundraiser with the grace and finesse of a professional ballerina. Oh, that is probably because she is a professional ballerina. Well, she is a professional everything when it comes to dance- accomplished in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, you name it. She melodically explains, in her fabulous British accent, “I’m a DIY Queen: I can fix anything around the house, painting, plumbing, electrical things. My years as a ballerina have trained me to balance on ladders while painting, I can reach places most people find impossible.” Training she perfected while attending Bush Davis School of the Arts, a full-time dancing college, in East Grinstead, England, at age 16, after growing up in a small town near Oxford. “I grew up a country lass, with chickens in my backyard.” After college, at just 19, Marie worked at a nightclub in Spain and in ballet and opera in Italy before embarking on a Greek cruise line where she worked as a dancer for a year. This began her career with cruising, which eventually led her to audition and land a nine month contract with Carnival Cruise Lines, where she met now-husband, Roger, who worked for the line. “The rehearsals were in Miami, and I met Roger my first week here. I began dating him 9 months later, after my contract was over. I had gone to London to audition for the Ecstasy, he found my information, tracked me down and we traipsed around England for a week.” Two years later, the two were married and are now parents to Max, 7, and Ashley, 5, who, like their parents, are international jet-setters, each taking their first trip “across the pond” at six weeks old! Their favorite haunts while in town include O Asian Grill, North 110, Michy’s and the Ritz Carlton South Beach.

Marie’s daily balancing act includes shuttling between the Cushman School, the gym at the Four Seasons, basketball for Max and gymnastics and Hip Hop for Ashley, (Marie’s image consultant and personal shopper) who has inherited mum’s penchant for dance. In between all the mom stuff, Marie manages to find time to volunteer for numerous charitable organizations, including: Mt. Sinai Medical Foundation, Cancer Lifeline, Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, Miami City Ballet, United Way, Philharmonic Orchestra, and to plan adventurous summer trips around the world, including surf camp for Max and artist camp for Ashley in California. She hasn’t quite hung up her dancing shoes just yet. She recounts a recent Carnival event at Mansion, “I had had a few and decided to join the dancers on the podium, only to be escorted off by one of the bouncers. Not my proudest moment.” On staying young, Marie comments, “I want to stay young, cool and hip for my children- I take care of myself for them. They are dead-cute, I’m totally blessed!”

Donna Anderson-Scharer

Imelda Marcos- Lock Your Closet

Native New Yorker Donna Anderson- Scharer knows a thing or two about style, in addition to being gorgeous, smart and social. The PR maven-turned realtor has parlayed her people skills into a successful new career in real estate. Born in Brooklyn, and growing up in New York and New Jersey, Donna lived in the City for ten years while working for Howard Rubenstein then relocated to Los Angeles to join Hef’s PR team at Playboy Enterprises. There she met Jay, the father of her daughters, Skylar Nicole, 7 and Summer Rose 3. The two got married and moved to Miami in 2000. Donna describes her daughters as “the girliest girls.” She says, “I’m thankful I have girls, because the only thing I know about boys is just enough to get me pregnant.” Skylar and Summer are fashionistas-in-the-making, each owning over twenty pairs of shoes (that’s a lot, considering kids outgrow shoes every 4 months. We’re talking 60 pairs of shoes a year!) Donna laughs, “Like me, Summer is obsessed with shoes. I’ve got like 105 pairs. “She raids my closet as soon as she gets home from pre-school. At only three, she walks great in high heels!” Perhaps a new program is in order: SA- Shoeholics Anonymous! And let’s not forget the matching bags and accessories. Shoes, handbags, accessories- Oh My! The girls have also inherited mom’s affinity for the finer things, regulars at Nobu, Quattro, and Carpaccio, demanding “only Filet Mignon,” and traveling back and forth with Donna to New York to catch all of the latest Broadway shows. Despite their girliness, Donna encourages outdoor pursuits, such as skiing, hiking, mining and attending wildlife camp in Aspen, where the family vacations in the winter and spends the entire summer. She also foster’s Skylar’s intelligence, encouraging piano and chess, in addition to gymnastics and Hip Hop.

Donna confesses that she is no soccer mom. For her, style is a top priority. “I get dressed up every day from head to toe- heels, hair, make-up-regardless of where I’m going. If I look and feel good, I’m in a better mood and that makes me a better mom.” But make no mistake; this stylish, fun mom still keeps her daughters as her primary focus. “Becoming a mom, I’ve realized that my life is not my own- I’m constantly preoccupied, their schedule is my schedule. In a way, you give up part of your soul when you become a mother.” For instance, while Donna frequents the Delano Tuesdays and Set on Fridays, she will not go out unless she has a nanny the next day. “It’s just not fair to the girls if I’m not at my best.” About the future, Donna says, “I want my girls to grow up safe and happy and pursue what they want- to hone in on their talents as opposed to what I may want from them.”

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Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
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