What do Washington politics and gorgeous gems have in common? Jewelry designer Sissy Yates! Born in Washington D.C., Sissy’s mom was the Reagan White House Social Secretary, while her dad was a reporter for The Washington Post. Her sister, It’s Complicated actress Ali Wentworth, is married to George Stephanopoulos, White House Communications Director for President Clinton and current anchor of Good Morning America. Oh, and her father-in-law was Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame.
While working for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the aspiring designer got to study the museum’s vast collections of Asiatic and Oriental jewelry, and her fascination with exotic gemstones was born. She launched her eponymous jewelry collection, Sissy Yates Designs, in 2007.
Sissy Yates Designs is a tightly edited collection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets made with exquisite semi-precious stones sourced from around the world. Inspired by her work at the Met, and by her childhood travels to the beaches of Cape Cod, the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico, Sissy is fascinated with the rich colors and the translucent qualities of rare stones such as opal, topaz, kyanite, labradorite, chalcedony, turquoise, mother-of-pearl, coral and lapis. She incorporates these stones into her colorful designs, creating versatile pieces that are equally suited to Washington power lunches and casual New York City brunches.
The designer also offers clients a custom jewelry design service. Whether it’s creating a one-of-a-kind piece or reworking an existing design, she’ll collaborate with a client, one-on-one, to create the perfect piece.
Sissy shows her collection privately across the country, from Palm Beach to New York, Los Angeles to Boston. The line is also available at an ever-expanding list of boutiques along the northeast, and at her website, sissyyatesdesigns.com. A percentage of the proceeds from each of her trunk shows is donated to local and national charities, including Baby Love DC, Babby Buggy, Save The Children, Autism Speaks, Leukemia Society, Breast Cancer Awareness, Joyful Heart Foundation and Children's Law Center.
Sissy's jewelry is routinely worn by Hollywood celebrities, TV personalities, political figures, journalists and Washington socialites including; Joy Behar, Katie Curic, Mariska Hargitay, Gayle King, Debra Messing, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Jessica Seinfeld, Ali Wentworth and Oprah Winfrey.
Sissy Yates Designs has been featured in the country’s top fashion magazines such as O, The Oprah Magazine, in addition to Washington Life, Capitol File and The Washington Post. The brand has also made appearances on national TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View and Good Morning America.
Sissy lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and their three children.