It all started with a pair of beautiful stone bookends that Judy Kiriazis received from a dear friend on her birthday. As she held the heavy pieces and marveled at the beauty of the huge crystals of amethyst in them, Judy thought how wonderful if would be to handle gorgeous minerals like these every day. And so Heart of Stone was born.
The company went through a couple of permutations--first, as a gift catalog featuring decorative mineral specimens and handmade "gifts from the earth; then, as the vehicle for Judy's own jewelry designs; and finally, as an online website featuring one-of-a-kind gemstones.
Judy Kiriazis is the spirit and driving force behind Heart of Stone Studio. After an eclectic career in her hometown of Chicago, IL, she moved to Arizona where she earned a Ph.D. in Zoology from Northern Arizona University. She taught at the university level for fourteen years before leaving to pursue a new direction: Art.
In December of 2003, Judy combined her love of jewelry design with her long-time love of gemstones and built the website Heart of Stone Studio.com. Every stone on the site is hand-selected by Judy herself, combining her artist's eye with the pursuit of excellent quality and value. She aims to treat her customers as she feels all buyers deserve to be treated: with integrity, respect, and the appreciation of an artist's quest for just the right gemstone.
Today Judy lives with her husband in north central Arizona's high desert. When time permits, she continues to design her unique pieces that marry together beautiful fused glass, precious metals, and gemstone accents.
This website is the product of a collaboration between Judy Kiriazis and the web building team at InMotion Hosting.com. Chief designer, coder, and magic-maker is Brandy Fetzner. She built the site using Dreamweaver, and its functionality is made possible by a robust shopping cart program called Open Cart. I thank my lucky stars that Brandy was assigned to build my site—she is not only a knowledgeable and talented designer, she also is a patient and thorough teacher.
In Motion Hosting has hosted Heart of Stone Studio for the past eight years. They have been totally reliable, and their 24-7 live tech support is second to none. Building a website with them has been a great experience, especially since they amortize the cost over a year's time, they provide a monthly update and revisions service, and they turn the site's ownership back to me at the end of that year. They even came up with ways to save me money! I highly recommend them for the building of small or large websites, as well as for their web hosting services.
The most beautiful photos on this site were taken by Doug Von Gausig, of Critical Eye Photography (.com). Use of any of the photos has to be with his permission. The typefaces that gave this site its special flavor are free--downloadable from Google Typefaces. The logo, search boxes, category icons, and other elements were designed by Judy Kiriazis. Artist and designer Matt Willgohs improved the home page layout and made the Heart of Stone Studio title both beautiful and legible. Many thanks go also to Beth Wickenden, for her excellent critiques and user advice. Last but not least, I owe a great debt to my husband, Con Slobodchikoff, for his help in data entry (the search box is super because of him), and his unending encouragement and support.
All the content on this site is the property of Heart of Stone Studio, and any use of its contents requires the written permission of its owner, Judy Kiriazis. The website itself, along with its layout, coding, and functionality, is the property of InMotionHosting.com. Copyright 2013.