Sophia Forero Designs
The Naperville, IL-based designer, born Sophia Arzoumanidis, is a proud Greek American with a global perspective. After earning her Master’s from the University of Chicago, she joined the U.S. Peace Corps, and traveled throughout Eastern Europe. There she was inspired by the people, materials, and cultures she experienced, and began crafting fine jewels. While in Europe, she learned seven languages, which along with her enthusiasm, allows her to not only communicate with artisans from around the world, but to connect with them on a personal level.
Sophia Forero Designs are now featured in more than 300 fine boutiques and specialty stores in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, including Bloomingdales, Halls, and Oilily, to name a few. Her designs are elegant and imaginative, and have become a favorite of celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Vivica A.Fox, Olympia Dukakis, and Nia Vardalos. Sophia’s designs have been influenced by other cultures, which she respectfully and artfully portrays in her jewelry. She is an artist’s artist and a people person. Her heart is genuine. Her mantra is “Feel Beautiful”, and she brings that vision to every single design. Her energy and zeal inspire others.
On her blog, she wrote:
“When I was growing up, my parents told me over and over why and how the Greek civilization ushered in the best of what made us human. Ancient Greece, Alexander the Great, Byzantium: Hellenic saturation that is the engine of so much today. My brother and I were drilled and bathed in a strange mixture of Hellenic pride and Orthodox mysticism, with of bit of evil eye superstition tossed in. Today, the rest of the world asks: HOW DID YOU GET HERE? And the poverty grows. And the desperation oozes out of the cafenia. And the tempers shorten. And the answers- where are they? And the lines in the soup kitchens- they elongate. And the money gets stuffed under the mattress because who would trust the banks? And the band aid happens for a few months, and then the frustration swells again. And they march right back into Syntagma, the people’s square in front of Parliament, to demand what? Are we empty handed? OXI. Do you know what that means? If you don’t, ask a Greek. Or Google it. Email us. Greece matters.”
In response to the growing humanitarian crisis in the motherland, she has created the OXI Collection, a new line of jewelry inspired by her rich Greek heritage. 50% of all sales will go to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), an organization that is working to expand relief to Greece’s growing poor.
“To me, the word OXI doesn’t just mean no. It means resilience. It actually stands for hope. I truly believe that our people will get to the other side of this economic situation as a new people…that our resilience will be emboldened. Until that day, it’s our responsibility as the Diaspora to show our support.”
Check out the OXI Collection. Show your support for Greece and feel beautiful. Greece does matter, and will continue to do so, for the ages.