DTLA: Ali + Stella

I have known Stella Simona and her husband Caleb for the better part of a decade now. I met them on a shoot at their loft in Downtown Los Angeles years back and it was evident within the first hour that they'd be lifelong friends. They are 2 people I've grown to love and affectionately call my sister and brother. In addition to the fact that they have hearts the size of Texas, they're 2 of the most insanely talented people I know. 

Stella is former photography and model who found her love and passion for jewelry design, coupled with some kick ass entrepreneurship. After launching her insanely successful jewelry collection, Haati Chai, she and one of her best friends Ali Heiss, owner of Amarilo Jewelry, decided to combine their powers and go into business together. They opened Showroom Joplin that was initially an LA based public relations, marketing services and sales showroom for some of the hottest domestic and international brands. They're since pivoted and Joplin Creative the parent company that houses both Amarilo and Haati Chai. Additionally, they each take on private projects and service them under the Showroom Joplin umbrella. They meet by appointment only in their store and specialize heavily in custom jewelry. As if all of that isn't dope enough for you, they're are officially launching their engagement collections this year for both the brands! 

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Since they opened 5 years ago in DTLA, Ali's also become a good friend of mine. Whenever I'm down their way I always pop by Joplin to bug them. I'm always so inspired by everything they do and have accomplished. They're two of the most down to earth fashion professionals I know. The showroom has such a great vibe and is oozing with creative energy. 

When I'm not harassing them at work, we all get together for potluck style family dinners to catch up, laugh and play games at one of our places. I'm really blessed to know these two dynamic, goofy women. And I want you all to know them as well. Follow them everywhere at: 

Showroom Joplin

177 W. Olympic Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90015


Joplin Creative

Stella Simona

Ali Heiss

To get to where I am, you have to go back to where I came from.
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About Haati Chai: 

For designer Stella Simona, Haati Chai has been a narration of her heritage, culture, and her journey to self discovery. As the daughter of East Indian immigrants, Stella realized at a young age that her background was unique. Being Bangladeshi  and American, she constantly felt caught between both her worlds. Although Stella lived in the US for her entire life, she was constantly connected to her native roots by her grandmother, Annie. Her grandmother travelled back to Bangladesh and India regularly, and brought Stella pieces of their heritage to hold dear forever. Eventually, Stella illustrated her own designs and gave them to her Grandmother who would help bring them to life. Through this intimate project they shared, Annie and Stella taught each other how to embrace both their worlds together. From here, the essence of Haati Chai was born, the connection of people from all walks of life, stemming from a single design.

Haati Chai was established in 2011 from designer Stella Simona's desire to fill a void for heirloom jewelry.  

Inspired by a woman's beauty and form, her designs incorporate hints of East meets West and pays homage to the past while constantly looking forward.  The Haati Chai woman is the epitome of a muse. To her a woman is most beautiful when she is comfortable in her own skin. She lives her life indulging in her passions and self discovery - through travels, philanthropy, and romance.  She is always effortlessly accessorized and makes every moment matter by telling her journey and story in her style. Each piece is designed to play a symbolic role in the wearer's life-- everyday heirlooms to be passed down between generations, carrying on the stories of those it has touched. Haati Chai's influence from different cultures and moments in history is reflected in its design down to the naming of the pieces. Apart from the jewelry, Haati Chai places great importance on partnering with different organizations to consciously shed light on issues close to the designer's heart.

About Amarilo: 

Amarilo was founded in 2011 with the intention of redefining classic jewelry for the modern woman.

This philosophy transcends into the design - unassumingly, simplistic jewelry that elevates a woman's everyday style. By offering essential pieces to be worn individually or in multiples, the line has quickly become recognized for its take on layering.

The beauty of an Amarilo woman is found in her validation in herself and ever-present self love. Her root values are embraced in her casual sense of style. At the heart of the line, the core collection offers the foundation of staples for any woman's jewelry wardrobe. Designed with purpose, the line emphasizes longevity through mastered jewelry techniques and exceptional fit.

Designer Ali Heiss has always abided by a minimalist philosophy - removing the non-essential and making a conscious effort to focus on what really matters in life. For Ali, Amarilo is a source of both personal and professional growth-- her anchor to reality. After becoming infatuated with jewelry and design at a young age, she embraced her mother's ambitious attitude, and began selling her designs around the neighborhood. From there, this passion continued as she worked her way through college and organically grew Amarilo into the brand it is today. Because Ali was adopted, her mother made it a priority to help her find her true self by teaching her that her character and identity are not defined by others. Ali's journey hasn't always been smooth, but she has proven to herself that she can do anything and she hopes to inspire others  in embracing their true selves. Each Amarilo box is inscribed with one of Ali's favorite quotes from Lao Tzu, "Because she competes with no one, no one competes with her." This statement holds true to Ali herself and to the woman she designs for. Each piece Ali creates is designed with intention, embodying a certain meaning to the woman wearing it.  

Video by Theo Macabeo