While working on a PhD in psychology in Boston, Stefani Stoyanof enrolled in a metalsmithing course as an escape. Soon, she found herself spending more time in the studio than studying, so a year into her program, she officially traded a library carrel for a jeweler’s bench. “I was scared because it was a complete 180 from what I was doing,” says Stefani, who was born in Greece. “But I knew it would make me happy.”
In 2015—with her family fully onboard with her new plan—she launched Swim to the Moon, a line of pendulous geometric earrings, half-slice rings, and disc necklaces inspired by the lines of this planet we live on. And speaking of the globe: Stefani now splits her time between Austin and Athens, soaking up ideas from both. As she says, “Austin is all about the people, all the artists and the musicians. And in Athens, it’s the landscape.” It’s clear Stefani’s a quick study—two years in (less than half the time it would have taken to get that other degree, in case you’re counting), she’s already graduated to very legit designer status. —marly fink
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