Stephanie grew up in the retail business and her love of home and design was greatly influenced by her mother. “My mother was a designer, fabulous home renovator and art teacher; her passion for inventing clever design solutions rubbed off on me. My first job was managing her retail store in Palo Alto and I loved it.”
Living in exotic places such as Thailand and Saudi Arabia has additionally informed her love of art and design. In opening Brick Monkey, Stephanie satisfied a long-time desire to return to retail and create a fun, inspiring store with a unique personality offering great style at sensible price points.
In addition to her involvement with the two Brick Monkey stores, Stephanie remains deeply involved with the operation of Kolkka Furniture, a custom design and furniture manufacturing business that she started with her husband John in 1985. Kolkka Furniture, located in Napa Valley California, has established a national reputation for design, custom manufacturing capabilities and excellent customer service, and is featured, among many other products, at Brick Monkey.
Gina began working at Kolkka Furniture in 2008 and within 1 year became the Office Manager. “Working with Stephanie changed my life. She was and still is such an inspiration to me. Through her mentoring I realized that I too wanted to be an entrepreneur.”
Within a year after the promotion, she acquired an education as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and opened her own company doing accounting for individuals and small businesses in the Bay Area.
“I have always had a vision to create a boutique in Redwood City that would liven and strengthen the community downtown. I wanted to have a store that had something for everybody. Monkey see, Monkey do, we have something just for you!”
She invested and become a partner at Brick Monkey in 2013 and together they expanded the brand by opening Brick Monkey Squared.