After leaving school with few qualifications Stephen's imagination was captured by making handmade models and props for the movies. He initially worked for a very successful model making company where he ran the workshop and mastered a huge amount of skills including mould-making, casting, electroplating, metal working, graphics, design and pattern making.
In 1984 Stephen left to set up his own model making business, Don’t Panic. At the time, the craft was a technical and labour intensive-business involving radius gauges and micrometers and materials such as metal, glass, wood, plastics and paints.
There was also a spell making avant-garde accessories as co-stallholder with his wife and business partner Jane, in the Punk era of the late 1970s and early 80s.
In 1995 he sold ‘Don’t Panic’ and his house (!) and he and his fantastically supportive wife Jane and their two young children then moved into a rented flat in order to start Stephen Einhorn.
The purpose of this was to concentrate on his own jewellery designs using the many skills that he had developed over the preceding years as a model maker. He turned the model making workshop in Islington into a jewellery workshop, design studio and shop.
Having noticed a paucity of good men’s jewellery, he was one of the first designers to focus on men’s accessories. Paul Smith commissioned Stephen’s very first men’s jewellery collection plus many subsequent collections, including a women’s jewellery collection sold as ‘Stephen Einhorn for Paul Smith’. Stephen has designed men’s retail ranges for A Bathing Ape, Alfred Dunhill and Takeo Kikuchi amongst others, and also done a considerable amount of work for many feature films, including Disney’s Cinderella, Maleficent and Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Stephen wanted to make his designs and brand inclusive and at the core is a commitment to celebrating everyone’s individuality. When the first Stephen Einhorn e-commerce website launched in 1997, it was the first to have a dedicated gay and lesbian wedding section, something that both Stephen and founding director Jane Best felt very strongly about. This was and remains an integral part of the company, and they are both very proud of it.
Another of the things that is particularly important to Stephen and Jane is a commitment to social, environmental and ethical responsibility. This continues today and runs through every part of the business, from responsible sourcing of materials, employee work/life balance, local community charity work, to recycling
Alongside his traditional hand making skills is his technical background. Stephen enjoys employing new techniques and technologies in his workshop, studio and in the jewellery designs themselves and is continually pushing the boundaries and experimenting with different materials.
The 2000-Year-Old Thames Wood excavated from the first Roman Port facilities built circa 63AD, that Stephen uses in some of his jewellery designs, was particularly challenging, needing to be stabilised and protected when used alongside precious metals. He has done a lot of research and development to enhance the longevity and stability of the wood. The workshop at Stephen Einhorn is a very exciting mix of ultra-modern technology and ancient skills and craftsmanship.
Stephen likes to design interesting and unusual pieces as well, to enhance his more classic design style. He has customers who fly from all over the world to commission something especially from him.
Stephen’s jewellery has been worn and loved by British and Hollywood actors, models and musicians including Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightly, Charlize Theron, The xx, Ella Eyre , David Gandy and Edie Campbell.
This was followed by stints in theatrical costume departments for various London theatres and the BBC. Jane then consolidated her training in fashion by becoming a fully trained milliner, training under Marie O'Hagen at the London College of Fashion. She went on to run her own clothing and millinery company, and as well as making and selling her own designs herself, she also sold designs to Jeff Banks for Warehouse, having been interviewed by him on the Clothes Show as 'one to watch,' as part of London Fashion Week. Jane also made a whole collection of tailored suits for the film Dance with a Stranger about the last women to be hanged in Britain, Ruth Ellis. The film stared Miranda Richardson and Ian Holm.
Jane has also turned her making and designing skills to other pursuits, and has worked as a stylist for a number of photographers and model makers in film and advertising. One of her clients was Tom Watson manager of The Pet Shop Boys and Bros when he wanted to launch a new heavy metal band and asked Jane to design their outfits. She also worked as a soft model maker, specialising in miniature or outsized clothes and hats.
Jane has also had another career path entirely running alongside these businesses, and is a trained singer and composer. She started singing with the London Orpheus choir and went on to complete the Post Graduate Jazz course as a singer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then she has worked as a singer, and written production music and string arrangements for various pop artists. She has a Master’s degree in Orchestration for film and television from the London College of Music and Media and has conducted big bands as well as the BBC concert Orchestra. She has her own studio and has released several albums of Production Music.
“Stephen and I have worked together doing various things for years. It feels very natural. I find him very inspiring as he can make absolutely anything which opens up a whole world to me of amazing creativity. We have always complimented each other perfectly as we have very differing skills, but some of them are the same which I think makes us quite a dynamic team!”
- Jane Best
Jane has spent many years juggling two careers; writing library music in her own studio and, with Stephen, running Stephen Einhorn. There as well as running the core business with Stephen, she designs the pearl jewellery range, writes all the content for the Stephen Einhorn website including the blog and oversees the running of the London jewellery shop, designing all of the innovative and quirky window displays.
And if that isn't enough, she has recently learnt to speak Spanish.