Born in Washington D.C., Sissy grew up in a dynamic, cultivated home. Her mother served in the White House as White House Social Secretary. Her father was a Washington Post correspondent. Her aunt and uncle were global ambassadors. Her family instilled in Sissy a sensibility and curiosity about the world that shines through in her jewelry.
From youth, Sissy was drawn to the colorful, natural brilliance of gemstones. As a child she combed Cape Cod beaches and tidal pools for the most beautiful shells and stones she could uncover, a collection that grew by the season. Rainy afternoons were often spent perusing the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Gem Gallery.
Sissy’s adventurous spirit was inspired by her grandmother, who more than a century ago ventured to the most remote corners of a China and brought home stories that became family legends, filling young Sissy with wanderlust. Later, Sissy worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where her love of colorful gems and early metal craftsmanship began to meld. As an adult, she traveled in her beloved grandmother’s spirit across America, Asia, North Africa, and Europe—explorations that would lead her to establish Sissy Yates Designs.
Sissy believes that when clients wear these radiant, breathtaking stones they nourish their relationship to the world’s wonders, deepening their connection to nature and humanity. Her impressive client list includes celebrities in entertainment, news, the arts, fashion and government: Julianne Moore, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, Mariska Hargitay, Christie Brinkley, Norah O’Donnell, Leslie Stahl, Joy Behar, Gayle King, Debra Messing, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Jessica Seinfeld, Ali Wentworth, Nicole Miller, Rose Styron, Sheila Johnson, Phyllis Wyeth and the late Mike Wallace.
In conjunction with her family — sister, actress Ali Wentworth; brother-in-law George Stephanopoulos, the Good Morning America anchor and former White House Communications Director for President Clinton; and her late father-in-law, legendary newsman Mike Wallace — Sissy is passionate about giving back to her community. She is active in a number of causes, not only in her hometown of Washington, D.C., but worldwide. She donates a percentage of sales from trunk shows to such charitable organizations as Baby Love DC, Baby Buggy, Save The Children, Autism Speaks, Leukemia Society, Breast Cancer Awareness, Joyful Heart Foundation and Children’s Law Center, to name a few.
Sissy lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and their three children.
Sissy’s Grandmother in China, 1920’s